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  • Writer's pictureOre Ige

why the office spin-off might not suck

Updated: May 24



Most people don’t like spin-offs & reboots, and given how many of them Hollywood has been churning out in recent years, I can understand why. It’s one thing if they’re good, but that’s not usually the case, is it?

 

For every one 'House of the Dragon', there’s at least five 'How I Met Your Father’s'. It’s no surprise that so many are against spinning-off a series as beloved and critically acclaimed as The Office.

 

Like many of you reading this, I too am a massive fan of the office (it’s in my top 5 shows of all time, and when you’ve seen as many shows as I have, that’s quite the feat), but unlike many, I don’t actually think this spin-off is a bad idea….well, at least not in theory. There are some things I’d do differently. Let’s talk about it.



Before even getting into the details of the show, I’ve gotta say, I really hope they don’t name it “The office” or anything in that capacity.

 

Given the aforementioned fan-adoration & critical acclaim, trying to compete with the original show is a suicide mission, and sharing a name will only encourage people to make comparisons that I can’t imagine will do the spin-off any favours.

 

I think it should try to be its own thing entirely, and just continue to market the fact it shares a universe with the original show to keep people interested. 



Variety says the show isn’t a reboot or spin-off, but clearly The Office is a big part the show’s intended appeal, otherwise why publicise that it takes place in the same universe? Why relate it to The Office at all if it’s not supposed to draw at least partially from that show’s brand/success? So, for the rest of this blog, I’ll continue to call  it a Spin Off. Now, back to the premise.

 

According to Variety, the official logline of the new series is “The documentary crew that immortalised Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch is in search of a new subject when they discover a dying historic Midwestern newspaper and the publisher trying to revive it with volunteer reporters.” 

 

I like the fact that it’s a dying newspaper. The struggling aspect of the business should give it a Dunder Mifflin feel, however, I feel like a newspaper might be a little close to a paper company. It runs the risk of feeling too similar to the original, which as we’ve already discussed, wouldn’t work in its favour.

 

I would change it to a dying midwestern blog, because it’s essentially the same thing, only it’s different enough from a paper to feel unique, and a blog would be a great way to modernise the story (without losing that feeling of fighting obsolescence).



Cameos are kind of a mine-field in this situation: Obviously that’s what people want, and surely that’s a big part of having it set in the same universe as the original, right?

 

However, you don’t want that to be ALL the show is. There needs to be balance. If we get too many cameos, that becomes what the show is, which means people will be disappointed when there aren’t cameos which isn't good for the show. 

 

In my opinion, the best way to handle cameos is short fun bursts, they shouldn’t be too integral to the story, and because the main cast of the original was so big, they can do multiple small cameos in a season, and have one BIG one in the season finale (though Michael Scott has already said he won’t be participating which is…..disappointing, but also a reason you can’t pin too much hope on big cameos).




So, yes, this idea is fraught with potential for significant failure, but, let us not forget that the office itself (the american one, which is the one that lives in most people’s hearts) is itself a remake for American audiences (or at least that’s how it started), and while that’s not the same as a spinoff/reboot, it is in the same vein!

 

I know we all love the original (only now realising that original is a slightly confusing term here because the original is actually the British version), and the idea of some ghoulish, cash-grab spinoff feels distasteful to say the least, I’m just saying let's at least be open to it being something special in its own right!

 

What’re your thoughts on this new Office series? What would it need for you to check it out? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

 

-BINGE GOD.


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