Overhearing two pop-culturists argue about this comedy series, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a debate over gun-control or Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Passions can run high when a U.S. Office apologist clashes with a U.K. Office purist, leading to heated exchanges about whether David Brent was a more repulsively hilarious boss than Michael Scott, or if Pam and Jim made a better will-they-or-won’t-they? couple than Dawn and Tim. For anyone unfamiliar with either television program, this kind of battle can seem beyond trivial, but for those who’ve invested their time and hearts into these marathons of clerical awkwardness, it is as important as what to name your baby.
This Thursday, the U.S. Office will run its 200th and final episode (the U.K. version called it quits after fourteen), and as a devoted viewer of the series, I’m sentimental about seeing the final curtain fall on a story in which I’ve invested nine years of my life — though for me, the show’s become like a twin brother that went rabid, murdered his sibling and needs to be taken out behind the tool shed and mercifully put down.