Now that Steve Carell is leaving The Office in the next couple of weeks, questions about the shows future have (understandably) been present in many a debate. There is a schism between those that think that the show should end strong, and those that want it to keep going. Both sides have valid points worth exploring.
Keep it Going
-Shows have lost actors before and kept going strong afterward. In fact, some constantly rotate out characters based on need and availability (such as with ER).
–The Office is different because permanent departures reflect the real workplace and the coming and going of people there.
-The characters are loved by many people, and the shows writers are all still on board.
End it Now
-Shows that have a large and dedicated fan base should do them a service and wrap things up while things are still going strong. (Battlestar Galactica and LOST voluntarily ended their respective shows once they felt they’d gone as far as they could with the stories.)
-Steve Carell helped define The Office in a way that is not recoverable by other talent.
-Ratings have dropped in the last couple of years for the show, and it will likely dip further with Carell’s departure.
Me? I think they should end it. I’d just like to point out That 70’s Show and Scrubs as two examples of shows that lost their main character and tried to keep going on afterward. And to tell the truth, both of them were awful after the departure of their main character, each barely lasting half a season afterward. Scrubs was really awful, in fact. The determination of the executives to keep things going after everything had been resolved undid many of the satisfying wrap ups and made it garbage that tarnished the memory of the show.
In my opinion, The Office is heading toward the same half of a season of the same utter mediocrity before being cancelled if they don’t end strong. My opinion, of course.