It’s been a long time since “The Office” was good: the post-Michael Scott years, even the late-Michael Scott years, have been rough, and when they haven’t been rough, they have been listless. But with the series finale looming in May, “The Office” is finally getting its groove back— and not by being funny. The long-arc of this, its final season, has been the slow but sure destabilization of its sweetest and surest thing, the loving relationship between Jim and Pam Halpert. “The Office” isn’t the comedy it once was, but it has become the drama it has never been.
One of the long-running, undercover sadness’s of ‘The Office” was the status of Jim Halpert, a likeable guy who could do so much more, but didn’t want to. An essay in The Awl a few years ago described “The Office” as the “most depressing show on television” because of Jim, a man audiences think of as the funny, competent, prank-playing, romantic hero of the show, but who is actually “a mediocre man who has already realized his full potential,” content to wile away his life at a dysfunctional paper company. This season, Jim finally realized that he can do more, that he wants to do more, and he did what he should have done a long time ago: he got a new job. In Philadelphia.