Is it just me or has The Office seen a pretty steady decline in hilarity over the course of this season? Sure, there are still laugh-out-loud moments, but they’re not hitting nearly as much as they did before and when I do laugh, it’s not as hard or as long as before. I’m sad. I think that overall I’m just not that pleased with this season. It’s the season of change…or rather how the showrunners are terrified of it. Let’s take a look.

At the beginning of the season we had the whole Pam / Jim separation anxiety thing. Pam was in NYC going to art school and Jim was still roughing it in Scranton. The show threw every obstacle into the couple’s way that would have broken up your average sitcom couple, but they persevered. Then art school got hard and Pam gave up. Just like that. So here you had this independent woman setting out to make a name for herself and pursue her dream as an artist…but it’s too hard. So she goes back to being a receptionist. We had this great idea of change and then it went right back to normal.

Now lately we’ve had this situation with Michael. He up and quits for no reason whatsoever and now three episodes later he’s back at Dunder-Mifflin. The status quo has been returned. The only difference now is that Ryan is back and Pam is a salesperson. I guess that almost makes up for the Pam situation from the beginning of the season because now she’s at least making an effort to better herself, but I’m still missing something. It’s like the writers don’t want to take a chance. These people have been sitting in the same office for years now and there’s not much else they can do. I thought that the Michael Scott Paper Company was an interesting, if flawed idea. They could have done so much there and just gave up on it after a couple episodes.

There’s a reason that the British version of the show only lasted two seasons. These characters are working in an office every day and take it from someone who does the same thing. It can get pretty boring. And that’s without characters like Dwight around. So let’s go, Office. Either take some risks or wrap this up. It might be time to clock out here.

At least 30 Rock is still all kinds of awesome.

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