There’s no debating whether or not The Office is one of the top 10 sitcoms of all-time, as it undoubtedly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as classic comedies such as Seinfeld, Friends, and Cheers. However, despite its clear comedic quality, would The Office be able to survive in today’s cultural climate? Even Steve Carell — Michael Scott himself — has some doubts.
While Carell has gone on to become one of the most successful dramatic actors in the country, he is still synonymous with the character of Michael Scott as The Office is as popular as ever, largely due to its continued presence on Netflix.
And in the age of television revivals and reboots — Will & Grace, Roseanne, Fuller House, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Macgyver, have all come back on the air in the last few years — it was only a matter of time before fans started calling for a return of The Office.
However, if you ask Carell, The Office is not as likely of a candidate for a revival as the rest of those aforementioned shows, and for good reason:
But the rules of comedy have changed quite a bit in the last half-decade, even in the last year. Jokes and characters that once seemed harmless might now generate social-media outrage, if not boycotts and involuntary sabbaticals. Carell’s thoughts returned to Michael Scott.
“Because The Office is on Netflix and replaying, a lot more people have seen it recently,” he said. “And I think because of that there’s been a resurgence in interest in the show, and talk about bringing it back. But apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea, it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago. The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior. I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know? But I just don’t know how that would fly now. There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
Yet, despite Carell’s reservations, we all know it’s only a matter of time before NBC greenlights a reboot/revival of The Office — with or without Michael Scott.