Can The Office Be Saved?

Earlier this week on The Guardian website, columnist Steven Wells literally eviscerated the American version of The Office, writing that the show is "rubbish" and a "dysfunctional and unfunny pastiche of the original." Despite the fact that Mr. Wells’ column feels as current as a joke about Dick Cheney shooting someone in the face, he actually makes some good points. When episodes of The Office are bad, they really do pale in comparison to the superior British original.

Sadly, the fourth season was so wildly inconsistent that it only served to fuel the fire for people like Mr. Wells. Too many episodes felt rote and contrived. But don’t worry! It’s not too late to save The Office!

Season five kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. on NBC with an hour-long episode and in preparation, here are three things we’d like to see the upcoming season improve on.

More Kelly Kapor!

We absolutely heart Kelly Kapor, played with childlike insouciance by Office writer/producer Mindy Kaling. She almost invariably delivers a laugh-out-loud moment in every episode she’s in. That’s the problem though. Sometimes she’s not in two or three episodes at a time! Would it kill the producers to figure out a way to get her into at least one scene per week?

Marry Jim and Pam

We’re eternally glad that The Office didn’t go the Friends route and break Jim and Pam up over and over last season. But by putting the two of them together so early, the heartbeat of the show has been stopped. Seriously, Jim and Pam are just incredibly boring now. Does anyone care about them anymore? We don’t. So in lieu of breaking them up, why not get them engaged! It could spice things up and, at the very least, give John Krasinski the chance to make amends for License to Wed.

Michael Scott Needs a Remodel

As Michael Scott goes, so goes The Office. That’s basically all you need to know. Too many times last season he was either a human version of Homer Simpson or an incredibly pathetic loser. There has to be a better balance there. Michael needs to be more humanized, so that rooting for him doesn’t feel like a feudal enterprise. In the fourth season, it was. Here’s hoping the fifth season changes that. Perhaps some more scenes opposite Amy Ryan’s new HR rep will do the trick.

Can The Office Be Saved?