Mapping the ‘The Office’s’ Slow Decline

For the dedicated fans of The Office who haven’t been offended/ disappointed/ heartbroken enough by its gradual decline over the seasons to abandon it entirely, tonight’s series finale may be its biggest disappointment yet. For all the show’s flaws, the Dunder Mifflin employees have indeed become something like family — not just among themselves, but to those committed viewers who have stuck with the gang through the good times and the very bad ones. Now that it’s time to bid the show goodbye, here’s our guide to the show’s steady descent, in a series of moments that made The Office really start to suck balls. (That’s what she said.)

The Office

When Jan and Michael were together

Remember Jan Levenson (Melora Hardin)? The former VP of Dunder Mifflin Sales was something of a nightmare. Under that smart suit and Chanel lipstick, there was a ballad-crooning, candle-making, velour-wearing, raging obsessive compulsive. And so, when Jan was dating Michael, she was in his dreams and his nightmares. And in ours. While she was ashamed of Michael, in reality he was far too good for her. Who could forget that crazy dinner party they held together and spent fighting in front of their guests? Jan got infinitely worse after she was fired from Dunder Mifflin. Thereafter, she became a disgruntled ex-employee, and then when she had a baby she sang to it all the time, and it was sickening. Oh, and didn’t she have a weird sex thing with her very young-looking assistant at some point?