December 18, 2017

Season by Season: The Office

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It’s hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago that television viewers in the U.S. were introduced to the hijinks at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company on the American version of The Office. Based on the British show of the same name, the series had nine seasons and successfully launched the careers of several big-name actors including its original star, Steve Carrell.

The Office underwent several changes over the years as its characters started and ended relationships (sometimes with their coworkers), the company changed hands, and the original man in charge eventually moved on. Here is an overview of some of the changes and goings on that took place over the nine seasons. You should note that if you haven’t seen some episodes of the show, there are several spoilers here. The series is constantly in reruns on networks like TBS and Fox.

Season 1 – In the first season of The Office, we are introduced to the nine-to-five workers at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, PA. The central premise of the show is that the characters are all being followed around by a camera crew who are filming their lives for a documentary. The boss, Michael Scott is unquestionably clueless when it comes to how a company should be run. His top paper salesmen include Dwight K. Schrute—a beet farmer with a few screws loose—and Jim Halpert, an underachiever who is secretly in love with the office receptionist, Pam Beesly.

Season 2 – The Office really found its stride (and its core audience) in its second season. The rumor of possible downsizing circles through the office while Michael continues to be clueless when it comes to handling office topics like sexual harassment and e-mail surveillance. Dwight and Jim are further developed as Dwight continues to do incredibly crazy things around the office and Jim constantly plays pranks on him. Jim and Pam’s storyline comes to the forefront as it becomes increasingly obvious to everyone except Pam that Jim is madly in love with her.

Season 3 – At the beginning of the third season, Jim has transferred to the Dunder Mifflin branch in Stamford to get away from Pam. Here, he meets his new co-workers, the wacky yes-man, Andy Bernard, and a possible new love interest, Karen Filippelli. After a scare in which it seems the Scranton branch may be closing, Stamford closes instead, bringing Jim back to Scranton (along with Andy and Karen). Jim and Karen date for a while, but a newly-single Pam eventually declares her love for Jim, and the two of them start dating. Meanwhile, Michael dates his boss, Jan. She is later fired and replaced by the old Scranton temp, Ryan.

Season 4 – The fourth season begins with Jim and Pam dating. Michael and Jan are still together as well, but she is quickly driving him into the ground. Eventually, after a crazy dinner party, the two break up. Dwight has been secretly sleeping with Angela, one of the accountants, but the two break it off after Dwight kills one of Angela’s cats. She takes up with Andy instead, though mostly out of revenge. Ryan goes on a roller coaster ride through his job at corporate, attempting to move Dunder Mifflin online, and eventually being forced to resign amidst a scandal. Jim attempts to propose to Pam at the end of the season, but his plans are thwarted when Andy proposes to Angela instead.

Season 5 – Pam follows her dreams and goes to art school in New York, which puts her and Jim in a long-distance relationship. Despite the hardships, the two get engaged. Michael meets and falls for the new HR representative, Holly, but she gets transferred before the two can form a real relationship. Meanwhile, a new boss at corporate gets under everyone’s skin at the Scranton office. Michael quits and forms his own paper company before eventually coming back. The season ends with Pam finding out she is pregnant.

Season 6 – Jim and Pam get married and have their first baby. Jim also gets promoted to co-regional manager with Michael. Unfortunately, the company goes bankrupt and is about to go out of business when it is acquired by a printer company called Sabre. New faces arrive in the office, including the meek Sabre representative, Gabe, and the new receptionist Erin.

Season 7 – Steve Carrell announced early on that this would be his last season on the show, so much of it revolves around the departure of Michael. He and Holly get back together, get engaged, and eventually move to Colorado to be closer to her family. After Michael leaves in a teary goodbye, the office begins a search for its new manager.

Season 8 – Andy becomes the new regional manager at the beginning of the season, and he and the office are ruled over by the new Sabre CEO, Robert California. Jim and Pam have a second baby. Several of the employees go to Florida to try to open a Sabre retail store, which ends up being a disaster. Among those to return from Florida, however, is Nellie Bertram—a precocious Brit who ousts Andy as manager. The season ends with the former CFO of Dunder Mifflin buying the company back and returning it to its roots.

Season 9 – In the final season of The Office, all is not well in Jim and Pam’s relationship. Jim starts a sports marketing company with some friends in Philadelphia, and it causes a rift between him and Pam. The two come very close to splitting up before reconciling at the last minute. Otherwise, the hijinks continue as usual at the Scranton office. Andy eventually quits, leaving Dwight to become the new regional manager. Meanwhile, the documentary that has been filming for 10 years finally airs on TV, and it exposes several of the characters’ dirty laundry. Dwight and Angela finally get together, and the series finale revolves around their wedding. After their ups and downs, Jim and Pam quit their jobs at Dunder Mifflin, and they move to Texas, where the sports marketing company is now located.

While this basic outline can give you a taste of what happened over the nine seasons of The Office, nothing beats laughing along with the show itself. Start from the beginning, watch the 200 episodes for yourself, and you won’t be disappointed.

Linda Buchanan is a retired secretary and huge “The Office” fan. You’ll find her articles mainly on entertainment blogs. If you don’t get those channels, find out more about providers that offer them from a site such as

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