Brow Beat

Who’s Been Filming the Office Documentary?

John Krasinski on The Office

Chris Haston for NBC

News arrived today that the next season of The Office, its ninth, will be its last. If anything, this decision seems belated; the once excellent show lost steam even before Steve Carrell left a few years ago. But the final installment of the series will apparently address at least one element of the show that has yet to be explored. Who has been filming the documentary?

Like the British original, NBC’s version of The Office is presented as footage being filmed for a documentary-in-progress. While the show does not attempt to make this fairly effective conceit at all plausible, the decision by returning showrunner Greg Daniels to pull back the curtain on this mystery could pay some comic dividends. What mad sort of human being could possibly have the passion necessary to work on a documentary about life at a paper-company office for nine years? Where does the funding come from? How big is the crew?

Daniels could take this conceit one step further by having the crew screen a rough cut of the doc for Dunder-Mifflin employees—or better yet, present the series finale as the finished documentary. I might even tune in for that.