Knox: Thanks for being here.
The Office: Yeah man. What’s up?
Knox: We need to talk.
The Office: Uh oh. This sounds serious. I get the feeling that we aren’t going to make it to the 7:15 showing of The Hunger Games.
Knox: (Deep sigh) No. We were never going to see The Hunger Games.
The Office: What’s going on?
Knox: First things first. I love you. I’ll always love you. I’ll always remember our time together fondly…
The Office: Are you breaking up with me?
Knox: No. Just stop just listen. (Prepares falsetto) And I wish to you joy / and happiness / but above all things I wish to you love…
The Office: Are you Whitney Houstoning me right now?
Knox: OMG you are making this so hard.
The Office: That’s what she said.
(Brief high five exchange)
The Office: Making what so hard? What’s going on?
Knox: You suck now. You’re awful. You’re basically unwatchable. It’s painful.
The Office: Wow. Don’t hold back.
Knox: I know. Watching you is like watching a grandparent get to the point where they can’t wipe themselves any more.
The Office: Like their noses? Like they can’t wipe their nose when it is running?
Knox: (Poignant stare)
The Office: (Beat) Ohhhhhhhhhh. That bad? Is it really that bad?
Knox: Watching this season is like watching Old Yeller only if instead of putting him down, they just shot his two front legs off and he survived and had to push his torso around only with his back feet.
The Office: I mean this had to be a little expected after Steve Carell left us.
Knox: Sure and we were more than willing to give you some time to sort yourself out. We’ve been patient with you. We’ve been supportive. We’ve endured this Robert California phase about as long as possible and the fact that Gabe is still in the picture and we’re still around should speak to our patience. But after a certain point, it just isn’t enough anymore.
The Office: But we’ve got the new Nelly character! That’s going to be a great story arc, right?
Knox: (Avoids eye contact. Clears throat)
The Office: Ok, so the new stuff isn’t working out. We’ve still got the old warhorses like Jim and Andy. They’re still great right?
Knox: Jim’s ok, but he’s been stagnating for a while. Basically, he makes faces at the camera, loves pranks and has no ambition. That about sums it all up for Jim.
The Office: What’s wrong with Andy?
Knox: He’s been so grotesquely misused that he’s not the Nard Dog anymore. He’s the Nard Stray Dog who trembles because he’s been beaten down by so many crappy storylines.
The Office: And I guess Dwight sucks too now?
Knox: No, Dwight is still pretty great…
The Office: Which is why we’re considering a spinoff for him!
Knox: Right. Because spinoffs have a track record of doing really well. I remember my favorite episode of Joey except that oh wait I don’t remember anything from that series because our brains repress trauma like that.
The Office: (Shoulder shrug)
Knox: And don’t think that we haven’t noticed that basically every significant creative person involved with the show has jumped ship like there’s a gas leak.
The Office: Ok. Fine. So we’re awful now. What should we do about it?
Knox: Two options: 1) Just put yourself down after this season and don’t prolong the suffering anymore. That way, we can remember the good times more than the recent bad.
The Office: And #2?
Knox: Reboot next season and go in a completely different direction. Think “Michael Scott Paper Company” or the arc when Jim transferred to a different branch. Maybe have Robert California shut down the branch and document the search for employment. I don’t know. I’m not getting paid to write for your show, but you see what I mean.
The Office: But doesn’t that change the nature of the show?
Knox: Yes and that’s the point. Your fundamental nature worked when you had Steve Carell. But you don’t anymore so you need to adjust. It’s like losing your cellphone and trying to replace it with a banana. At some point you need to change your method altogether because the new formula isn’t working.
The Office: You know I’m not going to do any of this right? I’m just going to coast as long as I can and milk the name brand of the show until I go out with a whimper.
Knox: Sadly, yes. I just felt like I owed you a conversation about it.
The Office: Well if we hurry, we still might be able to see the scene where Katniss almost stabs Haymitch’s hand.
Knox: I’m not in the mood.
The Office: That’s what she said (motions to high five).