The Deep Meaning of The Office Ending, Explained

The Office began as a show about being ordinary, but over nine seasons, the show outgrew those humble beginnings. When it came time to end it in 2013, The Office demanded an equally outsized finale. That finale was actually an epilogue, catching up with the characters a year after the premiere of the documentary that’s been filming them over the course of the series. As they discuss how their lives became a TV show while offering the kind of fairy-tale endings we’re used to seeing on television, The Office becomes a meta-commentary on itself—contemplating its larger purpose, and subtly urging us to think about how we might re-evaluate our own lives if we saw them reflected back to us on a TV screen. Here’s our Take on how The Office’s once-dry, subversive satire of the workplace evolved into a broader, more heartfelt sitcom, and the deeper message we might take from its sentimental ending.