Apr 262011
 
Authors: Matt Miller

The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 years.

This is roughly 3.7 times my current age. As a 21-year-old I am currently at the top physical condition of my life –– from here the next 57.7 years will be mostly downhill.

I’m not exactly looking forward to this 57.7-year decline. Unless I am excited for collecting stamps, complaining about the temperature and driving 15 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road with my blinker on.

However, I do look forward to embarrassing my grandchildren by saying inappropriate things in public and laughing when they defend me by saying, “Sorry, he’s an old man and not all there anymore.”

Aging isn’t the most glamorous fate. We can’t all age like George Clooney. Like Marsellus Wallace said in “Pulp Fiction,” “Mother –– who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don’t.”

Yet still, as a culture we value bathing in metaphorical formaldehyde. We hobble through life with one foot in the grave, barely coherent and hanging on to that last bit of life.
Is it pride or ignorance that stops us from throwing in the towel, from stepping back and saying, “Well I had a good run, now I will gracefully give up while I’m ahead?” 

We do it with everything: relationships, gambling, hairstyles, wars and even TV shows.
This Thursday NBC will air a 50-minute episode of “The Office” as Steve Carell bids his farewell to the show.

 But this doesn’t mean an end of “The Office.” The show will continue to limp on without Carell, who played the central role of Michael Scott, the office manager from hell.

For weeks fans have speculated who would be replacing Carell. Could it be Jim Carrey, Ricky Gervais, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, James Spader, Ray Romano or Catherine Tate? 
The answer is easy.  It should be no one.

 On July 9, 2001 the original version of “The Office” aired in the U.K. In December of 2003, after 14 episodes, two Emmys and being hailed as one of the best sitcoms of the decade, it ended.

Today, the British version of “The Office” is remembered as a short-lived and beloved piece of art that never lingered past its prime.

In stark contrast is the American version of “The Office.” In seven seasons, 147 episodes it has faced declining viewership and declining quality.

Had the show ended when Jim and Pam finally got together, maybe it would be remembered more fondly.

“Arrested Development” one of my favorite television shows of all time ran for three seasons before it was canceled by FOX. Although the premature end of the show was disappointing, I am left with three amazing seasons that I can watch over and over again. 

The British “Office” and “Arrested Development” are like the Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain of television.

Judd Apatow, the mind behind “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Pineapple Express” began with a short-lived career as a TV maker.  He created two shows “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” that each ran for one season and are now regarded as cult classics.

Television, like humans, should have an expiration date.

What if The Beatles never broke up in 1970? What if for the next 10 years until John Lennon’s death in 1980 they made a slew of terrible albums? Would they still be the greatest band of pop music?

As you have probably heard from some of your professors about writing papers, “It’s about quality, not quantity.”

It’s time for TV producers like those of “The Office,” to think more about disappointing fans and less about how long they can cash in on something that isn’t good anymore.
I mean, no one wants to be that person still hanging out at a party at 5 a.m. when everyone in the house has already gone to bed. 

With that being said it’s about time I end this colu ––
Entertainment Editor Matt Miller is a junior journalism major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to verve@collegian.com.

Check this out:

Looking for a place to live next year? –– My roommate and I are looking for one more roommate for next year.  We are two strapping, well-dressed young lads who live off of Laurel in a nice house with a backyard.  We’re pet friendly too! If you’re interested send me an e-mail at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:33 pm

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