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One of the best workplace comedies to grace our television screens in recent years was undeniably “The Office.” With its clever writing, hilarious cast of characters, and spot-on portrayal of office dynamics, it had audiences laughing out loud and eagerly tuning in week after week. However, to the disappointment of fans all around the world, this beloved show was canceled way too soon, leaving us craving more of the laughs and relatable moments that “The Office” effortlessly delivered.
Set in the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, “The Office” brought forth a unique blend of humor that resonated with a wide range of viewers. From the bumbling yet endearing Michael Scott, played flawlessly by Steve Carell, to the eccentric Dwight Schrute and the lovable prankster Jim Halpert, each character brought their own distinct quirks and antics that had us in stitches. The show’s mockumentary format, which allowed characters to break the fourth wall and speak directly to the camera, added an extra layer of hilarity and authenticity to the series.
What made “The Office” truly stand out, however, was its ability to capture the essence of working in an office environment. Whether it was dealing with endless meetings that went nowhere, office politics, or the constant struggle to stay motivated, the show managed to strike a chord with viewers who could relate to the daily trials and tribulations of corporate life. It cleverly portrayed the delicate balance of camaraderie and competition among colleagues, highlighting both the absurdity and moments of genuine connection that can occur within the workplace.
Despite its critical acclaim and dedicated fan base, the decision to cancel “The Office” prematurely came as a shock to many. With its sharp writing, relatable characters, and impeccable comedic timing, it seemed that the show had all the ingredients for continued success. However, the network’s unfortunate choice has left us with an office-shaped hole in our hearts, longing for the laughter that once filled our screens.
Although “The Office” may be gone too soon, its impact on the world of workplace comedies cannot be overstated. Its influence can still be seen in shows that followed, attempting to capture the same magic and hilarity that made “The Office” shine. But for those of us who miss the pranks, love triangles, and laugh-out-loud moments, we can only hope that one day, a worthy successor will come along and fill the void left by this exceptional workplace comedy.
In the wide world of cancelled-too-soon TV shows, Great News stands out as a workplace sitcom that deserved more time. Created by Tracey Wigfield and executive produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Great News tells the story of a ragtag bunch of people who work together at The Breakdown, a news show at MMN Network. In the show, Katie (Briga Heelan) is a segment producer frustrated at her boss Greg (Adam Campbell) because he keeps assigning her news that doesn’t feel relevant. After Katie tries to stand against Greg, he retaliates by hiring Katie’s mom Carol (Andrea Martin) as the new intern.
Great News explores the drama that happens behind the scenes drama of a daily news show. Although it is a workplace comedy, the series’ humor feels is more along the lines of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Girls5eva. It has eccentric characters, ridiculous situations, and even some futuristic elements, like Kimmy’s Yuko The Robot or Girls5eva’s holographic Ashley.
‘Great News’ Has an Incredibly Talented Cast
Great News revolves around Heelan’s Katie Wendelson. She’s the voice of reason at The Breakdown but, after her mom starts working with her, her past traumas start flooding into her life. She has talent, but she has trouble overcoming her own insecurities. Katie believes in doing things by-the-book, but is also willing to bend some rules when driven to her limit. Heelan excels at portraying an awkward overachiever who has a “fun Bumble presence”.
With comedies Date Movie and Epic Movie under his belt, Campbell’s Greg embodies a half-comedic and half-surly British man who exiled himself from England after failing to produce a segment on the Loch Ness Monster. Being everyone’s boss is something he does more by sense of obligation than passion. When it’s revealed his grandmother Mildred (Christina Pickles) is the owner of the network, nepotism fills in the blank of how he got to be the head of the show.
The Breakdown is led by two anchors: Chuck Pierce, portrayed by comedy king John Michael Higgins and Portia Scott-Griffith played by Nicole Richie in her first main acting role. Chuck is a news anchor who is past his prime and he feels stuck and misunderstood by his team. He found his calling when he discovered he likes to tattle, so that should tell you everything about him. Portia is a rich and optimistic millennial and entrepreneur. She’s Chuck’s fellow news anchor even though she admits she’s not smart. She appreciates Chuck even if she doesn’t like socializing with him.
Also joining The Breakdown’s roster of misfits is Carol, Katie’s mom. She’s a mix between an adult child and cool mom. Against all odds, she manages to return to school and applies to an internship at Katie’s job. Katie tries to sabotage her to get her fired, but when she realizes that Carol is the only one who can understand and calm Chuck, she begs her to come back. Carol, in her efforts to unite the office staff, becomes a mom to everyone. Andrea Martin has the time of her life playing jovial, cheery, and optimistic Carol. It’s hard to believe that My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released 15 years before Great News (gasp!).
‘Great News’ and Its Character Pairings
If Great News characters are great, then their pairings are greater. Chuck and Carol bond over their age, both averse to being considered obsolete. Portia and Chuck repel each other, mainly because of their contrasting views and age disparity. Eventually they learn to overcome their differences and their working relationship becomes more affectionate, they might even be considered friends. Katie and Portia form an unlikely friendship. Katie and Carol’s mother-daughter relationship is the backbone of Great News and plays a pivotal role to the final arcs of both seasons: the Biscuit Blitz cell phone hacking in Season 1 and saving Chuck from having to retire in Season 2.
Since no sitcom is exempt from a will-they-won’t-they relationship, Greg and Katie are that couple in Great News, and it’s another slow-burn. Greg has a girlfriend, Cat (Jayma Mays), who happens to bring out the best in him. But Katie and Greg have a deeper connection impossible to deny. Even though they try to avoid the tension, and even though they get on each other’s nerves because they’re opposites that think alike, they finally admit that they belong together in the series finale, leaving the audience wondering if it really stuck.
‘Great News’ Was Full of Comedy and Surprise Cameos
The found family element of Great News is rounded out by meteorologist Beth (Tracey Wigfield), video editor Justin (Horatio Sanz), producer Gene (Brad Morris), and camera person Wayne (Sheaun McKinney). Despite the fact that they are very different, they end up working together to overcome all the conflicts that are presented in the series. When they are nominated for a journalism award, all of them assist and teach a lesson to Chuck about adapting to change and being there for each other.
Great News had a parade of guest stars that mix perfectly with the main cast and contributed perfectly to its storylines. Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch as Kelly and Mary-Kelly, the boozy co-hosts of the Morning Wined Up segment appear early in Season 1 and return in Season 2, when Carol defects temporarily to work on the show. Tina Fey appears in several Season 2 episodes as Diana St. Tropez, the new head of the network, and has a hilarious storyline in which she’s “denied the opportunity” of receiving a massive settlement after harassing everybody in the office. Jim Rash appears as Fenton Pelt, Chuck’s nemesis who tries to get him to retire as vengeance for uncovering him as an adult competing in a kids’ science fair. Even Ray Liotta cameos as himself when Carol and Katie are searching for a way to bring Pelt down.
The quick jokes dropped in passing with every dialogue make Great News a comedy gem. We get to learn about how Chuck had a wax figure at Madame Tussauds, which was later replaced by Air Bud. Carol is revealed to be the original Kanye West, as he competed with Katie when they were kids and Carol took the microphone away in his acceptance speech. Richie’s Portia eats up every one-liner she has, as we learn she’s in a sexting relationship with all the Pittsburgh Steelers, doesn’t know what cents are, reveals her real name is Tabby Fudge, and that she might be the actual Banksy. The cherry on top is when she has a falling out with Diana and recreates Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video.
Great News played with the satire of news programs and how many stories are ratings bait. The show included a real family element by including Katie and Carol’s relationship on top of the general found family atmosphere of the cast. True, it didn’t have a great start, but it definitely found its footing in Season 2. The two holiday episodes are worthy of a yearly rewatch, especially “A Christmas Carol Wendelson.” Great News should have had a longer run but, for now, rewatching the 23 episodes will have to suffice. Let’s hope that Carol’s line in the Season 1 finale’s cold open, “I’ll never leave”, remains true in Netflix’s catalog.
In conclusion, it is evident that the cancellation of one of the best workplace comedies was a decision made too hastily. The show’s witty humor, memorable characters, and relatable workplace scenarios resonated with audiences, making it a favorite among viewers. The cancellation not only robbed fans of continued laughter and entertainment, but it also missed the opportunity to explore and develop storylines further. The show’s potential for growth and continued success was evident, as evidenced by its dedicated and passionate fan base. It is unfortunate that such a gem of a workplace comedy was cut short, leaving fans disappointed and longing for more. Ultimately, the cancellation of this show too soon serves as a reminder that sometimes, great shows can be unjustly overlooked, and the true value of a workplace comedy lies in its ability to connect with and bring joy to its audience.
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