Stuff I Dislike: Michael Scott

World's Best Boss

(Image by Flickr user Kumar Appaiah.)

Let me start by saying I don’t hate Michael Scott. He’s generally well-meaning, he cares about his employees (well, some of them, anyway), and in the end he runs a branch of Dunder Mifflin that pulls their own weight while still having a strong esprit de corps. But when he (and the man who portrays him, Steve Carell) leaves tonight on The Office, I probably won’t be crying or anything. If anything, last week’s episode, “Michael’s Last Dundies,” felt like a nice send-off episode with that wonderful “Seasons of Love” quasi-rewrite the office did for Michael, and was the most emotional. This week I doubt I’ll have the same reaction.

I’ve never really loved Michael Scott, largely because of the main show structure utilized on The Office. This structure generally begins with Michael doing something kind of stupid, with another character (generally Jim, Pam or Oscar, although at times it’s a recurring character like David Wallace or Charles Miner) countering him. After being downsized or upstaged (or both), he sulks and acts like a child before finally learning the error of his ways. It’s just been done so many times by the show’s writers and is simply grating from its very use.

Even with the character himself, though, I’m not a fan. He’s incredibly bumbling and uneducated, and when the series began he tried to be comedic but ended up being insulting (this was especially the case with Pam). He tries to be everyone’s friend while at the same time not being especially nice to folks like Kevin and Toby (the latter of whom Michael has a stupid vendetta against because Toby reported to corporate and not to him). Simply put, I don’t think he’s a good boss. However, he is good at heart (though at times misguided, impulsive, and just plain childish) and I hope that in our fictional universe of Dunder Mifflin, he has a good life in Colorado with Holly.


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