It’s easy to imagine the blank looks that come from learning that a copy machine almost got a spinoff from The Office. Seriously, copy machines in an office setting usually sit there as a part of the setting or end up becoming a plot device that has its own little story, kind of like in Office Space when Peter and his friends took their anger out on the copy machine that had been giving them so many problems. The copy machine in this story thankfully didn’t mean such a violent end since it was instead focused around the idea of a repairman coming in to fix the machine and then watching as the machine was taken, refurbished, and sent off to Pawnee, Indiana, where it would then be set up in the office that would house the Parks and Recreation cast.
In other words, a copy machine was going to be used in its own spinoff to somehow create a tenuous link between Scranton and Pawnee, or The Office and Parks and Recreation, in a manner that kind of fizzled out before it could ever get going. Let’s be honest and say that it’s a quirk and kind of fun idea that might have amounted to a short film at best, but it would have still been amusing. Apparently though it was decided that the two shows were doing just fine being separate entities, and the spinoff wasn’t created. It’s probably best that it wasn’t since a connection between the two shows wouldn’t have been horrible, but it does feel as though it would have been something that might have served as a distraction that fans might not have liked after a while. I could be wrong on that count, but it does feel as though a lot of people appreciated the distance between the two shows.
The fact that people are still talking about both shows after they’ve been off the air for a while is a testament to how much they were enjoyed while they were still on, especially given the fact that theories are still coming out about several episodes. Some make sense, others not so much, but the point is that they’re still coming years later since people are sitting and watching the old episodes in order to figure out something that was bugging them at the time. But hearing that a copy machine would have been the link between the two shows is kind of interesting even though it would be one of the weakest links possible.
As I mentioned, copy machines are usually just part of the scenery unless they get used frequently and are the source of a character’s aggravation for more than a few seconds. The copy machine in The Office wasn’t exactly the main point of contact but it did get used on occasion, but it’s still easy to wonder why this was a thought that someone felt was necessary to have. One main reason for wondering about this is that a copy machine can be a great gag in an office setting and it can act almost like a water cooler when it comes to needing a gathering place for people. It does happen at times that people will actually congregate at a copy machine, or at least it used to be that way, having been away from such a setting for so long it’s kind of hard to tell. But one thing in any office setting that sees a lot of use is a copy machine, for various reasons.
Creating a spinoff centered around a copy machine, even if it’s bound to go from one place to the next, is kind of an awkward idea though, and it’s probably best that it never happened. The Office and Parks and Recreation both did just fine on their own without needing to be linked since the characters were unique to their setting, the stories went off without needing anything added to them, and the mere thought of trying to connect them would have been thinner than a sheet of tracing paper. It’s amazing to think of all the ideas that come up when thinking of ideas for shows like these two since there are times when it feels as though people just throw ideas out and see what will stick, no matter how outlandish they might be. Keeping everything within the realm of possibility though is definitely a must for these types of shows since they can be hilarious and spontaneous, but the ideas also have to possess enough merit that realism won’t be sacrificed in such a huge way that people lose interest. This idea might have been funny as a short film or an animated short, but in real life, it feels as though it might have struggled to get off the ground.