The mere thought that The Office wouldn’t have survived past the first season if something hadn’t come up is likely one of those odd facts that a lot of people don’t know about. Given the track record of success that the show went on to have there are probably quite a few people that don’t realize that at one point this show could have faded off and never been heard from again. That kind of leaves the question of where the cast would have gone, what they would have done, and how pop culture would have dealt with the unknown loss. Some would probably state that life would go on, which is true, but that some other show would have filled the vacuum and we wouldn’t have known what was lost, which is also true. But thanks in big part to the first Christmas episode and a cringe-worthy Secret Santa gift, the show managed to last until 2014 when it finally signed off for good. There are still plenty of people that would love to see a reunion show of The Office, including several cast members, but to date, nothing has happened.
It’s easy to think that Steve Carell and a few of the other, well-known faces on the show might have pushed forward and found something else to do with their time and careers. But then one gets to wondering about John Krasinski and the rest of the cast, some who were quite active and others who weren’t really that well-known, and what they might have done. The mere fact that Krasinski was still waiting tables as he was working on the first season of the show makes it easy to think that he was making certain that if the show didn’t work out that he still had something to turn to. That alone should make a person realize that those that hadn’t made it big yet were likely doing something similar, holding on to other opportunities in case The Office fell through. But then came the Christmas episode, and things changed for the better after a squabble over an iPod.
Secret Santa events are usually a lot of fun for those involved, so long as people are of the mind that it’s something to enjoy and be witty about at times, and so long as folks realize that some gifts are going to be a bit, well, odd. One would think that people who work in the same office together would know what they like and what could conform to a $20 limit, but that’s not always the case obviously. Plus, if you’re Michael Scott, you’re bound to go overboard by a few hundred dollars and really liven up the party with something that will make everyone jealous. Just thinking about a way of explaining an expensive iPod away is hilarious enough, but when Michael ended up coming up with Yankee Swap when he didn’t like his own gift, it was bound to become funnier and leave a lot of hurt feelings behind. Anyone that’s ever done a Secret Santa knows that the event can get awkward as hell before unveiling a seriously expensive gift since people might think they know enough about their coworkers, but it ends up that they don’t know enough or don’t want to tip anyone off as to who they’re buying for. Seriously, would anyone even bother asking someone at Dunder Mifflin for advice without thinking that word would get around?
But the great part is that this episode essentially saved The Office as ratings started to climb and people started taking a greater interest in the show. The first season didn’t exactly produce stellar ratings it sounds like and there was a real danger that the show wouldn’t be able to stick around for long. But after the first Christmas episode, it appears that things started turning around and fans started to tune in on a regular basis. It might have taken a few people by surprise, but funny as he is, Steve Carell couldn’t carry this whole show and needed help from his costars.
The combined talent of The Office was enough to keep things going, but the one episode that kickstarted it all apparently was the Christmas episode and to be fair it didn’t really set the tone for the show, but kind of bolstered the idea and created a level of interest that people started to maintain as the show moved forward. Had it all ended after the first season it’s difficult to think of what might have taken the place of this show, but it’s fair to say that something would have tried. Well, at least we can thank the awkwardness of the episode for one thing, it definitely increased the interest of the fans and kept things moving forward.