Why Michael Scott is one of the greatest original characters of all time
To Dunder Mifflin’s best boss, Michael Scott, the one who made “That’s what she said” famous, who has grown up in our heart, this is to you
If you have watched The Office, or even if you haven’t, you must have heard about Steve Carell’s stellar performance as Michael Scott, the manager of Scranton Branch at Dunder Mifflin. What’s so great about him?
Michael starts off as an unbearable person, a boss who would rather spend time fooling around with other in the office than actually work. He was offensive on many levels. Despite his foolish parts and racist, homophobic comments why is Michael liked?
The answer is simple: Michael isn’t meant to be liked, at first. Borderline annoying and truth be told, working in an office with such a boss would drive any employee to quitting (as a few did after another branch merged with Scranton). But with the progression of the show, Michael grows from a stunted individual who is slow with romance to someone with more sensitivity. He transitions from a sexist to being a paternal figure to Pam and Erin. He grows up to care about people evident when he is the only one who shows up for Pam’s art show. In the core of it all, Michael is deeply flawed individual and we can relate to that.
What we relate a lot is that Michael is a lonely person, constantly looking for companionship and calling his mother when he gets together with a woman. One Halloween Michael recalls every costume he has worn and tries to bring the cheer of Halloween in office as well. The camera later follows him to his empty home where he gleefully hands out candies to trick or treaters. His loneliness makes him take an unlimited phone plan, get in a toxic relationship with Jan. Particular proof is the number of times he has undergone sterility surgery and got it reversed just to make Jan happy.
But Michael grows up. He lets go off Jan, he lets go of an infidel relationship with Donna and cries over a breakup with Holly. In terms of romance, it was only until Holly that he realized he has a lot to learn when it came to love. He learns his dream movie Threat Level Midnight is not as great as he thought. For Michael he needed someone to tell him that and it was Holly who makes him realize that enough to give up on it. For him, it was a good thing.
Michael is far from perfect. He has so many flaws but at the end, he is filled with so much care, love, fun and life, this overambitious, comedic man is a treasure trove of a great character.