For Millennials. By Millennials.
Each and every character in ‘The Office’ has a special place in our hearts. Whether it’s the craziness of Creed or the stupidity of Kevin, each one of them was irreplaceable. It’s these characters that helped the writers create such a compelling office space with an incredible storyline. But, did you know that the writers once tried to kill off a main character from the show? Yes, it’s true!
How the writers wrote ‘The Office’
The Office is one of the few shows whose writers were also part of its cast members. And the one that stands out the most among all these is definitely BJ Novak.
Novak was actually the first actor to be cast on the show, and for 9 seasons he played Ryan Howard. At first, he started off as a simple temp, trying to find his place in Dunder Mifflin. However, over time he grew into a different character entirely. And he had an incredible journey throughout the entirety of ‘The Office’.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Novak explains how enjoyable it was to write ‘The Office’:
[It] was an absolute joy because they were so clearly drawn in the hands of these actors. We knew them so well that any idea in your writer-brain would naturally have a home in someone. Whether it’s a snarkily correct point that Oscar could make, something beyond human comprehension that Creed could say, something overly literal for Dwight or a voice or reason for Jim or Pam – there was always someone who could embody any idea.
Another special thing about ‘The Office’ was that the writers got a lot of creative freedom. However, this one time they were almost going to go full crazy with it, but were stopped by Greg Daniels, the showrunner. And that idea involved killing off Meredith Palmer!
The writers tried to kill off… Meredith Palmer!
Remember the first episode of the fourth season of ‘The Office’ called “Fun Run”, when Michael ran his car into Meredith Palmer? In the episode, she just fractured her hip and eventually recovers completely. However, BJ Novak and his team of writers had initially thought of killing her off! Imagine Michael Scott actually killing a person, that too Meredith! In the interview, the showrunner Greg Daniels said he had to put the breaks on this idea because of how crazy it was:
There were times where (the writers) would become enamored with a joke, and I’d have to put my foot down. For instance, they really wanted Michael to kill Meredith with his car. That was an early pitch, where he runs her over in the parking lot and then comes back, gets a tire iron, and finishes the job. I was like ‘You can’t do that, that’s crazy!
Okay, I accept; killing Meredith Palmer at the hands of Michael would easily have been the funniest episode of the show. But, murdering Meredith in cold blood may have been a bit too much. Plus, she managed to give us a lot of laughs in the later seasons. So, Craigs was right to pull the breaks on this one. ‘The Office’ would not have been the same without Meredith and Michael Scott in jail.