Television: The Office Punches Out

The instant-classic British-workplace sitcom--U.S. version coming soon--says goodbye in top form

In the final episode of The Office, sarcastic clerk Tim (Martin Freeman) describes the central absurdity of working life. You have nothing more in common with your co-workers than the carpet you walk on, he says, and yet you have to spend more time with them than with your friends and family. Leaving a job, he might have added, is even stranger: suddenly, to your "family," you no longer exist, and a new sibling takes your place.

Some sitcoms leave just as little impression when they depart. Fortunately, this two-hour finale (BBC America, Oct. 21, 9 p.m. E.T.) offers a satisfying, touching and excruciatingly funny severance package.


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