How do you bring an iconic, nearly decade-old comedy series to a close? That was the huge task assigned to Office showrunner and executive producer Greg Daniels, and as one might expect, he didn’t take the responsibility lightly.
“There are so many great characters that we all really cared about, so the biggest task was finding a story structure where they could have stories inside of it that would pay off and fit it all into the time frame,” he told EW last night at the show’s series-finale wrap party, which took place just hours after the show shot its final scene. “These characters have been in my head taking up room for 10 years … so it was personally important to me that I figure out what their end and closure was.”
Mission accomplished, at least according to Daniels’ cast. “Erin has a spectacular end that I can’t really tell you about,” teased Ellie Kemper. “It involves some amazing people that I also can’t tell you about, but I’m really happy with how we see her in the last episode. … Basically my wishes for her send-off came true.”
Jenna Fischer, who made a joke of the fact that she accidentally left the set wearing Pam’s engagement ring and necklace, also praised the series closer, saying she was “very happy with how the entire show wrapped up” and gave special kudos to Jim and Pam’s storyline this season, which has seen the couple experiencing tough domestic times. “I think this year we really portrayed them as a real married couple with real obstacles,” she said. “People often don’t really deal with change well and Pam didn’t deal with the idea of Jim changing and his job changing. So I’m really proud of us for tackling some of those things in a realistic way and not a soap-opera way.”
Chances of a happy ending for the Halperts are high, but the same won’t exactly be the case for all the characters, according to Kate Flannery. “I think in Meredith’s mind, it’s [a] positive [ending],” she says with a smile, “but I’m not sure everyone else will think [that]. It’s all subject to the crazy reality of Dunder-Mifflin.” Overall, she added, “I think the fans are going to be really excited. Everyone is going to be very satisfied.”
And expect to be a little misty-eyed. “It’s going to be very heartfelt,” said Leslie David Barker, who plays Stanley. “It will give you a chance to see what people do when they leave — just like at a real office when people start to go their own separate ways.”
Despite the cast also going their own separate ways, however, Ed Helms doesn’t see the ending of the show as a personal goodbye. “We hang out as it is, so there will be much more of that,” he told reporters. “These are my dearest friends and family.”