The Office: The Farm Spin-Off Would Have Wrecked Dwight and Angela’s Ending

Warning: incorporates spoilers for The Workplace seasons 1-9.

Geese and goats and Schrutes and hijinks on the Mattress and Breakfast” is how Rainn Wilson, the actor behind The Office‘s Dwight Ok. Schrute, summed up proposed spin-off The Farm, which by no means went past its pilot episode. Chatting with followers on a Reddit AMA again in 2012, Wilson referred to as the Dwight-focussed present a terrific, bizarre but accessible rural household comedy. Had it been ordered to sequence, it might have informed the story of the Dunder Mifflin paper salesman working a 1,600 acre farm and B&B along with his brother and sister.  

“It might have been a extremely massive hit,” The Farm writer-director Paul Lieberstein informed ‘The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner’ podcast in 2021. Lieberstein was co-showrunner on The Workplace for seasons 5 to eight, and performed HR supervisor Toby Flenderson on the comedy. He informed podcast presenter Brian Baumgartner how dissatisfied he was when NBC selected to not pursue the venture in 2012, blaming a change in administration. “I don’t see how somebody couldn’t give The Farm an opportunity. Not give the Dwight spin-off an opportunity,” he informed the podcast. 

The 12 months earlier than, Comcast had purchased a controlling share in NBCUniversal, which resulted in a change of NBC Leisure Chair. The brand new boss, says Lieberstein, didn’t champion The Office. “I’ve to say that they didn’t even know all the characters’ names at that time, they weren’t actually following the present. I feel we had been only a disappointing line merchandise on the time.” 

Lieberstein had deliberate for the spin-off to develop right into a mockumentary in regards to the hardships of working a small household farm “at a time once they’re being squeezed out”, he informed The Daily Beast in 2018. “It might have outdated characters and new, and so they’d have saved the B&B going. It might have been plenty of enjoyable.” 

The spin-off’s main new characters had been launched within the unaired pilot, 12 minutes of which had been chopped up and edited into season 9 The Workplace episode ‘The Farm’. A pre-Silicon Valley Thomas Middleditch performed Dwight’s unlikely brother Jeb, a hapless drifter who’d stumbled into Californian weed farming. Roswell’s Majandra Delfino performed their pseudo-intellectual, novice poet, Chicago-dwelling sister Fannie, single mom to nine-year-old metropolis mouse Cameron, performed by Mother’s Blake Garrett-Rosenthal. The 12 minutes of the pilot proven laid the groundwork for Dwight to take ‘Cammy’ underneath his wing and faculty him in Schrute custom.

‘The Farm’ episode additionally launched a brand new love curiosity for Dwight within the type of Esther Bruegger (performed by writer-director Nora Kirkpatrick). Bruegger’s character was a lovely, younger-than-Dwight sprout farmer from a neighbouring farm, who recurred as Dwight’s girlfriend on season 9 of The Workplace till Dwight and Angela lastly reunited and went on to marry within the sequence finale. If The Farm had come to fruition although, that sequence finale would have been totally completely different.

Angela Kinsey – the actor behind The Workplace’s uptight, judgmental accountant Angela, who had a long-running secret affair with Dwight – was not a part of The Farm’s forged. After the tip of The Workplace, Kinsey was lined as much as star alongside her real-life pal Rachael Harris in FOX sitcom pilot Dirty Blondes, a post-divorce feminine friendship comedy by Black-Ish’s Stacy Traub. When that didn’t occur, Kinsey starred alongside The Day by day Present’s Rob Riggle within the pilot for oddball household comedy The Gabriels. That one didn’t go both, but when both had gone to sequence, then Kinsey clearly couldn’t have additionally been a part of The Farm, that means that ‘Dwangela’ wasn’t at all times destined to be Dwight’s romantic endgame. Maybe Kinsey would have made Lilith Sternin-in-Frasier-style visitor appearances within the spin-off, however it appears that evidently she and child Philip weren’t at all times supposed to be Dwight’s massive story.

The unique plan, if The Farm had gone to sequence, was for the backdoor pilot to have slotted in round episode 5 of The Workplace’s ultimate season. At that time, Dwight had given up on Angela after (wrongly) studying within the season premiere that he wasn’t the organic father of her son. Rainn Wilson’s character would have been written out of the present across the mid-season level, leaving Dunder Mifflin for an Angela-free future. 

Considerably counter-intuitively, Dwight would even be leaving for a Mose-free future. Mose Schrute was Dwight’s unusual cousin, a recurring character who lived at Schrute Farms and popped up so as to add bizarre vibes at any time when the story ventured in that path. Any fan would have anticipated Mose to be a cert for The Farm spin-off, however that was an impossibility. Mose’s character was performed by one of many present’s writer-producers Michael Schur, and initially supposed as a seldom-seen joke. The character although, proved a fan favorite, so the crew saved discovering methods to deliver him again. 

On the finish of season 4, Mike Schur and Greg Daniels left The Workplace to run its first ever spin-off, a metropolis council-focused comedy that finally turned Parks & Recreation. In 2013, Parks & Rec was getting into its fifth season, and there was no method that Schur would have time to run that present and proceed enjoying Mose. Schur told Aint It Cool in June 2012 that Mose’s absence from the sequence correct could be defined, “and that the reason was too humorous to disclose forward of the pilot’s airing.” A tragic farm-related accident? Scouted for a brand new season of Amish within the Metropolis? Or maybe Mose lastly elopes along with his woman scarecrow… we’ll by no means know.

When NBC declined to choose up The Farm, the choice was made in ok time for Dwight to be re-inserted as a lead into the final half of season 9, and for the sequence finale to be written round his and Angela’s wedding ceremony. An unintended sufferer, showrunner Greg Daniels informed in 2013, was British actor Catherine Tate who performed Nellie on The Workplace:

“The hardest half was for Catherine Tate. There was going to be this zone the place Rainn had left and Ed Helms was doing The Hangover [Part III] and we had talked to Catherine in regards to the character of Nellie form of filling the hole and being the driving force of comedy A-stories in that interval. Then when The Farm didn’t go, Rainn form of got here again and stuffed that function. So I feel we form of wasted an excellent comic this 12 months just a little bit with Catherine Tate.”

Greg Daniels, 2013.

‘The Farm’ half-hour finally aired as episode 17 of the season, which launched Dwight’s new girlfriend Esther simply in time for Angela’s marriage to her closeted homosexual husband Senator Robert Lipton to have fallen aside, making a mini love triangle. Who would Dwight select, a younger teutonic magnificence who knew her method round a mix harvester, or his ‘Monkey’?

Dwight selected Monkey, and promised to boost her son Philip regardless of not being his organic father. That’s when Angela informed Dwight that she’d faked the DNA outcomes and Philip was, as suspected, his son. ‘Faked the outcomes’ isn’t fairly how editor-producer David Rogers put it on this 2013 interview with Office Tally. Rogers defined that strains had been reduce from scenes suggesting that when Dwight took a used diaper from the rubbish to check Philip’s paternal DNA, he by accident picked up one utilized by Jim and Pam’s child or one other little one, therefore the dearth of a match. In the long run, that clarification was dropped to simplify issues. 

Dwight and Angela’s one-year-later wedding ceremony story within the sequence finale gave The Workplace the proper premise to reunite the present’s forged, a lot of who had left Dunder Mifflin for pastures new. It let Steve Carell make a intentionally low-key cameo (he didn’t wish to draw focus from the principle occasion) as Michael Scott, Dwight’s shock finest man. It let Jim and Dwight present their brotherly affection for one another after years of enmity. And it gave Dwight and {a partially} redeemed Angela – who’d been introduced low by the tip of her marriage and misplaced a few of her sharper edges within the course of – a contented ending. Had The Farm occurred, all of that might have been completely different.

Some assume that that NBC’s determination to not transfer ahead with the spin-off was no dangerous factor. When author of The Workplace: The Untold Story of the Best Sitcom of the 2000s Andy Greene was requested in regards to the defunct sequence in this Jeremy Roberts interview, he clearly thought it was for one of the best:

Everybody I spoke to felt it was a nasty thought. I agree. You don’t wish to spend that a lot time with Dwight on the farm. He’s humorous at an workplace with folks which might be his whole opposites. “The Farm” is a salvaged failed pilot that they chopped up into a daily episode as a result of NBC didn’t wish to choose it up. The entire thing was only a colossally wrong-headed thought and one of many worst Workplace episodes ever.

Andy Greene, 2020.

Dwight works so nicely as a personality in The Workplace as a result of he’s the chaotic ingredient in Dunder Mifflin’s on a regular basis combine, the unpredictable wildcard in a spot of crushing predictability. Encompass Dwight Ok. Schrute with characters as unhinged as he’s, and he loses his distinctive energy. If The Workplace is finally about – as Pam says within the present’s final ever line – seeing magnificence in peculiar issues, then The Farm, with its oddball characters and outlandish Schrute household traditions, would have been something however peculiar, so possibly wouldn’t have captured the identical magnificence.

The Workplace: An American Office is on the market to stream on Netflix within the UK, and on Peacock within the US.

The submit The Office: The Farm Spin-Off Would Have Wrecked Dwight and Angela’s Ending appeared first on Den of Geek.

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