UPDATED: Ricky Gervais thinks The Office has officially jumped the shark
Last night’s season finale of The Office may have been the highest-rated scripted series of the night, but ratings and creative success are two different things, and there were many viewers left feeling as though the episode marked a turning point for the show’s inevitable, post-Steve Carell decline. Among them: Creator and executive producer Ricky Gervais, who followed up his obviously tossed-off Skype cameo by taking to his blog and spelling out all the reasons why even he doesn’t particularly care about the show anymore. In particular, Gervais took aim at his fellow marchers in the endless parade of distracting guest stars, a strategy he compared to the time Coldplay’s Chris Martin dropped by the set of Extras’ show-within-a-show When The Whistle Blows: “’It’s only Warren Buffett,’” he wrote in a bit of faux dialogue. “’What are you doing in a paper merchant’s in Scranton? It’s mental.’” Said Gervais, in summation: “If you're going to jump a shark, jump a big one.”
Although he tempers his remarks a bit by avowing that he’s still “very proud of the US version,” he also takes pains to point out that, really, he was never all that invested in it anyway, saying, “I assume most people know I didn't do the US remake for the art. I did my version for the art. That's why I stopped it after a few hours of telly… I did [the U.S. show] for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project.” And after all this, in case it weren’t already clear that he has zero interest in taking over for Steve Carell, Gervais sets the record straight, saying, “I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor. It really would be fucking mental. You don't start a company to work on reception.” He will, however, keep cashing the checks: “Can't wait to start work on the Chinese version,” he jokes. “Bill Gates is in that one.”
UPDATE: After seeing his post hit pretty much every media source in the last few hours, Gervais has offered this addendum: "Sorry, who dissed The Office finale? I fucking didn't, that's for sure. I simply said it's different to the original which I created and made with different ambitions. What's wrong with that? The bit about it 'jumping the shark' and being like Chris Martin in Extras was meant to be a little self deprecating in-joke. I myself, did a fun but pointless, over-hyped cameo in the episode too remember. I did it for a laugh like everyone else, I assume. I certainly wasn't dissing anyone involved more than myself. The US version of The Office has probably made me ten times the money that the UK version did. I wouldn't knock it. It's still my show. All I said was I do it for different reasons. That is simply what they call the truth. Hope that's OK. I believe I am still entitled to an honest opinion. After all, every other cunt is. I also love how people have confused interviewing for Michael Scott's job, with auditioning for Steve Carell's job. Ha ha. Amazing. Still, mustn't grumble."