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The Office: Michael and Holly's Romance is Heartwarming, but Is it Also Bittersweet?

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For a show that’s all about slapstick moments and killer one-liners, The Office sure knows how to handle sentimentality. Last night’s kiss between Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) ranks right up there with Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam’s (Jenna Fischer) wedding. I dare you not to tear up while you watch this.

But! (Yes, there’s a but.) I can’t help but wonder if my opinion of Michael and Holly's relationship has been compromised by last June’s news that Steve Carell is leaving The Office at the end of this season. Amy Ryan’s return to the show was announced just one month later, which led some people to assume that Michael and Holly would end up together, happily ever after, and that somehow their coupledom would provide context for Carell's exit.

I’d like to think that Michael would've eventually found his equal, his soulmate, his partner-in-improv, regardless of when or why his time on The Office came to an end. And I doubt The Office would ever have brought Holly back just to tear Michael down again—it's just not that kind of show. But if Carell hadn’t decided to leave, would Holly be back in the picture right now? Ever? Or would everything be business as usual, with Michael still bumbling along and breaking our hearts in his idealistic, slightly offensive world?

Has Carell’s departure affected your opinion Holly and Michael's relationship? Or of Season 7 overall?

Follow writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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