The writers at Screenrant are obviously in agreement that there is such a thing as taking a joke just a little too far. When the showrunner has to step in to tell the writers that enough is enough then it’s likely that the writers decided to push something, or try to push something, that might have gone way out of bounds had it been allowed. Making Michael Scott from The Office into a murderer would have been WAY out of bounds for more than one reason. It’s true the guy was a bit problematic at times with his schemes and could be as inefficient as he was kind and caring, but the fact that he hit Meredith with his car was bound to become a reason for the writers to go overboard and try to make things worse by having him get out and finishing her with a tire iron. In keep with the character of Michael Scott it was better to have him shocked that he hadn’t been paying attention and had likely hurt someone than to think that he would get out and pull a Patrick Bateman on Meredith. That would have likely been way too dark for the show and could have possibly been the brainchild of someone that was a bit too over-caffeinated or had possibly imbibed a little too much of something else before coming to work. Of course there’s always the chance that the writers just had a very dark sense of humor as well.
There’s nothing quite like a cold-blooded murder to turn a comedy into something a little more psychotic, but at least Greg Daniels had the good mind to shut this idea down before it went any further. If it had been a practical joke by the writers to get the showrunner’s blood pressure rising then it was likely successful, but all the same it was kind of in poor taste to take a character like Michael Scott and even suggest that he might up and murder one of his workers, though of course it’s the right of a writer to put it in there, even if it was bound to never see the light of day. Balance in writing is about as important as anything in show business and what a lot of folks don’t tend to realize at times is that while the actors and the director tend to dictate the pace and the overall appearance of the show, the writers lay the foundation and the groundwork that those individuals follow. Imagine if a house has a foundation that isn’t quite up to code and features several very obvious flaws and a few faults that are bound to change the overall structure of the home, things tend to go awry don’t they? It’s the same with writing and how it helps to shape a show or a movie.
Unfortunately this could be why it takes so long, in part, to write a script. Too many minds working on one project in an attempt to bring unity to something that may or may not need the level of attention it’s being given could greatly affect the final product, either for the better or the worse. In this case it worked out for the better since Michael Scott turning into a murderer wasn’t the best choice for the character or for the show since it would have likely altered things on The Office in a very big way. Keeping to the fact that he had run her over with his car but still felt horrible and absolutely shocked, but in no way homicidal, served as a way to keep Michael just the way he was and yet introduce a new dynamic to the show that could lead in several different directions that didn’t involve him having to hide a body or explain his actions. In this manner Michael could still be the guy that everyone had come to enjoy at that point but also take on a slightly different characteristic since hitting someone with your car is, obviously, a traumatic experience that a lot of people don’t just bounce back from. But making him a murderer, yeesh, that would have been dark for a horror movie, let alone The Office.
Such an idea might have worked on a show such as Family Guy or another program that’s dedicated to wanton violence, even if it’s imagined or if the character is bound to pop up again at a later date. But on The Office such an act would take the show from a charming and funny program to a dark and very uncertain show that people might look at twice from that point on since there’d be no telling what was about to happen when Michael came on the screen. Props to Daniels for stopping that train before it jumped the tracks.