Category Archives: The Office

The Office – The List

An Office without Michael Scott? I actually wasn’t too fond of his character (he tended to make me cringe rather than laugh), but I wondered how the show would get by in his absence. The last few episodes of season 7 convinced me that The Office could survive and even thrive with him gone, so I looked forward to what the show would do with season 8.

Spoilers ahead!

I’d read that Robert California (James Spader), my least favorite candidate for the new boss, was coming back to the show, not as the new regional manager, but as the new CEO, replacing Jo (Kathy Bates, who I assume is busy enough with her own show, Harry’s Law). They managed to keep the new boss a secret right up until the season premiere, and they went with – Andy!

I think Andy was the perfect choice for the new regional manager. He has a bit of that delightful cluelessness that made watching Michael Scott try to run a company so much fun, without taking it to Steve Carell’s extremes. He cares about the company and the people in it. His efforts at trying to win Erin’s heart won his audience’s heart instead.

And while he does lack some backbone, this episode showed that he’s willing to stand up for his employees (though it feels so weird to be typing that, since they’ve been simply his coworkers for so long) and that he plays fair, except perhaps where Gabe is concerned.

I hope California won’t be in too many episodes this season, though if he spends half his time in the conference room, I’m guessing he’s going to end up in at least half of the episodes (plus he’s in the new credits, too). But I guess it makes sense to have someone around that makes everyone in the office a little nervous – which they can take to fun extremes like they did in this episode.

So Pam’s expecting again! I knew that coming into the episode, with Jenna Fischer’s pregnancy influencing the storyline (as Emily Deschanel’s did on Bones). Her weepiness was a little over the top in this episode, but I loved her reaction to Jim’s list.

And Angela’s expecting too! I did not see that coming at all, nor that she and the (state) senator would already be married. I wonder when his secret will come out, and I can’t fathom the effect that will have on Angela. But for now, she’s going to make a far different mother-to-be than Pam did.

In all, good start to the season on a show that’s still going strong.

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The Office – Goodbye, Michael Scott

Watching the early episodes of The Office, I never really liked Michael Scott. I watched for Jim and Dwight’s pranks on each other, and Jim and Pam’s love story. Michael was simply just the annoying guy who always said and did the wrong thing.

As the show continued, I warmed to Michael’s character a bit. He still could make things as awkward as possible, but he did have moments (rare as they were) where he said exactly the right words at the right time. The rareness of those moments made them all the more brilliant.

While The Office’s sense of humor ranged from spot-on to not even worth of a groan, over the show’s seven seasons The Office has never failed to surprise me. It had perfect episodes that could keep you laughing every minute, and awkward ones that you never wanted to watch again. Most, however, were a mix of humor and cringing – which is why some people hate the show and others love it.

Amid most people’s strong emotions about the show, I feel a bit out of place having only a tentative warmness toward it. It doesn’t make my top ten favorite TV shows – maybe not even my top twenty. I’ll probably never own the DVDs, and I only occasionally rewatch episodes when I’m with friends. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop watching new episodes as long as the show keeps airing. After seven seasons with these characters, I don’t see how I could stop experiencing their lives.

When I heard that this season would be Michael Scott’s last, I immediately guessed that the writers would have him move away to be with Holly – so glad to be right about that! Those two are perfect for each other. I’m still waiting to see if my prediction of the new boss will come true as well.

I thought Steve Carell’s farewell episode was brilliant. (Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched it yet!) I loved Michael’s recommendation letter for Dwight, and their paintball battle. I loved his fatherly advice to Erin. I love how Jim figured out Michael was leaving early, and their teary-eyed “plans” for a lunch that would never happen. I love that Pam made it just in time to say goodbye.

Without Michael Scott, The Office just won’t be the same.

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