Stars: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nunez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith, James Spader
Writer: B.J. Novak
Director: B.J. Novak
Network: NBC, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: September 22, 2011

For future TV series that plan on losing a major cast member, let’s hold of THE OFFICE as a prime of example of how to handle their exit with class and an adequate way to transition into how the show will operate without their lead.

Instead of having the last episode of season 7 be Steve Carell’s last, instead, they had him exit a few episodes early. This gave the series time to try out the show with some heavy-hitter guest stars and also figure out how the expansive cast worked without their fearless leader causing chaos.

Now, with the Season 8 premiere “The List” things have settled in quite nicely. After searching for a replacement manager during the two-part season finale, Robert California (James Spader) was chosen. He’s the one with the crazy stare and Jedi mind tricks. However, after one day on the job he drove to corporate headquarters and managed to convince  CEO Jo (Kathy Bates) into giving him her job.

This resulted in a new manager being named from within the office.

SPOILER ALERT.

 

The new manager ends up being Andy (Ed Helms). It’s a nice fit for the show, because Andy is much more aware and less neurotic in his need to please. The craziness that Carell used to bring to the show has been filled by California.  His shtick though is more weird and intimidating which will definitely give the writers new scenarios to play with.

The best part of THE OFFICE 2.0 is bringing back the unpredictable antics of Dwight (Rainn Wilson) – something we haven’t seen in awhile. Wilson got some of the funniest bits during the entire show.

The other big revelation is that Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) having another baby (to accommodate for Fischer’s real-life pregnancy).

I’m liking how THE OFFICE has rebounded from the loss of Carell. The show really developed into a big ensemble years ago, but it’s nice they had a chance to wrap things up and start things anew in the best possible way. Other shows like TWO AND A HALF MEN and LAW & ORDER: SVU didn’t have the luxury or ability to exit their lead actors out as classy and to most fans’ satisfaction.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – COMMENT BELOW!

Click on Link: TV Review – THE OFFICE – Season 8  – “The Incentive”

Click on Link: TV Review – THE OFFICE – Season 7 – “Search Committee”

Click on Link: TV Review – PARKS AND RECREATION – Season 4 premiere – “I’m Leslie Knope”

Click on Link: TV Review – COMMUNITY – Season 3 premiere – “Biology 101”

Click on Link: TV Review – WHITNEY – Series Premiere

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Article: TV Review – THE OFFICE – Season 8 premiere – “The List”

 

 

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Comments:

  1. The Office is dead. All of the characters act like kindergarteners, they squirt water guns at each other and the new CEO Robert California thinks he is some type of god. The show is ruined with James Spader being the center of attention. I think without him the show might have a chance of being just OK. I have watched the show since day one and after last night’s episode i am ready to give up the series.

    Max
    • If you don’t respect or like the new season then don’t watch it LOL?? GO find yourself another series to criticize then you douche hahah

      JR
    • I dont believe andy is a permanant fix. he clearly lacks the comedic talent. In the episodes Robert say that they are losers until prven winners and vice versa. I believe andy will eventually be replaced by jim or dwight. If he isnt than the writers have sold out to the “unearned” and overly placed “hype” of the hang over two!
      Ed Helm i enjoy u as an actor ./sidekick. you are revolting as a lead. You cannot replace steve carell. EVER. Jim being in charge or Dwight(who are the two most storied and loveable characters would be best for the series. Ed Helm…I want to root for yoou but in this reality (the office) you are not a match. Ihope spaders character finds a more suitable replacement (shit even creed was better) Please Save My OFFICE!!

      Marcoportland
  2. Ok, so i’ve seen every office episode around 5 times each.. THEY HAVE TO SIGN STEVE CARRELL AGAIN! The office isn’t the same without him.

    Tom
    • I actually thought… and I hate to say this cause I love Carrell… it was maybe a bit better now. Like a familiar recipe made a new way, it made it more fun to watch.

      Ramona
  3. amazing start. hilarious from beginning to end. no matter what the show goes through it remains hilarious. even when everything changes it is still, hilarious

    pat
  4. The Office is alive and kicking. There were plenty of laughs and lots of heart in this episode.
    The writers are doing a great job and the cast with the addition of Spader work surprisingly well off each other from the start. If the rest of the season is as good as tonight this is going to be epic.

    Ray
  5. I was pretty let down…Stanley’s “shove it up your butt” thing wasn’t funny at all. Angela seemed too eager to even be in the presence of Pam during their interview together. It seems like Andy won’t be funny anymore, being manager. Everyone else seems pretty in-character though, so that’s good.

    Brock
  6. It’s getting too childish and not funny. Before you had some sense this was a real office. Now there is no office structure. I don’t like where it’s going anymore. Turned it off after 15 minutes.

    Mary
  7. It sucked so bad, I didn’t laugh once. Stanley needs to stop the “shove it up your butt” thing, Pam is getting so annoying that I want to smack her, and Robert California doesn’t fit at all.

    Lana
  8. Really liked the season opener of The Office. It felt like an ensemble show with each character getting a moment in the spotlight. I LOL on several occasions during the show. Glad to see James Spader and his Robert California character back on the show. He did well with the material he had, but I think the writers are still trying to get a handle on this new character.

    Steve
  9. This is the first time we have watched the show without laughing. Not even once. Not even close. Spader is just weird, not funny or entertaining. We expected it to be different, but this is just bad. Not even a hint of what made it before. Very disappointing.

    Steve
  10. I’ve watch the series several times….its not the same, that would be ok if that meant different was as good or better…it does not! The series is not gonna make it without steve or a different change….the first show was terrible…its grade was a D minus

    Victor Carter
  11. I think it’s far too soon to say anything yet.

    Stewart
  12. I thought it was nicely done with Steve gone. I think they have a shot of making it if done right.

    stephen
  13. That was a huge train wreck. I have loved this show since day one but wow Spader just destroyed this show. the script was go awful how did the writers slide this one past the studio. If the Keep Spader at all and have Andy as the manager and write crap scripts like this one I just cant watch it. Its like they managed to destroy the entire cast by forcing a guy so not funny like Spader into it and then take Andy a secondary at best Character and make him the new manager??? Some people should be fired. Didn’t they even listen to viewers when the tried Spader last season that people hated him since he is not funny and basically sucks. It was a great run but if it continues like this its a wrap. Great 7 years though.

    Fletch
  14. Excellent new direction and the addition of James Spader is a very nice answer to a post-Carell show.

    Planking was one of the best openers of the series.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

    tuddies
  15. Balance, people, balance. It wasn’t “a huge train wreck” but it has a ways to go to become relevant again. The planking subplot was forced and unfunny, especially considering the fad is not as big a deal as I’m sure the writers thought it might be when the show was filmed. And you’re right, Stanley’s new bit is tired and worn out even before it’s started.
    But the show gained traction in the second half and I’m intrigued as to what mind games Robert California will attempt next. And Andy showed a level of depth and character I haven’t seen.
    Not perfect, but there are things to build on. I’ll keep watching.

    Gern
  16. Stanley’s ‘Shove it up your butt’ is a poorly conceived attempt at establishing a new ‘thats what she said’ for the show. Awful. As for Spader, it isnt too early to call. This is not going to work.

    Office 1.0 forver
  17. I was very pleased with the first episode of the season sans Steve Carell. Robert California should be a good character to help drive the comedy. James Spader is a terrific actor and his ability to create weird and unsettling characters should add a whole new dynamic for the crazies in Scranton to feed off of. What people seem to be failing to grasp is the role of Spader and Robert California…he is not meant to be Steve Carell funny…he is NOT taking Carell’s place…he is the cog that allows those around him to be funny. His character is the Abbott to the rest of he casts Costello; comedy needs a straight man and that is this new characters primary job.

    Louise
  18. Louise, pull your head out of your butt. The show is a sinking ship. I dont think that one person here “fails to grasp the role of Spader”. Spader is a cleanup guy. They brought him when Bobby left The Practice, a blow as bad as Carell leaving. They think he can do the same here. Turn things around. But we are a long way from 2004. And this AINT The Practice. Its a comedy and Spader is no fit at all here.

    Office 1.0 forever
  19. With all the talented comedians to choose from, they chose Spader? Obviously no one can take Carell’s place, but someone funny is required for a sitcom. The first 2 episodes were disjointed, unfunny, and maybe the last I’ll watch. Just sad……

    Ellie
  20. Did the writers all quit with Steve? I hope the producers and writers of this show notice how turned off so many fans are with the absence of Carrel and the 100% wrong choice of adding Spader. Sorry Spader, I thought you were incredible in the last season of The Practice and the first season of Boston Legal. But surely you can see this show is a career killer for you. Get out before it pulls you down with it.

    David
  21. Steve was the heart of the show undeniably. After his exit the show needed a heart transplant which has been passed onto Ed helms. But his character, his neurosis, his life outside Dunder Mifflin Sabre has never been defined. Therefore the Nard Dog is still just a shallow ancillary character still. The Office for all its promise needs the central pivot for all the comedic antics of each character to perform their antics from and Andy isnt defined in that role at all. So it seems this shows has no rubber and is just adrift through mediocre daily office antics until they find the heart again, the center all these fun characters can revolve around. And what has happened to the arc plots? Tobys scranton strangler confession he as a juror he didnt think he did it announcement? Angela married to the gay senator and pregnant to him? (or is it Dwights baby after their contract?!) and so many others to bridge the shows season. They are jumping the shark with these scattered light on plot episodes and get back to the central focus and heart or its ratings will sink this season and such a wonderful opportunity for them will be forever lost. Heres hoping they find and define its new path and heart.

    Matt

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