The Office A.C.: After Carrell

The Office has been a staple of Thursday nights for the past 7 seasons and has just begun their 8th season.  This year a major change has taken place in the cast and complete hierarchy of the office.  Steve Carell, otherwise known as Michael Scott, Branch Manager, has left the show to spend more time with his family and pursue other professional adventures.  This decision was known far in advance, but it was not known who would take over the role of branch manager.  With these giant comedic shoes to fill, basically every name was thrown around.  The season finale featured Ray Romano, Jim Carrey, James Spader, and even a little known entrepreneur named Warren Buffett.  The interviewees also included Dwight Schrute, played by Rainn Wilson, and Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms.  It wasn’t until the season opener that they revealed who the Carell’s replacement would be.  Andy “Nard-dog” Bernard took over.

But the question remains: How is the Nard-dog doing in his new position?  I personally think he was the perfect choice to keep the comedy alive.  Dwight already had his chance at the manager position and he ruled the office with a draconian rule.  Jim had been co-manager for some time and lost a lot of  his ‘funny.’  Robert California, played by James Spader, is a character that requires a lot of mystique and a day-to-day position would require him to lose that mystique.  So it’s definitely a good thing he was made CEO.  Ed Helms’ character is the continually hilarious, slightly inept character that is most similar to Steve Carell’s without simply hiring a carbon copy.

The main reason producers and writers of the show have given is that ultimately his character is one that puts people first.  He puts them first before sales, professional performance, and as we have seen in the first couple of episodes even his physical well-being.  Michael Scott was exactly the same way.  He was always trying to become closer with his co-workers, usually in the most awkward or nonsensical manner possible.

It’s always difficult to lose a front man.  Just ask Van Halen.  But this feels like the best possible choice for the show to make.  Only time will tell if it’s a viable long-term choice.  Tweet us @LaComedyFest and tell us how you think Ed Helms is doing as the new head of The Office.

The Office
Thursdays @ 9pm on NBC


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