“The Office” Alive and Kicking

Good morning Vietnaaaaaaam! Orrrrrrrr not. Sadly, for fans of “The Office,” we will not be able to enjoy Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and his endlessly absurd behavior anymore. We were left with many questions when Carell left “The Office” last year after seven bountiful seasons. His exit, while unsettling, leaves several exciting possibilities for the show, however. The upcoming season, which premieres September 22 on NBC, is sure to address all of our curious concerns.

Something “The Office” will be able to afford now that Carell has left is the extended involvement of smaller characters on the show. Characters like Kelly Kapour (Mindy Kaling), Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak), Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuez) and many more may garner added interest and possibly receive additional on-screen time this season. This means more storylines and areas of introspection that “The Office” has never been able to afford for its viewers before. The possibilities truly are endless. However, the biggest preoccupation on the fans’ mind is who will permanently replace Carell as regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

As Will Ferrell – who played Deangelo Vickers on the show last season – illustrated, replacing Carell is no easy task. The Scranton branch has interviewed a myriad of candidates for the position so far. Notable interviewees include Robert California (James Spader), Merv Bronte (Ray Romano) and even David Brent (Ricky Gervais).

This is a crucial role for the show, as it demands somebody who is not only hilarious but also original. This is a dilemma which executive producer Greg Daniels has dealt with before though, and one that we need not worry over. Daniels had to choose comedic, yet individualistic, actors for “The Office” when he was first adapting it from the British version, and I think it’s safe to say that he did a pretty good job.

Moreover, the prospect of a new character brings new life to “The Office.” A new manager means a new character, and a new character means a new history and storyline. As viewers, we will delve into a new life with unlimited potential.

Seven successful seasons testify that the writers of “The Office” are exceptional; they have taken Carell’s decision to leave and subsequently created a storyline that came off very naturally and beautifully. Michael Scott did not suddenly die or absurdly have to leave Scranton. He left with his love Holly Flax (Amy Ryan). It is an occurrence that happens often in real life, and one that was well-written and portrayed beautifully on screen. The writing of Carell and Ryan’s exit from “The Office” did complete justice to their illustrious time and contributions to the show. Due to this exceptional writing, there is no doubt in my mind that the story of the new Scranton regional manager will be an excellent and commendable one.

A noteworthy development in the show is that James Spader will assume the role of Sabre CEO this season, replacing Kathy Bates, who previously played Jo Bennett. Spader, who has been described as electric and intense will undoubtedly bring new and fresh creativity to the show. Spader’s fellow cast member Phyllis Smith – who plays Phyllis-Lapin Vance on the show – has even stated in an interview, “He scares the shit out of me.” With this in mind, there is really no question that whatever Spader contributes to “The Office” will be original and powerful, so his addition to the cast is definitely something to be excited about.

Now it is time to address unfinished business that “The Office” left off with in season seven. Up first for discussion are Erin (Ellie Kemper) and Andy (Ed Helms). What does the future hold for these two? Will they start dating? Are they not meant to be? I predict that Erin and Andy will give romance another shot in season eight. Michael and Holly left for Colorado and took the show’s romance with them, and Jim and Pam don’t really offer anything new in the love department. The show therefore needs a new romance, and I believe Erin and Andy will fill this void.

Up next are Angela (Angela Kinsey) and Robert (Jack Coleman), who are set to get married in season eight. This would be fine and dandy except for one minor detail: Robert is gay, and Angela does not know. Angela’s co-workers know this, but they have not decided whether to tell her or not. This is a very juicy situation because Angela will find out sooner or later, and when she does, something very dramatic will take place. In one way, I feel for Angela because this might be her last chance at love, but on the other hand, she is a very mean person, and a part of me wishes to see her get a taste of her own medicine. In any case, I will welcome whatever happens with open arms.

“The Office” has undergone many changes between its seventh and eighth season. Changes that, though troubling, are very appealing. With its new changes and additions, “The Office” is definitely a must-watch this season!