I’ve been a fan of The Office since the start and when Season 8 rolled around I said “enough is enough!” and stopped watching. That said, I just finished watching season 8 on dvd. So what is The Office like without Steve Carell?
Andy Bernard as Regional Manager of the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin has it’s fun moments and the employees always tried to make sure he felt valued as their boss which was nice – especially when they had the character doing something really awkward or something.
The on-again-off-again of Dwight and Angela from seasons 2-7 got kinda boring after awhile but it was made interesting with Angela’s baby, Phillip and the possibility that Dwight is the father, not Angela’s husband – HRG from Heroes.
There were two new comers in this season – Robert California(James Spader) and Nellie Bertram(Cathrine Tate). I like Spader but California just never felt like a fit on the show. You always got the feeling none of the employees felt comfortable around California. That said they always wrote California with these random moments of wisdom that you wouldn’t see from another character. Nellie was a character that had promise and was used for, more or less, a plot device for Andy. It also felt like the creators had multiple directions they wanted to go with the character and just couldn’t pick one. Is she mean? Do we feel sympathy for the character? Do the other characters like her? What is her motivation? It was really hard to tell at times.
The end-arc of the season kind of felt like they were just copying themselves from season 5. Regional Manager leaves company because of disagreement with boss, goes into business for himself, challenges the aforementioned boss by taking an important client(s), makes deal with company they left somehow getting back the same job they had before. It was a good end to the season, it just felt like I had seen a lot of it before.
The end of the season featured the return of a character I always enjoyed – David Wallace – giving season 9 promise. Season 8 was good and it was nice to see them experiment with the departure of Steve Carell. Season 9 should be interesting and hopefully less all over the place. I look forward to a good end of the series.