Unfortunately it looks like an NBC executives was bitten by one of the disease carrying twits who are currently squatting in Zuccotti Park because the undead corpse of the show kept moving despite the fact that the heart and soul had left the building. “The Office” now plods along as a pale reflection of what it once was.
There were a number of mistakes that turned a once great ensemble cast into a motley collection of extras from “The Walking Dead”, or a Michael Jackson video. First, they replaced the Kathy Bates character with James Spader. His portrayal of a CEO that is half Gordon Gekko and half Kwai Chang Caine was a lateral move at best. The lateral move would have worked if Steve Carell had stayed and played off of the Spader’s quirks or if Carell’s replacement was able to take the ball and run with it.
In a spasm of poor judgment that proves that the people who work at NBC get most of their best ideas during a colonoscopy, they decided not to replace Steve Carrell. Do you know what is better than replacing a character as big as Michael Scott with nothing? ANYTHING!
The character portrayed by Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) got the promotion to Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin and took Michael Scott’s place as ringmaster of the Scranton, PA circus. This doesn’t work because the ugly truth about Ed Helms is that he is an excellent character actor but not good in a lead role. Mr. Helms is much more Ed Norton from the Honeymooners than he is Edward James Olmos. They would have been better off if NBC had brought back John O’Hurley to reprise his role as Seinfeld’s J. Peterman, who took over Dunder Mifflin so that he could get lower cost paper for his catalogues (actually that might have been pretty funny).
Michael Scott was the life of the show, and now that life is gone…yet the program goes on in an undead stupor. The rest of the cast now walk from scene to scene as caricatures of their former selves. One can almost see Kevin with his arms stretched out in front of him moaning out the words Braaaaaiiiins….Braaaaains.” Somebody should have done the audience a favor and shot this zombie of a sit-com in the head and ended its pain. Hopefully this will happen before Rainn Wilson bites Kaley Cuoco and turns her into a zombie as well (although I can understand the temptation to do so).