I watched the first six seasons of “The Office” in an absurdly short span of time. I began to dream about the characters, think about them while driving home from work, and eventually started taking on some of their mannerisms. This lasted until I ran out of episodes and started watching all of “30 Rock” instead. (The dreams are equally vivid.)
So you can imagine why I, along with all “Office” fans, am very invested in what happens to the show after Steve Carrell takes his leave after this season.
Last night’s show, “Training Day,” featured the arrival of Will Ferrell as DeAngelo Vickers, Michael’s successor as manager of the office. After several weeks of emotionally charged episodes, this installment was refreshingly light and offbeat. The chemistry that fans remember from Ferrell and Carrell’s pairing in “Anchorman” was obvious, and Ferrell did a good job of taking his brand of humor from hugely to vaguely obnoxious to fit in with the more subtle style of the show. Check out this outtake of their interaction here:
John Krasinksi describes their energy together as “magical,” and it seems obvious that the excitement spread to the set itself.
Although I’m still interested to see where they go with the character, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with Vickers.
So far, he just seems like a new Michael Scott—same state of eccentric oblivion, same preoccupation with being obeyed and appreciated, and the same kindly façade with unpredictable glints of spite and nastiness. I hope the role can grow into itself.
This could work: How about they develop an exposé about DeAngelo, to get to the bottom of his meticulous shaving and weird power plays just to humanize him a bit? Now, he’s just a typical, overbearing Sabre boss from afar. He’s currently impossible to daydream in a positive light. Why not find a way—like the show has done so artfully with Creed—to show even the most mischievous of eccentricities with some dialogue that will rattle around in your head?
Meanwhile, I guess I’ll just look forward to seeing the slew of other big names appear for the remainder of the season. After the outcry from fans at the news of Carrell’s departure, I’m not surprised that the producers pulled out the big guns: Will Arnett, Ricky Gervais, Raymond Romano, James Spader, and Catherine Tate will all contribute their comedic genius to the show as guest stars this season.
As always, there’s a reason to keep tuning in, even after the classic will-they-won’t-they Jim and Pam narrative played itself out—but I’m not sure I’m going to be dreaming of DeAngelo anytime soon.