Yeah that was us a few months back, telling you not to worry about The Office, that their superior writers would make magic out of Steve Carrell’s departure, and that it was Carrell, whose movies largely suck, who we didn’t think was particularly funny except when Michael Scott. Will Ferrell, a titan of comedy, as the temporary replacement, Deangelo Vickers, was not Michael, but he is a big name and a comedic genius probably of greater stature than Steve Carrell and he could’ve pulled it off.
We don’t know that any of the candidates we were subject to seeing interview last night were capable of pulling off running Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch with the possible exception of James Spader, who we don’t naturally love, but we have to admit that he did interview more dynamically than the others, and was probably the most quirky and unpredictable. We are definitely not impressed with the process so far, nor are we impressed at all with the apple of show management’s eye, Catherine Tate (above), who we are reading everywhere is in the lead for the role as of right now.
While we waited with baited breath for Danny McBride to sweep into the conference room–something we thought we were assured of and was confirmed–a very weak bunch paraded in instead, and we thought them weak in every sense. We weren’t thrilled with Will Arnett over a Danny McBride or Rhys Darby, but we still thought he’d do fine. Well, last night’s Office couldn’t even manage to give Arnett any funny lines, or that extravagant flair he displays as Devin Banks on 30 Rock and of course, as GOB on Arrested Development. And where in the hell was McBride? Very upsetting.
Ray Romano? We love him and written well, the role would be a piece of cake for him. But like everyone else, he was flat and watching him was a struggle. Warren Buffett? Sure it’s a gag, but do they really have time to waste on non serious candidates in the season finale? They advertise Jim Carrey all week as a candidate and then bring him in as an after thought at minute 58?
And why is Paul Lieberstein so skinny? Do you guys know that is health status was one of the most frequently queried Google searches in the last 12 hours? Farbeit from us to speculate on what could be an unfortunate situation for Lieberstein, but he looked like a skeleton, and he has missed a lot of time in the last few years, giving way to Amy Ryan’s Holly Flax.
As for Ricky Gervais, could this guy go away already? We get it, we get it. He’s the original David Brent, and as such, has clawed out a de facto EP position on The Office, but this guy should spend more time working on his own projects, which aren’t very funny. How many shows will HBO hand the man, and when will one of them make us laugh?
It used to be that if HBO gave you a foreigner, it was appointment television. Then there’s the Ricky Gervais exception. Can there be any doubt that he isn’t pushing for Catherine Tate, of Dr. Who “fame”? And what about The Office producers interview with our favorite band manager, Rhys Darby, who played Murray Hewitt hilariously on Flight of the Conchords? We subsequently read that The Office wasn’t interested in Darby after meeting with him, and failed to grant him the courtesy of any sort of call back.
Bad form! We’re very disappointed. We’ll hold out hope that it isn’t Tate, and we’ll give her a chance to change our minds if it is her. Who knows? She very well may, but from where we sit, this is not the female John Cleese by any stretch.
If it’s not too late to offer suggestions for new blood, we may as well give it a try. We thought Thomas Lennon of Reno 911 (Lt. Dangle) was an excellent, quirky boss of funny, oddball types, and we loved the short shorts. After seeing Catherine Tate tell the cameras she thought she was Jo’s best friend, we also felt a desperate need to push a last ditch campaign for another excellent comedic actor, Bob Odenkirk, who is phenomenal, and always insanely good in a well done show and fine cast.