As you’ve probably already heard by now, Steve Carell is leaving Dunder Mifflin this season (in three episodes to be exact) to focus on his film career. While we’ll certainly miss the world’s best boss, we’ve felt for some time now that as much as we’ll always have a special place in our heart for The Office, it’s not the same show it was just a few seasons ago when it was appointment television and it really could use a breath of fresh air. That’s why it delights us to no end that Will Ferrell will be temping at the Scranton branch from the home office beginning tonight for four episodes.
Now, folks, please don’t be confused and don’t believe the rumors. Ferrell is not replacing Carell on The Office (he was just kidding when he claimed that he was two weeks ago, EW), he is merely guest starring for four episodes and will be the interim branch manager when Carell departs for good on the third episode of the stint. So basically, you get one episode of a solo Will Ferrell (whose character’s name is D’Angelo Vickers… and no, we’re not making that up, but that is so Will Ferrell) and three episodes with him and Carell (not a bad deal at all). This is nothing more than a concerted effort to bring some excitement to the show and eyeballs on it in the home stretch, but yes, we do recognize the magnitude of awesomeness that we would have if Ferrell was going to be a permanent cast member.
And Ferrell’s not the only big name who will be making the rounds at D.M. Over the rest of the season expect to see an appearance by perpetual atheist Ricky Gervais, who, of course co-created the British predecessor of The Office and stars as the Michael Scott character (David Brent) on the U.K. version. Also appearing will be the perpetually unemployed Will Arnett (Running Wilde, Arrested Development), the perpetually whining and nasally funny-man Ray Romano (Men of a Certain Age, Everybody Loves Raymond, which is still my grandmother’s favorite show), the perpetually chicken-necked James Spader (Boston Legal… crap… what else has he done in the last two decades? Oh, that’s right: Stargate. Yeah, that’ll work), and the perpetually unrecognized, Catherine Tate (Dr. Who). OK, we have to be honest on this one: other than her role as Donna for one season plus one episode on the incredibly awesome BBC hit, Doctor Who, we have no idea why she’s considered a guest “star.” Sheesh… for Pete’s sake her iMDB listing doesn’t even have a photo of her, we had to look this one up! Quite frankly, though, and let this serve as a public service announcement for anyone outside the U.S. who wants to be famous here, if you’re only mildly famous in the U.K. then we really won’t be considering you a star on this side of the pond, as it were, until you make a sex tape and it gets “stolen” and “released without your permission.” This is America, and that’s how we roll with our celebrities. Sorry about that, and yes, as a society, we are that stupid. But as an aside (and perhaps referring back to the previous comment about the tape?), we must say, this British gal certainly has a balcony you can perform Shakespeare off of, so that’s got to be worth tuning in for, right? Yes, we know we’re reaching… and we know that we’re being piggish.
Anywho, despite our parodying of the guest stars, we really think that Carell leaving and these guests coming in at the end of this season is probably the best thing that could have happened for the show, because frankly we could have cared less if it had been canceled or not at the end of the season. The show needed a shakeup and not having Michael Scott as the central character will change the entire atmosphere of it entirely. Fortunately, these stars will be there to soften the blow and ease us through the transition of what was The Office to what will be The Office. Now, we’re actually excited about the rest of this season and what’s to come for next season. It’s a whole new office.