Let’s talk about “The Office.”
Or, wait. No. Actually, let’s talk about “The Office” through season six. Why? Because I haven’t seen a minute of an episode that has taken place since the sixth season wrapped. And why is that, you ask? Because my closest friends know how notoriously awful I am at keeping up with current-day television. So, again, why am I notoriously awful at this stuff? The answer to that is simple: The phenomenon that is known as television on DVD.
Ahhh, yes. The one major downfall of living life without a cable television package — being too reliant on over-priced DVD collections that only come to life months (sometimes, years!) after a season (sometimes, an entire series!) comes to an end (notice the exclamation points!). I use “The Office” as an example because that was the first television series that allowed me to travel to the dark side of TV on DVD. In fact, at my last job, I had to put a gag order on all “Office” talk past season two through the workplace because for the longest time, I hadn’t seen a minute past Jim and Pam’s first kiss.
Naturally, it wasn’t until a pick-up game of basketball that my request for silence was sundered. “So why doesn’t Michael Scott work at Dunder Mifflin, anymore?” someone asked between games. And boom went the dynamite. A trip to Amazon.com was made and season three was in the mail.
I bring this up now because some major news was announced earlier this week when James Spader landed the gig as the sort of new Steve Carell on the show. Or, well, maybe he did. Actually, I don’t know for sure what role he will portray because as I mentioned above, I haven’t seen a minute of the show’s seventh season. In fear that I would spoil something for myself, I read only the headline: “James Spader hired full-time for ‘The Office.'”
So with all of that said, I pose the following question to you, the fantastically intelligent blog reader: Was James Spader the correct choice? From what I understand, Will Ferrell made a few appearances during last season (again, from reading only headlines that became more and more unavoidable as the season came to an end). What about Idris Elba’s turn as Charles a few years ago? Why not bring him back to reprise a role that not only gave the show a few funny moments, but also supplied it with some much needed acting credibility as Elba’s most famous turn was as Stringer Bell in the brilliant HBO series, “The Wire?” Or what about the stunning Rashida Jones? She spent a season on the show. Why not bring her back into the mix simply to make Jim and Pam squirm? Then again, how about a fresh face? I’m sure Alan Thicke isn’t all that busy.
Either way, it’s no secret that the show may just be on its last legs. Fans and critics alike have been predicting the show’s demise for years now, and to be fair, it will probably never regain the same magic it carried when Pam was still engaged to Roy and Jim’s awkward funny faces were far from being the obnoxious gestures they are now. But with Carell having now left, the show has been able to draw the one thing it hasn’t been able to generate at the beginning of recent seasons, and that’s interest. And for Mindy Kaling’s sake, I hope people can re-find the show this fall and begin to somehow enjoy sitting down on a Thursday night again with the paper company from Scranton, Pa.