Friday, May 20, 2011

The Office - Oh And James Spader


This is just a quick little recap of some impressions I have had watching the last two weeks of The Office without Steve Carrell there. They have been brilliant. I have probably watched 80% of all The Office episodes and I cannot remember ever laughing out loud. Wait, I take that back. I did the one time when Michael refused to not follow the GPS and ended up in a pond. That is about it though. The last two weeks have seen me laugh out loud and last week, I was nearly in tears at several points.

For those of you who are die hard Office fans, I am sure you will miss Michael. I thought the show would fall apart without him, but it is the exact opposite. Suddenly the writers have room to breathe and characters to explore instead of giving half the lines each week to Steve. Last night Creed got 25% of the lines. Never would have happened before. Everyone is getting more time to expand and because the writers are not constrained within the limits of focusing the show around Steve, they are more funny and creative and it has been brilliant.

Last night, there was some stunt casting to fill the role of the head of the Scranton branch. Ricky Gervais was funny and Catherine Tate was also on there, although with longer hair. Jim Carrey, Ray Romano and Will Arnett also made appearances. The performance of the night though and very much Emmy worthy in the guest role category was James Spader. That guy can flat out act. He may be challenging Val Kilmer on the scales, but you can tell he is a brilliant actor when you watch him with all the other people they had on the show. He was great and the writing with him was brilliant.

24 comments:

RocketQueen said...

Damn, I need to start watching this again...I agree so many characters are underutilized and I was SO OVER the Michael character.

anita_mark said...

I figure it will work without Steve Carrell. He's a great actor but Michael Scott was just painful. Last night's ep was great because all the cast was involved. I love those episodes. Ryan is such a douchebag, did you notice him taking money out of Kelly's purse? His line about "the Senator" being gay was hilarious. I do love Pam and Ryan fighting.

Texshan said...

I can't help it -- no matter how weird his hair looks or how much weight he gains, I always see James Spader as his drop-dead beautiful self in Pretty In Pink and Less Than Zero. God, he was gorgeous...

blondegossip said...

I LOVED James Spader last night. Agree w/Enty, much as I loved Steve Carrell, it has been even funnier than usual last couple of weeks. I lol most of last night's episode. Now if only they'd bring on Spader permanently...

__-__=__ said...

Maybe this is how it will work with 2 1/2 men too.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

Big James Spader fan here, and I totally agree. He was the only actor of the stunt casting guest stars to bring a fully formed character to the table. I've been reading reviews around the internet today, and it's universal opinion that Spader was freaking awesome.

I've never missed an episode of The Office, but I thought the last two seasons were pretty awful. I mean, pure garbage, unwatchable dreck. These final two episodes without Michael Scott have been a return to form to some of the inspired hilarious writing of early seasons, and I'm filled with new-found hope that they can recapture the magic post-Carell.

I'm invested in the characters which is why I never stopped watching, but this is an easy time to make the break. Depending on who they pick to be the new manager next year will likely have an impact on my viewing habits. If the rumors are true and Catherine Tate gets the job, I'm outta there. Her cameo last night was painful.

Are you listening, Paul Leiberstein?

MelissaLynn said...

Texshan - I agree 100%
Sex, Lies, and Videotape - YUM!!!

libby said...

I actually got to see this NOT in re-run.

I agree that Spader was fascinating as a character. Like Jim said, he's either horrible or he's a genius, and I think the audience 'discovering' the Spader character along with the staff could be simply awesome.
AND Jim was being pressured to make a fast decision, my feeling is he would go with an unknown as opposed to the AWFUL knowns.
(I like Darrell, but I think he's under-qualified and won't bring anything big to the new boss character).

ITA with y'all who HATED the Catherine Tate character. Her role was a huge, cartoonish caricature. I already know everything about her. Nothing to discover.

Spader is the only one who had much more to offer. He's also excellent, professional, and very famous. I hope they choose him.

when do we find out?

Nicole said...

OMG J. Spader was on this tv show in the early-ish 80's called Family Tree or something and I watched every episode because I loved him so much-even used to kiss the screen (wow, how very pathetic). He is amazing!

Jessi said...

Totally agree. Hope Spader is the new boss! He was fantastic last night!

Angie said...

Ohhhh, how I love thee James Spader. I loved those 80's movies where he always played the sexy, bad boy.

MCH said...

I haven't gotten a chance to watch this week's episode yet, but I've always viewed The Office as an ensemble cast and especially in the last season have thought they could go on w/out Michael Scott.

I have mixed feelings about Will Ferrell's character. Wasn't as funny as I thought it could have been.

I'm glad to hear they are giving the other cast members more screen time. I always thought it was stupid to have people like Creed, Kevin, etc. in the background and keep introducing new characters all the time.

crila16 said...

Is Will Ferrell not staying on the Office?

FS said...

Will Farrell was only there for a 3 episode arc, he's not coming back, which is fine by me, that character was kind of all over the place.

I agree, the show has been very good lately, but I'll go back even a few more episodes. Most of the work since Michael's proposal and announcement he was leaving has been pretty goo.

I also agree that as talented as Catherine Tate is, her character was a complete fail. Listening to her speak made me wonder what was on her resume and why she was even there. Her connection the the CEO scares me, I do not want to see that character come back. The only positive comments I've seen today have been about the actress, not the character, and that says a lot.

James Spader. Oh my goodness, he was so awesome, and the character is intriguing. He could fit into the show and there is a lot of potential for development. His scene with Dwight at the coffee counter was beeyootiful! All Spader fans have to find and watch the movie he made with Kim Richardson back in the 80's. It's not the best movie, but he played a good guy and there was something really sweet about his character.

My vote is for Spader, but I wonder if the other Black candidate that they showed is a possibility. Jim mentioned in passing that he gave a good interview. That would be a twist, a complete unkown.

nancer said...

i didn't get to see the whole thing but i did see spader. shit, i used to have the hots for him after 'sex, lies and videotape.' ok, that's done with but he's STILL a fabulous and underrated actor, IMO.

if he's the guy, i'm in.

JasonBlueEyes said...

The episode after steve left was the worst Office ever. I hated Will on the show. But these last two episodes have been great. Jim is given so much more to do now then mug at the camera. I love the scenes in the breakroom when they're all together.

Bye, Gabe. I kinda liked you, too.

anita_mark said...

How could they have failed so miserably with Will Ferrell? Or maybe that was the point because if he was awesome, it would be unwatchable without him.

But seriously, how do you not make every second of Will Ferrell not awesome? That counts in a fail in life.

john said...

The movie Spader was in with Rob Lowe where Spader was a good guy who Rob Lowe turned 'bad' - can I just say I wanted to have sex with the screen? I agre he was amazing and I also agree that I'm shallow because seeing him bloated and balding last night made me feel 'old as fuck' (to quote my favorite line from Knocked Up)

timebob said...

made me think so this is what happend to Steff in Pretty in Pink when he grew up.

FS said...

oooo Stef, he absolutely made my blood boil in Pretty in Pink. I used to watch his scenes over and over again just so I could enjoy getting mad at him. JS was so awesome playing that character.

They really need to hire Spader.

Sherry said...

I watched the episode and when he came on I thought immediately he would be the very best replacement. Never occcured to me until I saw him..Man is soo talented!

Sherry said...

I meant James Spader...When he came on. And ugh to Catherine Tate. I have NEVER understood her appeal..Poor mans Tracy Ulman.

Jasmine said...

I AM SO GLAD Will Farrell is gone from The Office.
I dont understand it- I thought he would be fab- I mean, hello Stepbrothers? That kind of character he played in that movie woulda be really funny on the Office. I was really weirded out by his Office character being jovial and goofy and then seriously odd and psycho. It was like Will was trying to do his own version of Michael Scott and took it to a bad place.
If anyone gets it- IT SHOULD BE MY LOVELY RICKY GERVAIS.
Or spader, obviously :)
Oh, and btw- they WASTED Arnett's talent- he had no material to work with.

And best line ever was when Ryan said he new the senator was gay cause he 'liked' all his facebook pictures at 3am ! hahahahah. awesome

warmislandsun said...

Will Ferrell was AWFUL on the office. Ugh, painful to watch he was.

Spader was awesome, but I didn't like Ray Romano - he's so annoying and always plays a tone of the same whiny character.

As long as the writing stays on track, the show can be good again.