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.