Goodbye, Michael. We will miss you.
I am consciously aware of every minute of the 40 hours per week I spend sitting behind a desk at my office; yet, I eagerly await Thursday nights, when for 30 minutes, I get to watch people on TV sitting behind a desk in The Office.
The main difference between the people I work with and the people on The Office is that I like the people on The Office. With the recent departure of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from the series, I felt as I assume a well-adjusted person would feel if she had suddenly lost a real boss. A boss who was mostly bumbling, highly inappropriate, but deeply cherished for both his flaws and good intentions.
When a key character leaves a series there is a level of audience uncertainty about what is to come. It seems that tight-lipped producers and improvising screenwriters were making it up as they went along, despite Carell's announcement last season that he was leaving. Interim manager DeAngelo Vickers (Will Ferrell) stayed on board for four episodes when he was put into a coma after a slam-dunking accident on the warehouse basketball court. Following DeAngelo's leave, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) turned down the position, which was then passed to Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson). Dwight's typical ineffectual heavy-handedness and use of a gun in the office caused him to lose a long-desired post. On Jo's (Kathy Bates) advisement, the acting manager position was then passed on to the employee who had worked there the longest - the mysterious deviant, Creed Bratton (as himself).
Tonight's episode is promising that viewers will get to meet the new Dunder Mifflin manager. Potential candidates are said to include Will Arnett, Catherine Tate, James Spader, Ray Romano, and original Office creator Ricky Gervais.
Millions of viewers were simultaneously embarrassed for and endeared to Steve Carrell's character of Michael Scott as he became an integral part of the series. It will be interesting to see how the show progresses without this essential component. Hopefully the continued development of existing characters and the introduction of new, equally likable characters will please the show's loyal audience. Essentially, the decision will be left up to viewers to determine if they can accept Michael's replacement and keep the show going strong or watch, unaroused, as it deflates. And that's what she said.
The hour-long season finale of The Office premieres on May 19 at 9pm EST on NBC.