Page 1 of 3
Michael Scott is gone, and so is the heart and soul of The Office....
Universal / 530 Minutes / 2011-2012 / Unrated / Street Date: September 4, 2012
The American interpretation of Ricky Gervais’ internationally-recognized The Office was expected to be a crappy mid-season replacement that offered a few chuckles and left TV critics bemoaning the series as a far, far cry from the genius of the original. But God bless Steve Carell and company. This writer has no problem calling the American Office even better than its predecessor (and the British Office was damned good).
At least until now. At the end of Season Seven, we waved bye-bye to Carell, but NBC still felt the show had goods to offer, so they kept the thing around, hoping that a solid slate of celebrity cameos and a few new ensemble members would be enough to keep the thing above water. Yet while I hesitate to give Carell - and his mighty Michael Scott character - too much credit, The Office: Season Eight is a jumped shark, an installment that houses a few solid gags, but is mostly a running-on-empty shell of a show.
I mean, Carell made such a rollicking buffoon on the show that even if he struck out 75% of the time during an Office episode, we'd at the very least get a few rock-solid connects, some truly funny verite moments that completely justified sitting through the thing. But even with capable comic talents like Ed Helms and Craig Robinson striving to keep hope alive, the new Office never breathes a life of its own.
There are many devoted, committed viewers who will forgive the blatant sins of the Carell-free Office and weather the storm - the show's ninth go-round will (thankfully) be its last - but only truly diehard completists need bother putting a TV-on-BD set like this one on their shelves. He was a dumbass, a heel, a truly awful human being, but how were we to know that we'd miss Michael Scott so very, very much...?