Let me start off by stating my love for Will Ferrell. His comedic timing is nothing short of brilliant. His ability to create nonsensical and awkward characters is better than anyone around today. He single handedly saved Saturday Night Live after the departure of Carvey, Myers, Sanders, Farley, Spade, and Hartman. After he left, they should’ve just shut the lights off. There’s nothing he can’t do.
That being said, here’s something he can’t do: He can’t replace Michael Scott. Michael’s politically incorrect leadership skill always left us yearning for more. That’s what she said.
My wife and I have seen every episode of The Office (which has been on since 2005). It is actually the only show we watch on NBC. The uncomfortable, embarrassing, and often self-inflicted situations that Michael gets into can’t be replicated.
Ferrell shouldn’t feel bad about that. Sir Lawrence Olivier couldn’t even fill this acting gap. Steve Carell just has something that we need every Thursday night. That’s what she said. His charm made you feel sorry for him instead of getting angry at him for his inappropriate antics and pure stupidity. I know that Ferrell is only a temporary player for the Dunder Mifflin team, but the absence of the coach feels like Notre Dame Football without Lou Holtz.
This isn’t the first show to make a major change. Some of these replacements have worked, some haven’t.
Three’s Company did the replacement thing several times. When the Ropers left the series, they brought in funnyman Don Knotts, with his colorful ascots and polyester Hawaiian print shirts, to keep the tennants in line. That change worked alright, but there was no fitting the hole when Chrissy Snow left. That’s what she said. The chemistry was gone.
When Cheers lost Diane, they kept the series going with the new boss, Rebecca, whom it would’ve been a pleasure to work under. That’s what she said. Woody, with his simple-minded behavior, also provided a suitable tend to Coach’s bar.
With M*A*S*H, the number of seasons alone made it impossible not to venture into the replacement field. You had Trapper replaced by B.J., Blake replaced by Potter, and Burns replaced by Winchester. The chemistry was always good, but always felt different with each departing cast member.
The feeling on The Office, though, is completely different. The essence of the series is Michael Scott. The rest of the cast only worked to prop him up. The series without Michael will be like reading an American History book with no mention of Abe Lincoln, who Michael Scott would’ve told you, was our founding father.