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Time to Pull the Plug?

Steve Carrell’s swan song as Michael Scott onThe Office is just two weeks away. Last night, Will Ferrell starred as Scott’s replacement, DeAngelo Vickers. Ferrell agreed to do four episodes, so he is signed up to appear on the Carrell farewell episode (April 28) as well as the first post-Carrell show (May 5). A number of other names, including Ray Romano and Ricky Gervais are also expected to appear on the office. all are rumored to be possible replacements.

After watching last night’s episode stumble through without putting any of Ferrell’s strengths on display, nor giving the audience any sustained laughs, I can’t help but ask: why continue the series?

What other things will The Office cover in lampooning office life and tying together a story going into its eighth season? The company has been sold and now sells a totally different flagship product. Jim and Pam got married and had a child. The Dwight Schrute-Angela storyline has played out. What other stories can the show possibly tell, and how can it do it without getting so outrageous that it barely resembles the mundane ridiculousness of office life many of us can relate to?

If the writers can answer that question, great. I’ll give them a shot, but a series that produces episodes simply because it hasn’t yet been canceled but has nothing to offer the audience is as embarrassing as WIllie Mays stumbling in the outfield for the Mets. At least Mays got a game-winning hit in the 1973 World Series (he lined a base hit up through the box off of Rollie Fingers in the 12th inning of Game 2; bet you didn’t know that).

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