If you are a fan of "The Office," then one thing you have come to expect from the NBC sitcom over the last couple of years is change. From the moment that Steve Carell (Michael Scott) announced that he was leaving the show after Season 7, producers have been struggling to find the right formula to keep the series moving into the future. After a frantic handling of Michael's departure and a frenzied, rudderless follow-up season, NBC faces the prospect of re-inventing the Dunder Mifflin crew yet again due to the exit of Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor) and Rainn Wilson's (Dwight Schrute) likely spinoff.
Rather than hop back on the celebrity treadmill, "The Office" appears to be taking a different tactic this time around, pegging a couple of guys who might figure into longer term story lines. As Hollywood.com reports, Jake Lacy and Clark Duke will join the remaining holdovers in the Scranton office this fall in what could be a last-ditch attempt to give new legs to the venerable comedy.
Enertainment Weekly surmises from early sneak peeks of Season 9 footage that Lacy could possibly be a new love interest for Erin (Ellie Kemper) and/or a wiseguy playmate for Jim (John Krasinski). Either development could lay the groundwork for a plot that might last through the season and beyond. If Lacy can steal Erin's heart then the love triangle option will be back on the table, because Andy (Ed Helms) remains in the picture as branch manager and clearly still has designs on a relationship with Erin. If Lacy gives Jim some creative new ideas, the duo might be enough to finally drive Dwight out of "The Office" and out to the farm for good.
If and when Dwight makes his Scranton exit, there will be a definite paucity of eccentricity in the cubicle farm, a gap which may be filled by Duke, according to Hollywood.com. By starting fresh with in-office rivalries and other shenanigans, NBC has the chance to redefine the dynamics and Dunder Mifflin, and possible retool the sitcom for another long run. Jump-starting an existing show that appears to be nearing the end of the line is a tall order, but the pieces may be in place for "The Office" to at least give it a go. A large ensemble allows players to move in and out,and story lines to be abandoned when they run out of steam. Fresh faces could make "The Office" worthy of another try.
"The Office" will likely never hit its peak from Carell's heyday, but it could become viable again. That would be quite a trick.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Dwight Schrute
- Steve Carell
- Dunder Mifflin