Maura Tierney is great, and when news broke earlier that she was going to be Mrs. Robert California on a forthcoming episode of "The Office," TV fans rejoiced. Having Tierney play the wife of James Spader shows how her career arc has really matured in recent years. In what seems like eons ago, I can remember fawning over her on "ER" and in her other guest appearances. Now, pairing her with Spader, she really appears to have embraced her age.
I can totally imagine how Tierney would be a great addition to "The Office" staff, her delivery always modulated between wry and bone dry in her past roles. Her deadpan nature would be a perfect add on for the Jim, Pam and Stanley levels of sarcasm that the three characters each deliver.
However, Tierney appears now to only be a guest star on the show, even though some reports have her slated to be actually looking for a job. As any husband and wife who have ever worked together can tell you, the challenge is really the situation. If you are independent contractors and are able to be alone or in remote locations a great deal of the time, then working with your spouse can actually be a joy. But when you are the head of an office, and when you are not really there all that much, finding a spot for Tierney in the Scranton paper market could be a challenge.
Because of all of the downsizing and all the other branches of Dunder Mifflin closing, it remains to be seen how the co-workers on "The Office" would embrace the big boss' wife taking up valuable space among them. My intuition is that her introduction will be met with significant resistance. It could be up to Andy to say "no" to Robert since Andy is now allegedly in charge of Dunder Mifflin Scranton.
We will have to wait and see what the writers have in mind for the talented actress. Having Maura Tierney back on TV, even for just an episode or two, is a great thing for fans of great TV. But where will Mrs. Robert California find herself led when she finally does arrive in the Scranton paper giant? While her ends could be met by Dunder Mifflin, she also could find herself led away from the office lifestyle as Mr. California appears to have been.