The Office had one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the series kept going.
In Goodbye Michael, the series bid farewell to Steve Carrell with a sweet and funny episode that not only summed up the character and his relationships with his co-workers, but in many ways closed the book on the entire series.
Alas, Goodbye Michael wasn’t even the last episode of the season, never mind the series. A search to find a new manager took up the last few episodes; when Season Eight began, Robert California, a steely and successful businessman, had not only taken the job, but got himself promoted to CEO, leaving Andy Bernard in charge of Dunder Mifflin Scranton.
Filling the shoes of Steve Carrell (and, by extension, Michael Scott) is a daunting prospect. Carrell largely defined The Office with his blundering, selfish, if well-intentioned boss. If you replace him with another Michael Scott, it looks unoriginal, but if you replace him with someone too different, you risk breaking the dynamics of the show. But while The Office may have been successful with the casting of the new boss amalgam – you could do a lot worse than basing your show around Ed Helms and James Spader – the dynamics and energy have been sorely lacking in the eighth season.