Even though I'm British and required by law to say that I prefer the original UK Office to the US version (and truly I do like it, I still think it's one of the best British sitcoms ever made), at the risk of being deported from my homeland, I say to you now, that I prefer the American version.
Deal with that BBC.
Now The Office is entering its seventh season, I don't think I'm alone in saying that the show is running somewhat... dry. It's still very funny, and by far one of the funniest sitcoms being made today, but certain events in the sixth season served as a stark reminder that the things we once loved the show for and kept coming back for were either being resolved, neglected or replaced with new stories people simply didn't care about. I mean as sweet as Andy and Erin's little tryst was at times, it was hardy Jim and Pam (or ‘Jam' as Michael would say).
Nothing says a show has run its course though than when its brightest star disappears from its galaxy, and its light will never illuminate the lives of those it shone upon again.
What I'm trying to say it, the seventh season of The Office, is Steve Carrell's last, and despite this fact, NBC want to keep the show going, and losing their prized steed apparently doesn't stop the wagon from moving.
So who should fill the mighty void Michael Scott will leave in his absence? Well, believe it or not, Ricky Gervais the original boss from hell has been tipped to replace Carrell, whether he'd reprise his role as the now legendary David Brent remains to be heard; but as replacements go it wouldn't be a terrible choice... right?
Now we've gotten to the point where The Office can either burn out or fade away, let's carry out the cathartic exercise of ‘pros and cons' of Gervais taking over the hallowed halls of Dunder Mifflin.
Like a boss
David Brent is and always will be where it all began; without him, Michael Scott would've never come to be. Though they have their differences in personalities, Brent was a template for what Scott was to become. Like Michael, David is clueless when it comes to associating on a human level with his fellow man, be it colleague, stranger or relative, and that makes for some comedy gold.
Everybody loves Rick
Ricky Gervais is a household name, both here in the UK and the US; he's known by all and loved by... most. Although his work over the past couple of years has wavered a little in quality, he's still hot comedy property (his recent appearance in ‘Louie' did have me in stitches though). If anything, this would work to NBC's benefit; not only would his return serve to elevate the status of a show that's sadly been decreasing in quality this past season, but it would get international audiences (especially the UK) paying attention, especially if he was to play David Brent again.
The prodigal son returns
Okay, so Gervais was brilliant as David Brent, that's a given, but he also wrote the original Office, the show which pulled him out of obscurity and into unmitigated fame and success. He may not be the same person he is now as he was then, but surely having Gervais' creative input in the show couldn't hurt?
Um, didn't you get fired or something?
In case you don't remember, in the last few episodes of The UK Office, David Brent was made redundant. Now I know Dunder Mifflin and Wenham Hogg are two separate companies, and both deal in paper, but if he was to come back as David Brent, how would they explain this? He lost his job because of his poor performance, and after this happened he didn't move to another company and climb the ranks, he funded the release of a single which bombed, and tried to become a C-list celebrity in his local town, and failed miserably. Unless they can devise some incredible back story for his appearance (without it seeming like a cheesy cameo, much like Chris Martin's appearance in Gervais' self-referential Extras), it's going to seem a little farfetched either way.
This guy again?
I like David Brent, he's honestly a great character; the perfect blend of delusional grandeur, false confidence and desperation. Like Mike, he prompts gag-reflexes like watching a Sex and the City movie and instils a contradictory mix of schadenfreude and sympathy, to do something like that takes tremendous skill. Whenever I see Ricky Gervais these days though, it's all gag-reflex; he's everywhere, and usually with Hollywood stars in tow (for all its great cast, ‘The Invention of Lying' was ultimately a very boring movie).
WARNING! Cliché incoming!
What better way to end a list of ‘pros and cons' by simply saying this; he's not Steve Carrell, who we all still love very much.
So what do you think? Should someone else fill those shoes? Maybe even an existing cast member (though we all remember how boring Jim became when he got promoted...), or someone completely left field? Do you even care, so long as Holly returns?
Personally, I'd love to see Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview as the boss...
Jordan Salari is a 24 year old Media & Television Production graduate who spends most of his time either playing various musical instruments, watching ridiculous amounts of television, seeking revenge on those who've left him bad feedback on eBay and writing, be it features on movies, video games or television; he finished his first book 'Private Prozac' in December 2009 and is currently working on his next novel.
He currently lives in Leeds in the UK with two small dogs with a Napoleon complex and works for the country's largest satellite television broadcaster.