‘The Office: The List’ (Season Premiere) Review
This was a very important episode for The Office. It added a permanent new character and a new boss for everyone’s favorite paper and printer sales branch. James Spader has taken Kathy Bates’ old role as CEO of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre; and the new Scranton branch manager is…Andy Bernard! Upon the announcement I was skeptical but by the end of the episode Ed Helms proved that he was a good choice.
That is not to say that this episode was The Office at its best. I firmly believe that Steve Carell took the best days of the show with him when he left. That being said, the writers and the phenomenal ensemble cast still have some great stuff in them. The List was a good way to show that this show can bounce back and still be entertaining after the departure of Michael Scott, which is exactly what it needed to do.
Now, onto James Spader. Robert California will be a good way to incorporate the higher levels of the company onto the show again, as long as he is not overused. I hope most episodes just feature him rather than focusing on him. The List needed to focus on him and I understand that and it worked, but now that he has been established as CEO I hope he has more of a background role like David Wallace did.
Funny moments in the episode included Stanley’s new catchphrase and everyone trying to create a distraction so that Pam could copy the list in Robert’s notebook.
Then, once the meaning of the list was revealed, Andy stepped in to make things right and did it as a leader. He really proved that he can be the new manager while being different enough from Michael Scott. Was he my first choice? No, but the show can definitely still be good with this new dynamic. I would love to see Andy grow into his new role as the season went on. I hope he struggles for awhile and then comes into his own. Then, this show can still give the fans what they deserve. (8/10)