‘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)

photo credit: http://tvovermind.zap2it.com/nbc/the-office/office-season-8-preview-sneak-peeks/93694


~ by mattsmoviethoughts on September 23, 2011.

3 Responses to “‘The Office: The List’ (Season Premiere) Review”

  1. Not sure I buy the new Office. Everything seemed very forced. BJ Novak wrote the season opener, but it seemed to lack soul and didn’t really give us a chance to meet California. Kathy Bates was incredible in her role, but is too busy with her other show. Anyd as the boss? Doesn’t add new life to the show. Also wasn’t Gabe told to go back to Florida? Too much happened without being explained and too much goofieness for me.

  2. My favorite moment was when Dwight made everyone from each side of the list stand in two separate lines.

    “Ok, right side stand over there…and left side…ATTACK!!”


  3. @HJC: I definately agree that everything seemed forced. The jokes weren’t natural and the planking thing was entirely too random. Andy as the new boss falls flat as well.

    As far as the Gabe thing goes: it was explained in a deleted scene (that you can see on the NBC website, if you’re interested) that corporate didn’t want him and for half the week, he works in Scranton, and the other half of the week, he flies down to Talahassee (sp?).

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