|For some reason, NBC doesn't have an official|
photo of the entire current cast. So here is a regular
photo from the 2011 Christmas episode.
That they even had to give Andy the promotion in a roundabout way bothered me. And while I was excited that James Spader would be a semi-regular, that excitement quickly went away as California became more and more annoying. But other things quickly began happening that tells me this series is coming to an end. I heard early in the season that Rainn Wilson wanted to leave the series. They are now developing a spin-off series focusing on Dwight working at Schrute Farms. They then sent a bunch of the staff to Florida to open a Sabre store. During their time in Florida, Dwight got promoted, Ryan (B.J. Novak) realized how much he needs Kelly (Mindy Kaling), Jim actually enjoyed pretending to be an imitation Steve Jobs, Erin (Ellie Kemper) became a live-in helper to an elderly woman and Stanley (Leslie David Baker) had the time of his life in Florida. Had the Sabre store worked out, I could've definitely seen Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer) move to Florida for Jim to be the new Sabre spokesperson, Stanley retire and move to a warmer climate and Ryan and Kelly finally tying the knot.
But something else happened. California nixed the Sabre store idea and everybody went back to Scranton--even Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) who was up for the regional manager job in the seventh season finale. Tate's Nellie was a serious contender to be a replacement but I found just her five minute appearance on the finale to be overdone, annoying and not at all funny. Everyone else it seemed, loved her. Nellie returned to Scranton and essentially usurped Andy's job. Andy was skipping work to go find Erin and is unable to complain and Robert California is too impotent to order Nellie out of the job.
But I still feel as if the writers are leading up to The Office coming to an end after this season. Everything I mentioned above could still happen. Andy could still lose his job. Dwight could find Nellie's methods underwhelming and quit Dunder Mifflin. What we know for sure is that James Spader is leaving after this season. We also have Mindy Kaling starring in her own series on FOX next season and executive producer and Toby actor Paul Lieberstein is also leaving to focus on the Dwight Schrute spin-off. While Helms and Krasinski are close to signing on for season 9, both are suggesting that if there is a ninth season, it will be the last.
Speaking of strips that make me sad:
Why does Brutus' instincts immediately lead him to "do you think he left you stuff in his will?" That seems pretty selfish even for Brutus.