Will The Office Ever Be The Same?

         The phones are ringing, sales assistants are typing, and receptionists are faxing once again in Scranton, Pennsylvania at the Dundler Mifflin/Sabre offices. But, this season, things are a little different. The regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) has run off with his fiancée Holly and left his position open.

         The seventh season ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. The whole world was wondering whom the new regional manager of the Scranton branch will be. Will it be Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) who was known as the assistant to the regional manager by Michael? Will it be Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), one of the only “sane” people in the office? Or how about Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), the Utica transfer from Season 3 who formally had anger management issues? Or could it be Robert California (James Spader), a new character introduced last season, also in the running for the position?

         Well, the first episode of season 8 addresses the ongoing issue in the first five minutes. Robert California interviewed with Sabre CEO Jo and convinced her to give him her own position as CEO. So ultimately it was up to California who received the regional manager job, and he chose Andy Bernard. Andy in many people’s opinion would not have been the best choice, but then again it is what makes the show interesting! Its continuing documentation of the dysfunctional workplace still hasn’t gotten old.  Andy then chose Dwight as his second in command, or in his words, “enforcer.”

         The premiere’s main plot was about a list Erin discovered that Robert California had been writing that divided the employees into two groups. And of course the Scranton Branch being themselves, they had to make a big deal of it. The whole first episode deals with the workplace frantically trying to figure out what it means, and then eventually the employees dividing into the different groups. And as usual, it is hilarious to watch their different personalities in sync together.

         The episode also includes their office’s take on planking, Andy’s first struggles as regional manager, and it is also revealed Pam and Angela are both pregnant!

         All in all, their first episode without Michael Scott wasn’t too shabby. Dwight never failed to make me laugh with his personality, and Pam even made me chuckle with her mood swings. Of course, I’ll definitely miss the constant “That’s what she said” jokes and accidental inappropriate commentary made by Michael. He made that show what it is today. But honestly, I think the complex personalities of the co-stars on “The Office” can carry the weight and help the show have a couple more interesting seasons.

         “The Office” airs on Thursday nights on NBC at 8 PM central time.