Office kicks off without Steve Carrell

Fans of The Office will no longer hear the phrase “that’s what she said” because Michael Scott (Steve Carell, Date Night) is no longer on the show.

The show’s first episode of the eighth season kicks off with the entire cast planking on items around the office. New manager Andy Bernard (Ed Helms, The Hangover), otherwise known as ‘The Nard-Dawg’ orders Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson, The Roar) to attack anyone caught in the act of planking.

It has hard not to laugh at Dwight spraying his planking colleagues with a fire extinguisher. The first episode also packs in a few surprises like Robert California (James Spader, Pretty in Pink) taking over the CEO position.

With California taking Jo Bennett’s (Kathy Bates, Titanic) position and Bernard taking over Scott’s position, there is no longer a character to initiate conflicts in the office. It also feels as if there is no longer a character to make a viewer effortlessly laugh, which could make a person think: was the show ever really funny or was it just Scott making everyone laugh?

In the past, Scott was always the one that put the characters in awkward situations. When he decided to play a murder mystery game, he made Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) pretend to be a voodoo priestess and when Scott attended Jim Halpert (John Krasinski, Something Borrowed) and Pam Beesly Halpert’s (Jenna Fischer) daughter’s christening, he threw a temper tantrum during the service.

So far California has shown no potential to live up to Scott’s legacy; the one thing he has done is make a list of who he thinks are the winners and losers in the office. Past viewers can tell that the rest of the cast is desperately trying to fill the void without Scott but new viewers might actually enjoy the new season.

One thing both new and old viewers cannot deny is that the new season does have some hysterical moments. It’s hard to stifle a laugh when listening to Stanley Hudson’s (Leslie David Baker) new formula for making people laugh: start out saying something serious and than slowly build up to saying “Shove it up your butt.”

Only time will tell if the cast is able to save the show from being cancelled. The characters can only do so much to make up for Scott, but bottom line, Michael Scott is surely missed at Dunder Mifflin, Inc.