Tomorrow night is the ninth season premiere of The Office, and also marks the beginning of show's final season. After years of anchoring NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup, the show will finish its plotlines, and according to two cast members, give the audience some surprises. Angela Kinsey, who, of course, plays Angela Martin, and Brian Baumgartner, the man behind the goofy Kevin Malone, spoke with us about what's ahead this season and what they're not quite ready to leave behind.
When we heard the news that The Office is bringing back Pam's ex-fiancé Roy (David Denman), we realized how tiny of a chance Season 9 had at being remotely good. But unlike some new NBC shows that we genuinely love to hate-watch, The Office was at one time a great sitcom with a lot of heart, and we're still not quite ready to completely throw in the towel just yet. Over the course of the series, there were dozens of characters that could be brought back, all of which are less desperate than yet another callback to Roy. Sure, most everyone below has booked better gigs since leaving their Office stints, but we dare to dream.
When talking to Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) and Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson, as well as Office writer and producer) on a media call earlier this week, everyone wanted to know how Andy of all people got the gig, if Andy could ever really be as good as Michael, if the writers are just using Helms' budding movie career to boost Office viewership... all fair(ish) questions, but pretty damn brutal. True professionals, Helms and Lieberstein just wanted to be clear that they're excited for the future of the show, but they managed to throw in a few fun lines about writing in a post-Steve Carell series. They were the highlights of the phoner, along with a few of the choice quotes below.
There are rumors swirling that Steve Carell will leave The Office after the 2010 season. Apparently the allure of doing quality films like Date Night is just too tempting for him. Whether or not he actually leaves Dunder Mifflin probably comes down to contract negotiations, but if Michael Scott does depart Scranton, we've identified some folks that would be well-qualified to serve as the new office manager.
Ricky Gervais started this decade on the fringes of British radio. He'll start the next one hosting a major awards show (the Golden Globes, airing Jan. 17, 8PM ET, NBC). In between, among many other considerable achievements, he co-created and starred in what many would consider to be not only one of the best television shows of the decade, but of all time: The Office, seven and a half hours of perfectly calibrated, sometimes agonizing, dark comedy. As his opportunity to reach his biggest viewing audience to date approaches, Gervais spoke to us and other media outlets about his ground-breaking show, its U.S. version and his favorite American programming.
As we wrote earlier, Jim and Pam both have jerky tendencies, but together, they somehow work. Last night's big wedding episode really illustrated that. At the outset, still in Scranton, Pam forced her husband-to-be to stand beside her as she berates all of her coworkers for wearing perfume and eating pungent smelling foods as they make her nauseous in her delicate state. Whatever. That was a total dick move. I speak as someone who has been pregnant and had to cope with the fact that the smell of chocolate made me want to vomit. However, I had the tact and wherewithal to dismiss myself to the ladies room, instead of puking in a wastebucket, sending off a vomit chain around the office that was reminiscent of that gross scene in Stand By Me.
Of the two relationships currently entering crisis territory on The Office, only one threatens to be a real barn-burner... literally. Andy and Angela's impending nuptials at Schrute Farm may end in fire if Andy ever finds out about Angela's relationship with Dwight, so we talked to Ed Helms and Angela Kinsey, who play the not-so-happy couple, about what's going through their heads, and the heads of their characters.
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