I’ll admit my expectations were high. Perhaps unreasonably so. Will Ferrell and Steve Carell in “The Office” for 30 whole minutes together – how could I expect anything less than hilarious? While I can’t say I was disappointed, it was different than I thought it’d be. There was no shortage of funny moments, great lines and the general absurdity we’ve all come to expect of “The Office,” but there were also more heartwarming moments than I’d anticipated.
The opening scene was fantastic. Will Ferrell, introduced as Deangelo Vickers (Deangelo Vickers!!), meets Steve Carell in a bar, they hit it off immediately, and hilarity quickly ensues. Within minutes, they’re chasing each other around the Dunder Mifflin office (after hours), laughing at nothing and practically screeching like school girls at recess. And, if you’re a long-time Will Ferrell fan like me, you’ll love the throwback to “Old School” when Michael refers to Colorado as “the sunshine state.”
Andy is awesome, as usual, pegged as the funny guy early on and then trying desperately to keep it up. He actually begins to tell a racial joke (in the presence of Darrell and Stanley, no less) without having a punchline! I thought the peak arrived when Deangelo told him to drink the liquid soap. But even this was outdone when Andy looked straight into the camera and woefully uttered: “I guess this is my life now.”
Jim & Pam seem to have entered that unavoidable black hole that sucks in all new parents: the achingly dull. I love Jim & Pam, have since Season 1, and still do, but it’s inevitable. After having a baby, two people become boring to everyone but each other. The baby takes up ALL of your time, leaving you with nothing to talk about except the baby. And, while she is super cute, Deangelo Vickers, for one, appeared less than impressed. This is our only glimpse into his dark side: his repulsion for baby Halpert. Maybe a foreshadowing of what’s to come? (Since, after all, we can safely assume it won’t be Will Ferrell replacing Steve Carell. I mean, come on, it’s Will Ferrell.)
The scenes that warm the heart begin with Dwight’s realization that Michael did not recommend he get promoted to Regional Manager (why didn’t he?) and become more poignant as Michael struggles to deal with the changes that are already occurring. But he did make it a full 25 minutes before throwing a tantrum, true restraint for Michael Scott, and recovered speedily and fairly gracefully, hugging Deangelo as he’s walking away, asking, “Why did you have to be so damn good?” At which point, it begins to sink in: Michael Scott is leaving the office. I miss him already.