There’s a new boss in town, and Michael Scott will soon blow out of Scranton like a tumbleweed into the desert night. Why all the Western references? Because the boss-to-be is Deangelo Vickers, a man who loves the Southwest and has a peanut allergy (that he lives with). Of course we all knew Deangelo would be none other than Will Ferrell. And the opening scene where Michael and Deangelo meet—while also ridiculously not meeting—was pretty classic Steve Carell/Will Ferrell comedy. In fact, I felt like I was watching a vignette completely separate from The Office—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing given this season. Then Deangelo showed up for his first day, and we were pretty much back to the same ole’ antics.
This episode had its moments: overall I liked that much of the cast got a chance to put their best foot forward for the new boss (or so they tried) because we got to see some of our favorite character quirks (i.e. Kelly using her choreographed sex appeal; Erin attempting to please everyone; Oscar just processing; Andy being the funny man…). But at the same time, I felt like each ‘incident’ lasted just a little too long and wore out the joke (Andy drinking soap??? Not necessary). Jim and Pam were completely annoying trying to push their baby’s cuteness on Deangelo, who is a father himself, so I was quite pleased when he shut them down! Side note: am I the only one who doesn’t think their baby is all that cute? Is that mean?
My favorite staff member/new boss interaction by far was Erin’s. I loved seeing her eagerness to please the new boss conflict with her loyalty to Michael (who is really more like a father-figure to her). And I loved her sheer naïveté when it came to following simple instructions: “Dunder Mifflin, this is” (when told to not answer the phone with her name). The poor girl was so tormented over which boss’ instructions to follow that when the phone rang again all she could say was “I’m so sorry!” and hang up.
As everyone expected, Michael did not respond well to having another boss in the mix, undermining his authority. But, at the same time, I was also rather surprised at how well Michael handled it—for Michael that is. Let’s face it: Michael’s reaction could have been a lot worse (read: painfully awkward). In earlier seasons, it would have been. However, while our slightly more mature Michael struggled with this transition period (as anyone would after 19 years with their company), he really only got horribly obnoxious toward the end with the peanut butter sandwiches. And soon thereafter, both bosses offered their respect and praise of the other’s ability to lead.
Some fun moments from tonight’s episode, “Training Day”:
- Michael doesn’t like skiing because he doesn’t want to end up like Sonny “Bobo.”
- “Mountains…Where things are…” (What Michael will miss most about Scranton).
- Kelly’s obsession with romantic comedies continues to shine through in everything she does, as she creates a meet-cute for her and Deangelo.
- Andy always carries around name badges….enough said.
- Erin shaving Michael (more like scooping off shaving cream).
- “Get your senioritis on, it’s Lake Havasu time” (Deangelo bonding with Michael and telling him to enjoy his last hoorah as manager).
- The passing of the torch: “What is the Native American girl’s name?” (Deangelo); “You’ll figure it out” (Michael).
What did you think of Will Ferrell’s foray into The Office culture? He almost seems like “Michael Light”—a somewhat dense, ego-driven guy with strange idiosyncrasies who seeks approval—yet no where near as extreme as Michael. Since it is pretty much a given that Will Ferrell won’t stick around for the long-haul (unless it is the best kept secret in Show Biz) what do you think will ultimately drive him away? His love of the Southwest? Dwight’s revenge in seeking the manager role? Daryl’s smarts? Place your bets!