Armchair Mogul
The (backseat) driving force behind Hollywood. Way behind.

SCOTT FREE


Yes, it’s true. Soon NBC’s flagship comedy The Office will be completely Scott-free. Equal parts self delusional mentor and attention-starved clown,  Steve Carell’s masterfully crafted Michael Scott has served as the soul of The Office for the last six years and now, sadly, his time is drawing to a close.

The series staffers have hinted that Dunder Mifflin is a “promote from within” kind of company, teasing us with the fact that someone in the cast will be appointed as the new regional manager before this season’s up.

As self-delusional mentors slash attention-starved clowns ourselves, we feel it’s only right that we Armchair residents take a look at the Dunder Mifflin roster and see who’s most likely to fill Michael’s loafers as we ask:

  

EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS – THE TOP CONTENDERS

Candidate: Darryl Philbin
Current position: Warehouse Foreman
Promotional possibility: Sure Thing

Why it could happen:
Look, it’s going to be Darryl. Let’s just get that out of the way. I mean, who are you kidding, Office writers? This season not only saw a HUGE leap in Darryl’s screen time and line count, but he’s suddenly been given a desk job, a backstory and ambition. It works in the story since he’s got a spotless managerial record with his warehouse duties AND it works in real life too since, aside from Ed Helms, Craig Robinson’s their most bankable star. “What about Rainn Wilson?” you say. “Compare The Rocker‘s $6 million BO to Hot Tub Time Machine‘s $50 million” I say. Plus, just last year NBC saw fit to make Craig Robinson the host of Last Comic Standing and base the whole promotional campaign around the fact. In short, he’s being groomed.

Why it should happen:
As we’ve stated before on this site, The Office has really lost its bearings lately thanks to The Kramering. Darryl is one of the few characters left that actually acts like a human being. Putting him in charge would not only be a nice inversion of the original formula (a group of normal employees with a wacky boss would now become a group of wacky employees with a normal boss), but a no-nonsense character like Darryl in charge might add some much needed grounding for The Office‘s a-bit-too-wacky-for-its-own-good vibe of late.

Candidate: Jim Halpert
Current position: Salesman
Promotional possibility: Unlikely

Why it could happen:
Not only is Jim one of the most recognizable faces of the show, but he was the first guy we related to and really cared about. Sure, we showed up for Michael Scott’s antics, but we stayed to see if Jim would ever get the girl. Plus, he’s one of the few Dunder Mifflinites who’s actually got the chops to do the job, or at least that’s what we thought…

Why it won’t:
We don’t wanna say this is a long shot, but this is a long shot. Jim’s had his turn at bat and found himself in a huge puddle of fail. In a very disappointing decision last season, the Office writers ended Jim’s turn as co-manager prematurely with a voluntary demotion that not only made it very unlikely that the new boss Jo would give him another shot, but also pulled the rug out from under a very important assumption we the audience had been harboring about Jim: that behind that facade of slacker-dom there was a bright, ambitious leader-type who could excel at any challenge if given the opportunity – as stated in season three’s Office Olympics. But after season six, we now know that behind that facade of slacker-dom lies a huge slacker who’s apparently a fan of redundant disguises.

Candidate: Dwight Kurt Schrute
Current position: Salesman
Promotional possibility: Strong

Why it could happen:
Sure, Dwight’s been office manager before, and sure, it was a complete disaster. But it was funny. And funny’s the name of the game here. While it’s unlikely that given a promotion, Dwight would be allowed to keep the position for very long, it would definitely be entertaining. Jo Bennet’s never seen the Dwight we’ve seen. For all she knows, he’s a model employee, a top salesman and a respectable property manager to boot. A self-made man like him would resonate with a boss like Jo. Can we see it happening? Sure. Would it last long before he Schruted it? Probably not.

Why it won’t:
As a character, Dwight’s best moments are when he’s being held back from doing what his black heart compels him to do. When he’s let off the leash, it can be pretty hilarious but that kind of uncontrolled momentum carries a burn rate that just can’t sustain itself. In other words, we need Dwight. In. Short. Controlled. Bursts.

Candidate: Andy “Nard Dog” Bernard
Current position: Salesman
Promotional possibility: Strong

Why it could happen:
As The Office’s (and possibly NBC’s) most bankable star not named Steve Carell (The Hangover grossed over $277 million), I bet the marketing execs are DYING to put Ed Helms’ big, goofy face front and center on future installments of DVD’s.

Why it won’t:
Quite frankly, I think Ed Helms might have other things to do. He’s got a blossoming movie career and with a Hangover sequel in the works (the first one was the 3rd highest grossing R rated film of all time), there’s no reason to think it’s going to stop anytime soon. Sooner or later, all popular TV actors leave for the big screen – only to inevitably return 20 years later. So why promote a guy who might be following in his Daily Show alum’s footsteps?

 

EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS – THE LONG SHOTS

Candidate: Pamela Beesley-Halpert
Current position: Office Administrator
Promotional possibility: Very unlikely

Why it could happen:
First, kudos to the writers for taking our not-so-humble advice and literally addressing all of Pam Beesley’s flaws in a neat (albeit obvious) step-by-step fashion as outlined HERE. Thanks for reading, guys! Please tell your friends!

But anyway, Pam’s really stepped it up this season in her new duties as Office Administrator (her new calling, thank you very much), showing a drive and initiative that we haven’t seen in her…well, ever. So there’s that.

Why it won’t:
But let’s get real. Pam? As manager? Of ANYTHING? Pam can’t control a motivational cork board let alone a group of people. Never happen.

Candidate: Rayn Howard
Current position: Temp
Promotional possibility: Long shot

Why it could happen:
For some reason, even though he hasn’t played a prominent role in the show since season four, B.J. Novak still appears prominently in the opening credits while scene-stealer Ed Helms only recently earned a spot at the top of the show. Does that count for anything?

So aside from the obvious (he defrauded the company, opened the company’s website up to sexual predators and possibly helped lead the company into financial ruin), everyone loves a comeback. A Ryan redemption story might be fun for a while, seeing him timidly take what he’s learned in his dramatic fall from grace and try to spin it into a positive direction as head of the branch. We could see enjoying that for a few eps.

Why it won’t:
…but ONLY a few eps. We’re looking for a permanent replacement here. And as bright as the writers are, we’ve probably seen their best material concerning Ryan in charge of something. Plus, there’s the small matter of having ruined the company once before…

Candidate: Kelly Rajnigandha Kapoor
Current position: Customer Service Representative/executive in training
Promotional possibility: Long shot

Why it could happen:
Well, she IS in Sabre’s Print in all Colors executive training initiative, which we’ve observed, seems to mean a clothing upgrade and heightened racial awareness, so….

Why it won’t:
…but, yeah, no. Like most of the background players, Kelly’s appeal works best in short bursts. It might be fun to play with the idea of her in charge for a while – in fact, we’re sure that will happen before the season’s out (we love the idea of Kelly implementing the celebration of frivolous holidays, holding meetings to discuss pop culture current events and mandatory track suit days) – but there’s just not enough material there to sustain any kind of momentum. Besides, last May, Mindy Kaling signed a development deal with NBC wherein she’ll be creating her own show to write and star in. It’s hard to be in charge when you’ve got one heel out the door…just ask the former governor of Alaska.

Candidate: Gabe Lewis
Current position: Dunder Mifflin/Sabre liaison
Promotional possibility: Unlikely

Why it could happen:
He’s already sort of in charge although no one really seems to care.

Why it won’t:
He’s already sort of in charge although no one really seems to care.

 

 

 

 

EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS – AIN’T NEVER GONNA HAPPEN

Candidate: Oscar Martinez
Current position: accountant
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
He’s smart enough to pull it off –  or at least he thinks he is.

Why it won’t:
We’ve already seen in Shareholder’s Meeting what happens to Oscar when the pressure’s on…he crumbles like a tortilla shell. He really does fit that old stereotype of the smug, gay Mexican.

Candidate: Angela Martin
Current position: accountant
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
She loves to be in charge and seems to be able to intimidate certain personality types into doing her bidding, despite being a statuesque 3′ 11.

Why it won’t:
Her strong people skills are outshined only by her inability to use them.

Candidate: Kevin Malone
Current position: accountant
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
It can’t.

Why it won’t:
Because we all live on earth. That, and Kevin’s greatest professional accomplishment is winning a gold medal in “most M&M’s in one’s mouth at one time.” Impressive. But not exactly what we’re looking for at this time.

Candidate: Phylis Lapin-Vance
Current position: Sales Representative
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
The sheer element of surprise combined with writer cockiness.

Why it won’t:
Sooner or later the booze would wear off and the writers would have to face what they’ve done.

Candidate: Stanley Hudson
Current position: Sales Representative
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
After years of crossword puzzles, he’s probably got a pretty decent lexicon which might serve him well in the double-talk riddled world of corporate culture. Plus, after his rant about Michael’s management style in “Did I Stutter?” , he clearly has some ideas of what a good boss isn’t.

Why it won’t:
Stanley’s “run out the clock” attitude might make him a popular boss but probably not a successful one. Plus, we’re not sure he’s technically alive – has he moved at all this season?

Candidate: Meredith Palmer
Current position: Supplier Relations Representative
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
We wouldn’t put it past Meredith to sleep her way to the top. Or even the middle. Or just laterally.

Why it won’t:
It’s hard to sleep your way to the top when you’re passed out at your desk.

Candidate: Tobey Flenderson
Current position: Human Resources Representative
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
Tobey’s a smart, well rounded guy with good interpersonal skills and an intimate knowledge of corporate structure and etiquette.

Why it won’t:
No one cares about any of that because he’s the human equivalent of a Nilla wafer.

Candidate: Creed Bratton
Current position: Quality (sometimes “quabity”) Assurance Representative
Promotional possibility: No chance

Why it could happen:
Um…well, let’s see… he’s got connections…plus, he HAS been there the longest…

Why it won’t:
His connections are mostly drug-related, cultists and the homeless.  Besides, in Creed’s mind he might already be manager for all we know.

Candidate: Kelly “Erin” Hannon
Current position: Receptionist
Promotional possibility: The longest of shots

Why it could happen:
Just for the sake of pure chaotic shock value. Could it happen? Well, Kelly’s in with the previous boss and seems to have his back no matter what. Plus, Dunder Mifflin once promoted a temp to the position of North East Regional Vice President and Director of New Media, so anything’s possible…

Why it won’t:
Besides having no experience, ideas or backbone, Erin, who was once written as just a sweet, simple human girl, is now evolving into somewhat of a cartoon character – so much so, that we have a feeling by the time next season rolls around, she’ll be wearing bright red suspenders and oversized, white, three-fingered gloves – just to complete the motiff.

 

Alright, Moguls…sound off! Did we miss any? Did we call it wrong? If not Darryl, who do YOU think is the next regional branch manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton (a division of Sabre)? 

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4 Responses to “SCOTT FREE”

  1. Ain’t gonna happen, but if Ricky Gervais popped in, I’d watch it more.

  2. Ya know, in the past, I would’ve said it wouldn’t work – that RG’s tone is too vastly different from the tone of (our version of) the show…but now, with the tone so all over the place, why not? Get him in there!

  3. Oh, so much wonderful brilliance! Okay, I’ve put a lot of thought into this over the past year. As soon as Daryl got moved to a desk, I was pretty sure that’s where they were headed. I absolutely love the idea of pulling the ole switcheroo and putting a SANE person in charge of an office gone completely mad.

    I also debated Jim. I agree, I was disappointed he gave up so easily on his position as co-manager. But I don’t think it would be terribly hard to bring him back from that. Make the reason he stepped down from that position be his loyalty to Michael or something, I don’t know. I think it would preserve the integrity (if there’s any left at this point) of the show to bring it full circle…Jim finally becoming what we all knew he had inside him from the beginning…and then keep him down (where we like him) with all the wacky/zaniness of the office. I mean, am I the only one who thinks of him as sort-of a loser right now? It was fine for him to be unmotivated when he was a “kid,” but now he’s got a wife and baby…come on! Man up! I agree this might be hard, but I’m still sorta rooting for it.

    I think if Andy got the position, it would be very similar to Michael, since I’ve always found their characters to be very similar. Might work…might just be recycled jokes…???

    Loved this post!! Can’t wait to find out who replaces Michael Scott…though no one really can imho. :/

  4. That’s a good point about Jim – him getting the promotion would make for a great torch-passing moment – especially considering all the times they sort of insinuated that was Jim’s destiny (like at the end of Survivor Man).

    And no, you’re not alone in thinking of Jim as a loser now. He’s got a wife, kid and a big boy haircut and should be living up to his potential. Pranks and slacker-dom are for guys with bangs.


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