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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So the "Office" spinoff ISN'T a spinoff? STOP MESSING WITH OUR HEADS!

Sometimes there's too much television for one Channel Surfing blogger to handle. Or, in this case, too much breaking television news about one of our favorite shows. Bloggers Sara Boyd and Adam Reinhard discuss the news that the rumored "Office" spinoff will no longer be a spinoff.

Adam: Apparently the economy is in worse shape than we thought. Not only are Fannie and Freddie nosediving and U.S. dollars are currently worth less than pine cones (adjusted for inflation,) but now comes news that Dunder Mifflin will in fact NOT be opening a new branch come fall.

Yes, it seems that "Office" spinoff we've long been dreading (the one that was supposed to at one time focus on a minor character, then a recently departed character, or maybe an entirely new character, but use the same format, or maybe not, my sister, my daughter, my sister, my daughter) may not be a spinoff after all. According to Variety, "Saturday Night Live" funnywoman and recent "Baby Mama" star Amy Poehler is in "final negotiations" to star in the new show, which will still be produced by "Office" head honchos Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, but won't be a spinoff, "confirming speculation that the show would not be an extension of the original but a whole new series."

What say you, Sara? Happy? Sad? In a state of concussed-Dwight-like confusion?

Sara: As fun as it would be to be in a state of concussed-Dwight-like confusion (minus the car puking, natch) I must say, I am neither surprised nor disappointed. Per the definition of a spinoff, it must be just that. When producers said it'll be an "Office" spinoff, but will not star any "Office" characters and may or may not take place in an office setting I began to wonder if perhaps the pressures of writing something better than the swill they gave us last season had made Mr. Daniels and Mr. Schur a bit nutty. The fact that even when the NBC official fall line-up was released they were still coining it "The Office Spinoff," I knew I shouldn't be holding my breath.

I think this is good news. Replicating the "Office" -- already replicated from the U.K. -- is not a wise choice, especially when the show is still running ... and not that well, at that. "The Office" is its own breed and even if NBC chose one of our brilliant ideas for a spinoff, it still wouldn't be as successful as potentially starting from scratch. Take the "Office" humor, take the sarcastically perfect jokes, even take a few "That's what she said's", but make it a whole new series.

Adam, what are your hopes for this non-Office spinoff? Think it has a chance?

Adam: I think if Poehler signs on as the lead, then it's a good first step toward having a chance. I've been a fan of Poehler's manic, outsized comedic chops since "Upright Citizens Brigade," and was disappointed when she hitched her star to that sinking ship, the SS SNL. I have been waiting for her to break big, especially with her own sitcom, and this looks like her shot. I understand she's kind of a love-her-or-hate-her comedian (as, sadly, most female comedians are) but I for one am delighted she's being considered for this role.

And that role would be...? See, we still don't know. No one has any idea what this friggin' non-spinoff is going to be about. Will it be set in an office? On a farm? Will co-star Aziz Ansari play President Lincoln's butler, with Poehler as Mary Todd? (Wait, I think that's been done...) What I'm getting at is, I've got high hopes for something brilliant, but I'm like "Short Circuit's" Number 5: I need more input, Stephanie. For now, let's just be glad that "The Office" spinoff is apparently dead, and we can get on with our lives.

-- Sara Boyd,
-- Adam Reinhard,



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