The Office (Season 8) (2011)

It’s another strong season for NBC’s resilient and surprisingly durable adaptation of the BBC original. Although Steve Carell’s absence is felt from the first episode, it’s clear that the producers and writers made a good faith effort to keep kicking the can and it makes the entire season rather endearing, as it struggles to find its footing again while managing to propel the established characters and their respective arcs forward. James Spader joins this season as the new boss and unfortunately isn’t given much to do (his Robert is easily the least interesting character), but it’s a negligible faux pas instead of a defining one. There’s plenty more for Rainn Wilson and, especially, Ed Helms, and Catherine Tate’s Nellie makes for a great addition to the roster of supporting characters.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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