Jake Lacy, Clark Duke Join 'The Office' Cast Shuffle
Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch has had the "Help Wanted" sign in the window. Monday, NBC announced that they found a few takers.
"Better With You" alum Jake Lacy will join the upcoming ninth season alongside fellow newbie Clark Duke, TVLine.com reported Monday afternoon.
For Lacy, it's his recovery gig after starring in Fox's "The Goodwin Games" pilot, then being dropped from the series last month. Duke's most recent ongoing TV work was on the 2007-2011 ABC Family dramedy "Greek" as Dale Kettlewell.
Both are set to be series regulars, but that's about all that's known about their roles as of now.
Whatever their respective roles, there's room for an impact to be made. Little by little, whether they've simply grown ambitious or simply seen the writing in bold letters on the wall since Steve Carell's 2011 departure as Michael Scott, major players are moving onward and upward. Writer-actor Mindy Kaling left following the eighth season to launch her comedy "The Mindy Project" on Fox. B.J. Novak won't be a regular as Ryan Howard. Showrunner Paul Lieberstein is also on his way out to launch the spin-off centered on Dwight Schrute, likely also leading to Rainn Wilson's departure around mid-season this year.
It's all leading to a rumored "mini-reboot," as TVLine.com describes, when the ninth season premieres Sept. 20 with a full slate of episodes.
There's little sadder than seeing a once-great show limp toward its end. Alas, "The Office" has been all but crippled for a little more than a full season by this point. Probably longer, actually. It lost a certain intangible magic early in its run when Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley married. It got progressively flatter not long after Pam birthed the couple's first child.
The biggest mistake might have been continuing the series at all after Carell's departure.
Set aside that Michael's social awkwardness despite his seat of corporate authority was the foundation of not just the show's humor, but the show's heart in Michael's moments of vulnerability. Michael's final moments in the airport - especially his final, silent "That's what she said" and his long, silent hug with Pam - could've been one of television's great last looks.
Instead, in a microcosm of the season to come, we were treated to an anticlimactic coda of Will Ferrell jamming cake into his face. It hit a note that the series would unfortunately hold through much of the eighth season: "This is completely unnecessary, and feels like an utterly different show. This just isn't 'The Office' anymore."