Three more actors to add to the “who will replace Steve Carell on The Office” list: word has come out that Catherine Tate, James Spader, and Ray Romano will all be appearing the season finale. With the already announced Ricky Gervais and Will Arnett appearances, that makes five possible successors to the Michael Scott throne. But screw all those other guys! Give it to Tate, NBC.
Now, it's entirely possible you don't know who Tate is, especially if you're not from the UK or into aliens that travel through time and space. (That is a Doctor Who reference. I can't say for sure if Tate is an alien or not, nor can I speak of her hobbies.) So, a quick primer: her sketch comedy show, The Catherine Tate Show, has been nominated for six BAFTAs, she played quite possibly the best companion of the revived Doctor Who, and she's a
ginger redhead. Please don't hold the fact that she was in that ghastly adaptation of Gulliver's Travels against her, because everyone needs to eat.
But here is the real reason she is the perfect Michael Scott replacement: I'll be damned if she can't be extremely annoying yet loveable at the same time. As opposed to Ray Romano, who is just the first part. And James Spader, who… well, maybe he can do it, but all I can say for sure is that he's looking ever increasingly like Annette Bening. In fact, when she first appeared on Doctor Who, people totally hated her impatient, self-centered, often screeching character! But over the course of her run on the show, her character — who never really lost a lot of those qualities — became a fan favorite. (Well, this fan. I'm choosing to extrapolate based on that data. You want facts, read The New York Times.)
I'm sure the writers of The Office are going to try to differentiate the new boss from the old one, but come on: the show doesn't really work unless the person in charge is a blowhard. And while I love Arnett and Gervais, they would create a much higher risk of a character that seemed like a retread of Michael Scott. Tate is the only contender who's truly excited me about The Office going forward. Don't miss this chance, NBC.
Here's a clip of Tate doing her thing. It will assure you that she would be hell to work for: