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The Office grasps at twists

NBC’s commitment to The Office is firm as a freshly botoxed forehead,but big changes are rumoured to be brewing when the season finale airs,no doubt hoping to bring buzz back to the show.

Office Supplies: NBC’s commitment to The Office is firm as a freshly botoxed forehead, but big changes are rumoured to be brewing when the season finale airs, no doubt hoping to bring buzz back to the show.

According to E! Online, one big change is clear enough from the title of the season finale: Goodbye, Toby. Jenna “Pam” Fischer had hinted someone would be leaving the show, but the E! story informs us Paul Lieberstein, who’s a writer in addition to playing Toby, isn’t leaving the show, which begs the question: Huh?

According to TVGuide.com, Amy Ryan will be making an appearance on the Office season finale as Toby’s replacement and the unfortunate object of Michael Scott’s latest crush. Maybe. Michael Ausiello of TV Guide also reports — through an on-set mole who was nameless due to breaking a confidentiality agreement (can you say leak?) — that three of the following six major plot points will inflict cliffhanger status on the start of Season 5: “An engagement, a death, an infidelity, a pregnancy, a fire and a coming out.”

The E! story reported another writer/actor — Mike Schur, who plays Dwight’s straight-out-of-Deliverance cousin — will be running next season’s Office spinoff with executive producer Greg Daniels. Set to debut after the next Super Bowl with a special episode of the original show, the spinoff will not feature Rainn Wilson’s Dwight according to fervent denials by the production, so rumours are abounding the new series will likely be built around Ed Helms, the Daily Show alumnus who plays Andy, Dwight’s nemesis/soulmate.

Fans of the show are conflicted about the spinoff. Some wouldn’t mind seeing Michael leave, others are tired of the Jim and Pam romance and want to see some sort of Mary Tyler Moore Show breakout for her character as Pam moves to Manhattan and away from Jim, who can resume his far more interesting dalliance with Karen. It all stinks of desperation to me, and I predict if neither the spinoff nor the original show can throw off sparks next season, it will be corporate buyout time for Dunder Mifflin.

You must be kidding
: If you don’t have kids, you’re missing out on a whole parallel universe of programming, most of it commercial free.

If you’re part of the childless demographic, don’t let yourself be put off by Barney, the Wiggles and their ilk — a remarkable amount of stuff is really off the wall, and the strangest of the lot is Yo Gabba Gabba, a Nick Jr. show featuring a DJ dressed like a 1970s rec room lampshade and regular guest spots by Biz Markie and Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh.

Its mission, besides teaching colours and numbers, is to churn out a new generation of spotty indie kids to choke the streets near any college with their thick glasses and LP-sized shoulder bags. To that end, the musical guests on May 23’s show will be Pet Sounds cover band The Shins, which will doubtless empty out English lit and Psych 101 classes at liberal arts universities that day.

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