The long-awaited season eight premiere of The Office — no more Steve Carell — has come and gone. And although for the last few months, we’ve been teased ever-so-subtly about who would replace Carell’s character Michael Scott as regional manager of Dunder Mifflin, we didn’t know the answer for sure until the first few moments of the premiere. Well, the answer is Andy (Ed Helms). But what else did we learn from the first episode of season eight? Here’s a list. I didn’t number each point, but believe me, there’s 15 things. Feel free to recount, though. I’ve just given you homework. You’re welcome.
The episode opens with the Dunder Mifflin staff taking part in the Internet viral sensation of planking. They’re a little late to the game, but we do learn that Erin (Ellie Kemper) has no idea what planking is but she’s excited to be a part of it, anyway (watch below). We also learn that Dwight (Rainn Wilson) will turn over the table you’re planking on.
Through a spoiler leaked online weeks ago, we already knew that Jenna Fischer’s real-life pregnancy was going to be worked into this season’s story line, that Pam (Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) would be having their second child. However, we didn’t know the gender of the kid. Now we do: it’s a boy!
Speaking of babies, we learn that Angela (Angela Kinsey) is also knocked up, but much less further along than Pam. Oh yeah, and apparently she got married to the Senator over the summer. And she’s all-too-happy to remind Pam about how much thinner she is.
We learn how exactly Robert California (James Spader), became the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin’s parent company Sabre. He was offered Michael Scott’s position, but decided he didn’t want it. So he convinced the then current-CEO, played by Kathy Bates last season, to leave her job and to make him the new CEO. He’s a mysterious, powerful person, it turns out.
We learn that Stanley has given himself a new catch phrase: “Shove it up your butt.” The only question now is whether it’ll catch on well enough that NBC can justify producing T-shirts adorned with the phrase. Only time will tell.
The first episode of season eight was written by B.J. Novak, who plays Ryan. Novak had written 14 episodes before this.
We learn that Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) wears beige knee-high stockings. In a scene where California exits Andy’s office and entered the main workspace, Phyllis throws herself off her chair to create a diversion, exposing her gams.
We learn that California doesn’t have an office. He makes the conference room his home and in lieu of a desktop computer, he uses a touchscreen tablet– couldn’t tell if it was an iPad or not.
We learn that Jim and Pam’s daughter Cecelia likes Sesame Street; Elmo is her favorite character.
We already knew the name of the episode was “The List” and would revolve around a mysterious list penned by California and discovered by Erin. The list consisted of the names of Dunder Mifflin’s employees separated into two sides. What we learn is that one side represents the folks California feels are “winners” while the remaining names are, you guessed it, “losers.” The winners = Jim, Dwight, Darryl, Phyllis, Angela, Oscar, Kevin and Toby, who actually removes walks out of the winners lunch; he doesn’t want any part of these classifications. The losers = Kelly, Creed, Stanley, Andy, Pam, Erin, Meredith and Gabe.
We learn that Pam doesn’t have any odd pregnancy food cravings (yet), but her hormones have made her into a weepy, crying mess. To help facilitate her crying jags, she watches a sad dog video online. I’ve embedded the video below so you can be just like Pam!
Finally, we learn Robert California does not use ball point pens.
UPDATE: Sept. 29: Three deleted scenes from the season premiere!
In this first one, Andy thinks it’s actually cool not to know what the hell Robert California’s list really means:
In this scene, we get a little more color from the “winners” lunch and the “losers” pizza party. Although, in this video, the pizza hasn’t arrived.
And finally, we get an extension of last week’s episode’s planking opening. And someone in the office tries to start a new craze. Check it out.