Will Ferrell on 'The Office': What the Critics Are Saying
Will Ferrell began his multiepisode arc on NBC's The Office on Thursday night.
He plays DeAngelo Vickers, who is taking over as boss at Dundler-Mifflin's Scranton branch while Steve Carell's Michael Scott prepares to move to Colorado with his fiancee (Amy Ryan).
So what did the critics think about his debut?
The Wall Street Journal's Julie Steinberg wrote that Ferrell's fans might have a bit surprised by his performance.
"For viewers who were expecting the laugh-out-loud hijinks of Ferrell's Ron Burgundy of Anchorman, they may have been surprised to encounter a more muted, sometimes-mean manager with a penchant for physical humor and odd power displays," she wrote. "Those power displays, like conducting a meeting while getting a shave from a barber, could probably be tolerated if they were part of a charmingly odd yet welcoming veneer, but so far, Vickers doesn't seem genuinely interested in getting to know -- or love -- his staff like Scott."
TV Examiner's Matt Carter argued that Ferrell's presence revived the long-running comedy.
"Ferrell's debut was a welcome surprise -- it brought some much-needed energy back to some of the characters, and looks to be a way to show some of the workers over time just how valuable Michael has been to their company," he wrote.
TV Fanatic's Dan Forcella also gave Ferrell a thumbs-up, noting his chemistry with the cast.
"Superstar funnyman Will Ferrell definitely lived up to the hype in his first episode of what is supposed to be a three- or four ep-stint as guest star," Forcella wrote. "By no means did he live up to his best role in an office -- that title being reserved for the part of Mr. Tarkanian, manager at the 'fourth best in-flight magazine in the business' back in his SNL days -- but he certainly gelled with the rest of the cast well enough."
Meanwhile, Meghan Carlson of Buddy TV praised Ferrell for not going over-the-top with the role.
"Ferrell excels at playing the confident, dumb popular guy, and he's a version of that same character here, but with that essential twist: DeAngelo is not a nice guy. At least he doesn't seem so," she wrote. "What I liked is how his withholding only made the workers want to please him more. I thought Ferrell played the shift between happy-go-lucky and happy-go-f---yourself DeAngelo surprisingly well. Surprising because it was restrained, at least by Ferrell standards."