B.J. Novak returned to the Scranton Branch of Dunder-Mifflin at the beginning of new season of The Office as Ryan, but has received little screen time since. Michael Ausiello is reporting today that Novak will be taking a leave of absence soon from The Office in order to go to Europe and film his role in Quentin Tarantino’s new WWII film Inglorious Basterds. This is somewhat old news – we all knew that Novak would be shooting this film, and soon – what is new is the insinuation from a source saying that Novak may never return to The Office, at least in an on-screen role. He may come back on later as a writer, but we may soon see the end of Ryan the Temp.
Novak was one of show runner Greg Daniels’ very first hires on The Office, and he was brought on to be a double threat. Novak has written a number of Office episodes. He was also integral in bringing John Krasinski into the fold as Jim – he and Novak went to high school together. While Novak has always been good on the series, it does feel like his character has hit something of a brick wall. Ryan has run his course, and it’s been a shame how little screen time he’s garnered since returning to The Office this season.
Additionally, his departure opens up a big story possibility, in the case that Pam returns to Scranton and wants her old job back as receptionist. At the very least, Ryan leaving Scranton will give The Office writers a chance to force Pam into making a big life decision. Just thinking about it, where is there left to go for Ryan? He is a disgraced employee. If he leaves one more time, I’m not sure if there’s any believable way to bring him back into the office once more. Perhaps when he returns from Europe, he’ll take on a role in the now-being-developed Amy Poehler sitcom being headed up by Office bigwigs Daniels and Michael Schur.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)