With Steve Carell leaving "The Office" cast mid-season, fans have been fretfully speculating about the fate of their beloved sitcom after his character "Michael Scott" abandons the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Yesterday, Deadline reported that funny man Will Ferrell had signed on for a four-episode arc as branch manager to help the show transition during Carell's exit. Will the Old School star sustain the sitcom, which some have criticized as "stale" in recent seasons, or is this just a "bad idea"?

Score: "This has potential written all over it," says Eric Eisenberg at Television Blend. Ferrell and Carell, who worked together successfully on Anchorman, "are comedians cut from the same cloth." I can't wait to see "how they're going to play off each other" this time. Let's hope they can convince Ferrell to stick around for more than four episodes.
"Will Ferrell to appear in four episodes of 'The Office' later this season"

How worrisome: While I like Will Ferrell, this "bad idea" seems ill-conceived, says Linda Holmes at NPR. How can Ferrell "create a bridge" to the post-Carell period when he's a new, temporary character with no ties to the show? He'll just be an unneeded distraction. And his "tendency towards mania" is the "last thing" a sitcom that's already stocked with crazies like Carell, Rainn Wilson, and Ed Helms needs.
"Why Will Ferrell's visit to 'The Office' could be a bad idea"

Stunt casting can be dangerous: Though cautiously excited by this news, I'm starting to wonder "how many guest stars is too many?" asks Melissa Maerz in the Los Angeles Times. From Tim Gunn on "Gossip Girl" to Gwyneth Paltrow on "Glee," celebrity cameos are clogging up TV, and, given that Ricky Gervais is already guesting on "The Office," Ferrell could be too much of a good thing. Still, "as long as we don't see Anne Hathaway working as Dunder Mifflin's janitor anytime soon, it might be fun."
"Will Ferrell comes to 'The Office'; more celebrity cameos on the way?"