The show is so much better when the wackiness is somewhat plausible. Carell was written wackier and wackier to the point of not seeming to be someone who could realistically function as a human being. That was then transferred on to Helms and really brought down the whole show. Removing both of them from the picture has really helped to bring back some of that realism and the show is really benefiting from it.
Agreed. Also every higher-up boss they had either turned into a moron or was bizarrely eccentric, to the point you wondered how they managed to stay in business. They seemed more like wacky sitcom boss-characters than anything one would encounter in real life. The show was stronger when it had more of real-world grounding.