Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I’m Watching: The Office

The Office: Season 6, Episode 10 “Murder” (C+)

My frustration with this episode is similar to that of the office employees: why waste time role playing when the future of the company is at stake? This is just the latest in a string of episodes that haven’t really accomplished anything, and the idea that Dunder-Mifflin may be going under is pretty major in terms of the future of the show. Bringing it up and so purposely pushing its resolution off feels like a tease, and Wallace’s quick, frank phone call with Jim confirms that there is indeed something to be worried about, but just like Jim, we’re not going to know for a while exactly how worried to be. Demonstrating the fact that Michael is, in his own particular ways, a good boss is hardly necessary at this point because it only serves to weaken Jim’s own credibility. Jim does very little this episode besides fidget, shout, and look desperately at the camera, and it’s not becoming for him. He’s a terrific character because he’s subdued in the way that he checks Michael, and having him become so easily flappable takes away from that. This episode was overstuffed with outrageous moments that raised eyebrows but also produced laughs, like Michael’s hamster tube plan and Oscar’s high-pitched, barely audible attempt at a Southern accent. This certainly gets the office together, but it’s under false pretenses, and the interactions are all fabricated through the playing of Michael’s game. On a closing note, it appears that Erin and Andy have become the new Jim and Pam, woefully unaware of their mutual feelings and destined to do nothing for years about it until it’s way too late (or maybe not).


Greg Boyd said...

Apparently this show has not been very good the last couple of weeks. I'm sorry to hear that, since I'll be getting to season 6 relatively soon.

Season 4, brief though it was, was excellent. I particularly loved the hour-long episodes "Launch Party" and "Goodbye Toby". But "Dinner Party" was still the highlight of the season for me.

So far, season 5 has been pretty good as well. "Weight Loss" was really good, with some wonderful moments (Jim proposing to Pam and Dwight driving Phyllis five miles out of town and leaving her there were my favorites). "Business Ethics" was good, and Michael has apparently found a soul mate in Holly (who is just as crazy as he is). It's a pity that their relationship is about to end after what happened in "Crime Aid", but I've still enjoyed the season so far. Hopefully it doesn't deteriorate as it goes along.

Sandy Blues said...

I haven't been able to see any of the current season as I'm abroad without access to tv or an internet connection capable of downloading movies, but I could have seen this coming. The introduction of new characters in the last couple seasons dramatically shifted the focus of the show and changed the once-consistent behavior of the staple office employees. Although character growth makes sense for any show, I can imagine how the changes might be frustrating to watch.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pumped to check out the new season when I get home in January, but I think it may be hitting a wall. Maintaining the MOs of the characters is easy when the company remains stable, but the writers seem like they are trying to rock the boat a little too much. Hopefully they’ll get their act together before they capsize.