Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What I’m Watching: The Office

The Office: Season 7, Episode 10 “China” (B+)

Here we have an episode that shouldn’t necessarily work but somehow does. In the plot department, it’s actually pretty thin, taking four people and creating two conflicts that can involve the rest of the office indirectly. I’m not sure how fully either of the plotlines works, but the episode as a whole proves decently enjoyable, and this far into the show, that’s something worth celebrating. What’s especially funny about this episode is that Michael being right and Oscar being wrong is purely happenstance – it’s a case of Michael having read something correct and remembered it coinciding coincidentally with Oscar being in the dark about a certain subject. This is the kind of “classic Michael” episode I can get behind, where Michael, in addition to some of the people around him, realizes he does have some strength and proceeds to flaunt it, only to find himself in over his head and unable to deliver. Oscar’s reputation as a know-it-all has never been explored so extensively, yet it makes so much sense given that he’s always the first one (besides Jim) to point out the flaws in one of Michael’s plans, and he was a member of the Finer Things Club. Dwight’s efforts to diminish comfort in the building and Pam’s bluff were mildly entertaining, but the important thing there is that the two of them really are friends and Dwight just wants to appease one of the only people who’s actually somewhat nice to him. On the less prominent plotline front, Darryl getting annoyed at Andy’s texts was fun, and his surprisingly thrilled reaction to the episode-ending text was amusing as well.

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