Sunday, April 17, 2011

What I’m Watching: The Office

The Office: Season 7, Episode 20 “Training Day” (B)

With an increasing number of famous guest stars being announced as this show tries to recover both from a later-seasons slump and the impending departure of Steve Carell, it’s going to be a delicate balance between easing in the new and completely jumping the shark. Fortunately, this first meet-cute is fairly subtle and decently done. While it isn’t without its less effective moments, it’s generally entertaining and enjoyable. The meeting at the bar was a bit dumb but both Will Ferrell and Carell played it well, and they also excelled at fighting over how things should be done in the office. Michael, if nothing else, knows how to fight back, and bringing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since Deangelo has a peanut allergy was brilliant. Deangelo calling the conference room a multi-purpose room was amusing to me, and I like how everyone is trying to suck up to him, especially Darryl and his new big hat. I’m less comforted by his abrupt snapping at Jim and Pam about their baby talk and his usage of Andy as a court jester, and I think the character needs some finessing. Everyone at the office may have warmed to him immediately, but I think I’m going to need some time. His politically correct but factually incorrect question about the Native American girl was hilarious, and I liked Michael’s appropriate, mature response: “you’ll figure it out.” He’s going to miss the office, and we’re definitely going to miss him. One of his parting words of wisdom: “I’ve been working so hard, I forgot what it’s like to be hardly working.”

1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

I really didn't like this one, although Ferrell was not bad. The Andy stuff was just kind of nasty, though there were some amusing bits (the opening scene, Michael calling Jim and Pam "JAP", and especially Andy asking Darryl for help with a racist joke).

I will say that this season has been a bit better than last season. Still, most weeks this once-great show lags so far behind NBC's other workplace comedy that it's almost becoming sad. Still hopeful that Michael's final two episodes (including next week's, which will apparently focus on Michael's last Dundies) will deliver some great moments.