Monday, May 23, 2011

What I’m Watching: The Office (Season Finale)

The Office: Season 7, Episodes 25 & 26 “Search Committee, Parts 1 & 2” (B+)

I might have had some doubts about the deafening amount of stunt casting that was advertised to be included in this episode, but all of my fears were allayed by this solid hour. Each of the celebrity cameos was relegated to just that – a cameo, in which their presence was superbly utilized without dominating any of the episode. Only one among them was given a semi-prominent showcase, and that was James Spader, namely because his character thought quite a bit of himself. The casting was dead-on, with Spader playing a sex-obsessed and terrifyingly intimidating madman, Will Arnett as a man unwilling to reveal his supposed plan for getting the company back on track, Jim Carrey as an applicant desperate to get back to his family vacation, and Ray Romano as a sad sack interviewee who sabotaged his chances in part by eating his lunch during the interview. I’m glad Ricky Gervais wasn’t given too much of a soapbox on which to stand, Skyping in remotely for the call rather than coming into the office. The internal candidates were just as entertaining. Dwight coming in wearing a disguise was definitely the best, though I was more impressed (with the show) for showcasing Darryl’s failure to take his interview seriously, followed by his horribly uncomfortable daughter stunt. The Angela engagement subplot was amusing, as were Pam’s attempts to subvert Creed’s destruction of the company. I like the way this finale worked, and I have some hope that this show can do well next year. This season was highly uneven but ultimately fun, highlighted by two high points, both involving Michael’s departure. Now, can Steve Carell finally win his Emmy this year? Let’s hope so.

Season grade: B-/B
Season MVP: Steve Carell


Greg Boyd said...

Yeah, I was surpised to read about the dislike this episode has received. I thought it was pretty terrific, although not every guest appearance worked (Catherine Tate wasn't funny at all, for instance). Spader was awesome, though, and in terms of pure laughs-per-minute this episode was right up there with "PDA".

Surprised to see this season get a lower grade than season 6, though. I personally thought it was a major improvement, although still nowhere near the level of the show's glory years. I went with a "B" for the season.

Movies with Abe said...

I went through and evaluated my grades of all the episodes as well as what I gave last season. I still think this show does well sometimes, and I think its good episodes are more than worth its mediocre ones. I enjoyed all these cameos, including Tate's, and I look forward to hopefully seeing some more of these faces in the fall.