Sunday, April 15, 2012

What I’m Watching: The Office

The Office: Season 8, Episode 20 “Welcome Party” (B+)

A month off from this show requires a reestablishment of the state of things, namely that Andy and Erin, now a couple, are still out of the office, meaning that Nellie is in fact in her bizarrely-attained role of manager. This episode wasn’t hilarious by any means, but it was a relatively solid, unusually focused hour for the way things have been lately on this show. The debate about Stanley’s mustache was amusing, and it’s a good way to get the show going again after we haven’t seen it for so long. Robert’s morning visit to the office, during which he pointed out that the 9-10am hour is the most potentially productive of the day, was actually quite reasonable, though his subsequent request that Dwight and Jim take the day to help Nellie move in was not. The preparation of the party found Pam in a typically uncomfortable place, as she struggled to reason with her cohorts but found herself outfoxed by the more committed trio of Oscar, Phyllis, and Angela. I liked how Jim stepped in to watch out for Nellie, ruining all of the magician’s setups and opposing the thinly-veiled Pam references. Nellie’s not nearly as likeable as Michael, but it’s good to see Jim stepping up to do the right thing and be a nice guy. Andy’s trip was predictably awkward, and I love that he and Erin came back just to make it worse by being completely honest about the fact that, contrary to public opinion, he’s not gay. Let’s see how it all plays out when he finally gets back to Scranton.

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