Sunday, May 6, 2012

What I’m Watching: The Office

The Office: Season 8, Episode 23 “Turf War” (C)

There’s a point at which shows have gone too far off the rails. Many would argue that this show peaked and then reached that point a while ago, but I think it’s something that’s becoming slowly clear with great episodes few and far in between and a gradual decline of the creativity of all of the characters. Robert California was a useful character to reinvigorate things in a period of transition, but now he’s come to throwing up in the office, leaving drunk voicemails for his subordinates, and failing to act decisively in the midst of a crisis. His telling Pam to list the things that she needed to do before helping him was one of the installment’s lone amusing moments, and one that at least supports the fact that he’s not the only one who doesn’t do any work in the office. The problem was that the B-plot was the search for information about the voicemail, involving Pam, Angela, and a hapless Gabe, and it just wasn’t all that funny, especially when Nellie declared that she was at a good place with all of the people that had left her voicemails to the contrary. Chris Bauer, best known as eternally drunk Andy from “True Blood,” wasn’t entirely memorable in his guest spot as a rival salesman, and it’s only so entertaining to see Jim and Dwight working together again. Andy’s garnering of the client by giving him his house key was over-the-top, though not entirely out of character, and offering to sell the company to David Wallace seems like a last ditch effort to save both the company and the show.

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