The Office: Season 9, Episode 1 “The New Guys” (C)
This show is finally entering its last season, and it’s definitely time. This finale, more than anything, lacks freshness, and while it’s not completely awful, it does feel terribly unoriginal and repetitive. The notion of “new Dwight” and “new Jim” is too obvious, and it suggests that there’s no possibility for change on this show, just more of the same. That was especially true when Dwight realized he had met his match – the bloody mouth and hanging from the bike were his lowlights – and Jim’s acknowledgment that Pete was just like him. Dwight Jr., whose name I’ve already forgotten, is too well-liked by the office to earn that nickname, and Jake Lacy, who was wonderfully unintelligent on “Better With You,” is wasted in a role that elicits laughs merely because of his random nickname, Plop. I did like that Jim was finally motivated to accept a different position, and that Pam staunchly defended her boring life to Dwight. It was also intriguing to learn that, while Dwight is not the father of Angela’s baby, the Senator is having an affair with Oscar, which is terrific news! I’m tired of all the Andy and Nellie business, two characters who have become excessively stale, all the more unfortunate since Andy used to be such a great addition to the show. Kevin’s turtle story was a bit overblown, but decently entertaining, and it was fun to see both Kelly and Ryan get post-mortems rather than having them simply disappear. Creed’s confused recap of the day’s events best sums up the episode – more of the same, and let’s just hope it gets funnier as the show counts down to its final episode.