Office Watch: Banking on Positive Thinking

Trying to focus on the positives as The Office creeps closer to the end with another mediocre episode

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There was a new episode of The Office on last night, the first since the massively dreadful episode, “The Farm.” Last night’s episode started strong, but petered out towards the end as the show’s main source of humor, previews of the documentary about the office started popping up on the Internet, got stale. The funny just couldn’t be sustained, a problem that has plagued the show since Steve Carrell left. My darling wife and I laughed, which has been a rarity this season, but it was nothing compared to Parks and Recreation. Parks is just a better show right now. It’s in it’s prime, whereas The Officeis playing out the string- sticking it out for one last season.

Parks and Recreation is LeBron, The Office is Rasheed Wallace.

I realized what exactly my relationship is with The Office after “The Farm” and last night’s episode was another act of charity watching- less want too, more have too. We could watched an episode of House of Cards or done something crazy, like read a book or something. But no, we watched The Office. If anything, the promise of seeing Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard made it slightly more appealing. Slightly. It’d be cool to watch him do something besides strike out and/or ground out to the second baseman. Hey yo!

But I don’t want to stay negative. It’s too nice out and there’s enough negative things out there as it is. I want to focus on the few positives from last’s night show.

Positives

Anything Erin said. Whether it was talking about Dwight’s visitors (which was part of a dull and uneventful B plot about the new lady in Dwight’s life’s Dad wanting to go halfsies on a tractor) and that they’re from the forest “where we harvest our paper” or upon learning that the camera crew secretly filmed them, wondering if the cameras filmed her while sleeping. She remains one of the show’s few bright spots and should be in the running for MVP of the season. She’s the only character whose humor hasn’t lost it’s spark and still feels fresh.

Speaking of fresh- old, fun Andy seemed to be back at times last night and for the most part, it was pretty entertaining. It was mildly funny to see him reacting to Internet comments and fitting that he’d react so strongly to them. Part of me was hoping he’d punch of a hole in the wall again. Kind of a bummer that he didn’t.

That fact that some of those comments were from Nellie was pretty great. While I still don’t understand her role on the show, I do appreciate her role as Andy’s foil.

Last night featured one of the better cold opens of the season as the office reacted to Phyllis listening to Fifty Shades or Gray on tape, or more specifically on her Ipod.


The subplot with Dwight and the tractor was boring and I’m not sure how Clark got involved, but Clark, like Erin is one of the few characters on the show providing a spark. He’s the Jackie Bradley Jr. of The Office. His lack of knowledge about augers was funny and I loved his words of consolation to Dwight, “Let’s go to a bar and grab us some 4s.” I’m a big Clark fan.

Those were the positives. Just missing the cut was Oscar & Angela leaving The Senator a message about his being outed and Angela’s affair with Dwight. I refuse to get into the negatives, but negatives, you know who you are (anything involving Jim & Pam, Jim’s job in Philly and the son of a bitch Brian the camera guy who, like my student loan bills, just won’t go away.)

The creators of The Office keep saying strong the show’s ending will be, but with each episode, I’m having my doubts. In the end they should just be thankful NBC is keeping Parks and Recreation on before them.

Photos: NBC

  1. I, too, am more of a “have to” rather than “want to” Office watcher these days. It used to be my favorite show – and I mean FAVORITE – as in I could receit episodes word for word. Now, it’s not as funny but I whole heartedly agreed with you about Erin. I am hoping that the series ends with a bang. I miss Michael Gary Scott.

    Reply

    1. we’re on the same page. the show should have ended when Michael left.

      Reply

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