How The Office Got Its Groove Back
NBC, if you're going to promote yourself as "Comedy Night Done Right," then you're going to have to crank out more episodes like tonight's The Office and 30 Rock. It also might help if they stop promoting Kath & Kim as their hot new comedy. Seriously, guys, you're not fooling anyone.
Also! I couldn't ever recap 30 Rock because I would just end up quoting the whole thing, so instead...I'm going to cite an uncanny similarity that I have to Liz Lemon from the episode. Trust, there's always one, usually more. This week's confession? Like dear Liz, I would also buy cream soda in bulk. Yum.
But enough about that, let's talk about the awesomeness that was "Surplus." Oscar, the only competent accountant, dumbs it down for Michael, who still recognized it was a surplus yet needed the lemonade stand analogy. The $4300 needed to be spent by the end of the day and I suspect that Oscar was holding out on that little tidbit of information until he'd be most likely to get the copier. The matter is taken to the whole office where an EPIC showdown begins--Oscar in one corner, Pam in the other. Use the chair, Pam! *rimshot*
Toby thinks the money should be put towards air quality control and I never realized how much I missed him until Michael threw back at him, "You're the silent killer!" A barely-audible "You'll see..." made up for the ridiculousness of him coming back.
Jim is firmly in the copier camp, which puts him at odds with his fiancee. I know that in some less-than-intelligent corners of the internet, people were freaking out that this was going to be the end of JAM, along with every other minor conflict. Dear people-who-cannot-comprehend-subtlety: Jim and Pam are going to have a long, blissful life with one another and they will bear many floppy-haired, artsy children. STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT.
I knew none of you were actually concerned about that; I just needed to get it off my chest. Pam's competitive streak has been shown in other storylines, but she was on fire this week. The difference between Pam of "Frame Toby" and the Pam of "Surplus" is that she was dealing with the whole office as opposed to just Michael. She knows how to control him better than any one else. As for convincing Jim, she fluffed up her curls and applied some seriously hot red lipstick. It's a good try, but Jim somehow resists her temptation. I'm sure they have real fights out of the office, but anything we see on camera is just to keep their mundane work semi-interesting.
I was surprised to find that I wasn't very invested in the Dwight-Angela-Andy plot at the beginning of tonight's episode. For going on months, they've dragged it out and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but my interest has started to dwindle. On the other hand, I'm always in favor of a trip to Schrute Farms. The conditions seem less-than-ideal for a wedding, like how "no slaughtering" must be requested at an additional fee. Andy steps in manure not once, but twice. Is there a term for doing a lame joke once and then repeating it so it seems funnier? I guess I did laugh the second time, so it worked. Dwight has converted one of the barns to be a sweetly romantic setting for the wedding. I'll admit, I can see why Angela gets the American Girl Doll clothes charmed right off of her. In a twist you could see coming from 186 paces away, the German Mennonite Minister weds Dwight and Angela right there and then. It's a confusing time for her anyhow and then Dwight has to go and ruin it all. In an unexpected display of affection, Angela sucks Andy's face off during work, post-tuna sandwich. Ugh.
Bigger bonus: Mose squarely hitting Andy in the head with a ball.
There are a number of tactics used in the final surplus decision, such as letting Hank the Security Guard decide to everyone suddenly showering Michael with the affection he so often craves and never receives. Choking down his tiramisu, Michael learns that he can get 15% of the ending amount. $645 can buy a lot of coats or one awesome fur coat. Instead, in a rare display of workplace ingenuity, Michael lets Oscar and Pam duke it out. That would have been fun to see, but we as the viewers only get the end result--chairs win! The show excels when it takes small plots and expands them to the main plots, which is what made the halcyon days of Seasons One and Two so wonderful.
How great was that tag scene with Jim and Pam? Making copies has never seemed sexier. Congratulations to John Krasinski for Sundance selecting his film, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, to be shown at the festival. And more importantly, congratulations to me for living in the state that hosts Sundance, so you better plan on some hardcore celebrity-stalking going on that week. I'll probably call it Operation:JKras.
Last thing--I have to know, would you have sided with Oscar or Pam? I would have wanted new chairs.