Saturday, October 20, 2007

the office: you need to access your uncrazy side.

It took four episodes, but I’m pleased to make the following announcement: The Office is back to normal. For the first time this season, we were treated to an episode with great character development, wonderful lines, and hilarious gags. And Darryl. Oh, Darryl, dare I say you will be the breakout star of 2007? Too soon, right? OK, I’ll sit tight but (through clenched teeth) I think you’re gonna be the breakout star of 2007.

Last night’s episode dealt with something I myself worry about constantly: Money, the spending of money, and the losing of money. Don’t let my Loehmann’s threads fool you: At the end of the week, all the remaining money left in my bank account is immediately withdrawn and handed over to the nearest bartender. So watching Michael struggle to understand and deal with his impending bankruptcy wasn’t easy. And knowing that Jan, who we had such high hopes for, was one of the reasons behind the spending didn’t help things. She’s leechy, that Jan girl.

But on to the episode! Michael watches The Devil Wears Prada, and fancies himself an Editrix. I could watch people throwing things at others all day, so both the opening coat gag, and later on Jan throwing her car keys at Oscar, ranked high on my LOL-O-Meter. Dwight returns Angela’s possessions, including a sleep apnea mask that looked more like a Ghostbusters Proton Pack. He manages, however, to keep one of her cherub figurines that he probably keeps his watch on, Pulp Fiction style. (Though he insists he doesn’t have it, we think otherwise. One can only scrub their room of memories so much.) Dwight has been amazing this season — in my opinion, the most consistent, enjoyable character on the whole show.

Kevin has broken up with Scrantonicity and started his own band, Scrantonicity 2. And Michael has taken another job, as a Telemarketer. Which reminded me all too much of the time when I was in eighth grade, and I saw my middle school’s Assistant Principal working at Macy’s. At the time, I died inside, and couldn’t wrap my mind around having TWO jobs. But now that I am myself an adult, and every now and again work night shifts at a Chinese massage parlor, I totally get it. Bitch needs to get paid!

Away from his coworkers, Michael is surprisingly likable. When he’s not trying so hard to be “cool” and “loved”, he’s a pretty relaxed guy with a nice enough personality. His telemarketing coworkers think he’s a genius, and frankly, his theory about Die Hard 4 is dead on. If only he could access his uncrazy side at Dunder-Miff. Pity.

Andy is out for Angela, though something tells us lil’ Ang does not put out until Date #412, which might be a problem for Moonwalkin’ Joe. Pam and Jim, whose names will now be boldfaced as one, are too cute for me to actually be happy for, and try to cheer up an otherwise dead inside Dwight by booking a night at his classy B&B (Beet & Beet?), Schrute Farms. The hilarity of Schrute Fams was thick and murky like a delicious beet stew. From Mose running alongside Pam and Jim’s car, to the irrigation room, to Dwight’s guttural giraffe moaning, to MOSE IN THE OUTHOUSE. Delicious, every bit. Every Office episode should involve a quick trip to the beet farm, am I right? Oh, and then there was the incident of Pam laying in Jim’s arms while Dwight read Harry Potter to them (and a rocking Mose). These two might seem too cute for words now, but rent The Notebook folks — things will probably get really sad when they get super old. Or so I keep reminding myself in order to deal with their love.

Ryan shows up expecting to see Michael’s MS Powerpoint presentation (or, as I like to call them, PP Prezzy). Instead, we just watch as an exhausted Michael stands up and begins literally power pointing at people. He’s just like the gorgeous kid in Summer School who sleeps during class and strips at night, only Michael probably wouldn’t pass the test at the end (he’d likely score somewhere between Chainsaw and Rhonda.) Kelly tried to rub Darryl in Ryan’s face, and then begins to play her Kelly Games (i.e. forcing Darryl to hang out with her instead of his daughter.) Darryl, who, again, I’m completely in love with, tells her to “access her uncrazy side.” Kelly states that he is the most complicated man she’s ever dated, namely because he speaks what’s on his mind. This is our favorite thing.

And guess who makes another appearance on the show? GARBAGE! Caught by Andy outside of Vance Refrigeration and given to Angela as an invitation to dinner. Garbage is seriously humongous, about half the size of Angela, and not completely unlike the Russian Wildcat from earlier today.

Kudos to Jim and Pam for extending their warmth to Dwight after sensing his excruciating heart and soul pain. And frankly, Rainn Wilson’s decision to make a guttural death noise whenever he’s deep in suffering should be reason enough to hand this man an Emmy. Eff that, give him an Oscar. Not the award: Just give him Oscar to have around at his beck and call. That seems like a pretty sweet deal to us.

Michael throws on his invisi-Braveheart-garb, storms into the office, and loudly declares “Bankruptcyyyy!“… as in just saying it, loudly. Oscar sits down with Michael to try to figure out where his money is going. The answer? Woman be shopping. Woman being Jan. Ugh, we used to love Jan and Michael, but look at how sad the poor guy is! He’s on the verge of a Nervy B! Sensing that, he runs out of Dunder Mifflin and towards some trains, where he hops on one in the hopes of becoming a stowaway. Sadly, the train was actually coming to a halt. Last Stop: Depressingville!

Jan speeds into the Dunder parking lot, throwing the keys to her Porsche directly into Oscar’s chest (maybe our favorite part of the episode). She is wearing Juicy Couture’s finest tracksuit, and finds a despondent Michael sitting in a train car. There, they proceed to have a touching heart to heart, and aww, she loves him (and obviously makes him do dirty things in bed.) And she’s keeping her implants. And that’s it!

Finally: A season 4 sigh of relief! The first hour-long episode of the season that didn’t drag, felt fresh and true to the nature of the show. Congrats to Paul Lieberstein (that’s Toby, folks) for writing the best episode of Season 4 yet. And note how he barely even wrote himself into his own episode… so modest. The episode was fantastic!

The tone this season has certainly been more depressing than ever before. In fact, the only two people in the entire office who are finally happy are Pam and Jim. (Wait, am I the only one who finds them too cutesy? Come on, admit it: “I’m in love with Italian food” made you want to barf a little…) Everyone else has been in a lovelorn funk, and it’s kind of hampering the overall comedy. But we’ll file these plot points under E for Effecting and Evolving and Epilepsy (just because), and see the seeds of future episodes sprouting before our very eyes. Sure, we miss Happy-Go-Lucky Michael, but Depressed Dwight is a fair trade-off in our eyes. He’s never made us laugh more.

And Mose. We need more Mose. We want a Mose Speaker System and Ring-Around-the-Mosey and sure, a Pocket-Full-of-Mosey, a t-shirt that says Mose Knows Beet Farms. We cannot get enough.

Thank the television Gods, next week we are back to our regular old 22-minute episodes! Anyway, be sure to check out the Schrute Farms website on Trip Advisor, And if you missed the show, check out the entire episode over at

This hereby concludes my longest Office post ever. Off to pass out.

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