Friday, May 1, 2009

The Office - Casual Friday


You knew the much-anticipated massive corporate merger between Dunder Mifflin and Michael Scott Paper Company would not be without its problems. One could argue the biggest problem is allowing Meredith to participate in casual Friday, but other issues abound. The salespeople mutiny begins and I can't say I blame them.

Everyone feels hurt. Michael wants an apology from the salespeople at Dunder Mifflin who didn't leave one sinking ship for an already sunk ship. The salespeople want their clients back. Secret meetings and urine soaked memos aside, the DM sales staff have legitimate complaints seeing as how their clients should never have been snatched to begin with. In addition, Michael's reemergence as the head of the office has brought out a completely different Dwight. Where Dwight's past self fawned over and acquiesced to Michael's every whim and demand, the new Dwight has begun to feel his subordinate oats a bit more. I actually like this new Dwight even more than before. A spurned Schrute is the best kind.

Michael has little trouble smoothing everything over and they even finally (hopefully) get Ryan off of the show. I don't know why they have felt the need to keep bringing him back, but it does fit it into a disturbing trend with The Office. More and more the characters have become caricatures of their already ridiculous selves. The most obvious and long running has been Meredith's downward spiral. At this point, it appears the writers are just trying to one-up themselves how low Meredith can sink coming to the nadir with her flashing all her gory details to repulsed staff.

But other minor characters are falling victims to the same demise. Like the constant references to Toby's loserish tendencies (wearing a Costa Rica sweatshirt, telling the background of his marriage) and Kelly dressing like J-Lo. What I always have loved about The Office is the character's hilarity without the outwardly blatant nonsense. Except for Dwight, whose Amish-Redneck-Jack Bauer personality has always bordered on the insane, the other characters were grounded in a relative reality. The little nuances of the minor characters made this show work from the beginning. That subtlety has devolved. This is probably nitpicking. I get that. Just something that has nagged at me for a bit about this season.
Highlights:
- Creed's chess and scrabble prowess. Thinking man's games. You can say a lot about Creed but he is probably the smartest guy in the whole office.

- Kevin's chili incident was truly tragic.

- Michael's warehouse fort. I could use more Daryl. He has perfected the "WTF Michael" scowl.

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