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October 13, 2015

The Office: Boys and Girls

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Feb 3rd 2006 10:57AM

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) puts it all in perspective at the end of this episode when he describes why an office needs both men and women to be present:

"You need to have that crazy sexual tension to keep things interesting."

How did we get to this prophetic (for Michael, anyway) statement? It begins with his boss (and unrequited love interest) Jan showing up at the Scranton office of Dunder Mifflin to conduct a "Women in the Workplace" roundtable and gathers all the ladies in the conference room to discuss their lives and how it relates to their careers, and vice versa.

Michael is threatened by the fact all the "Ally McBeal" women are gathered together and thinks they're talking about him. Jan throws him out of the room, so Michael decides to gather all the male office staff down in the "bowels of the office" aka the warehouse, which is run by foreman Darrell, who is not thrilled with what is going on. In addition, let's not forget that Pam's fiance Roy works there too, and Kevin mentions to Jim that he wonders if Roy has caught wind of Jim's previous/ongoing crush on her.

Michael attempts to forge some male bonding and togetherness that although there are white collar and blue collar workers in the same place, he says he is "collar blind." However, the warehouse guys can't hide their obvious contempt for Michael, especially as he drives forklifts into inventory and ends up making a huge mess. Meanwhile, Roy and Jim make small talk and Roy brings up the aforementioned crush. He says he's cool with Jim because all of that took place years ago, so they move on.

As the guys continue to gripe about things, Pam discusses her dreams in the conference room, especially her interest in graphic arts. Jan mentions that the corporate office in New York has a program she might be interested in, but she says that she can't amke that kind of committment, although you can definitely tell that she wants to do it. (Of course, anyone who watched the British version of The Office knows that Dawn had the same aspirations, so it'll be interesting how this plays out.) The women continue to talk about dress and relationships, and Angela mentions that she is in the "healthiest relationship of my life." Her other half is Dwight, so one wonders what her "unhealthy" relationships must have been like.

We then cut to the warehouse guys demanding better working conditions and pay or they threaten to unionize. They get Michael to go along with the idea, but he runs upstairs to Jan to tell her what has transpired. Jan immediately comes down and sets everyone straight by saying that if they unionize, the office will close down. It seems to end everything right there, but we hear Darrell telling Michael that "it's not over."

Jim and Pam later encounter each other and discuss what has gone on. Pam tells him about the graphics program as we see a flashback where Roy definitely is putting his foot down and telling her not to do it. Jim tells her that she has to take chances in life, but she is quite emotional over the whole thing.

Simply another brilliant episode, IMHO. Michael was at his obnoxious and comedic best, and the progression of Jim and Pam's relationship seems like it's coming to a cliffhanger in the next few weeks.

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My favorite line of this episode came from Kelly:

"How can someone so beautiful be so sad?"

February 08 2006 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

TRULY a great episode. I was squirming, literally. I'd like to know what's going to come of the Union situation (i.e., Jan gave patently false and illegal information when she came down to the warehouse, and, as the gentleman said, "This ain't over").

My question is, who is supposed to be holding the various cameras? Is there an on-site film crew documenting the company, and if so, why are only some people able to see them? An interesting conceit, no matter what.

February 03 2006 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Byron Karmopolis

Who do I feel sorrier for: Darrell or Phyllis? I bet her spreadsheets are just fine.

February 03 2006 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Goral

This show has really grown on me, particularly once I stopped comparing it to the brilliant British version.
The characters are great and hold potential for really interesting plotlines.
I'd have to say the one thing that bugs me about it is the far too frequent camera angle cuts. If you've seen the Brit version, part of the appeal was the overall feel that it was a true documentary with just one or two hand-held cameras that were recording the often-monotonous goings on in an office. The US version jumps all over the room, not following the action, but anticipating it, making the show seem more like a sit-com than it should be.
Still, the US show is enjoyable and getting better all the time.
Okay I'll shut up now.

February 03 2006 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about Dwight's quote comparing the warehouse guys with the Others on LOST? Fantastic! Very much in Dwight's character regardless of the network affiliation.

February 03 2006 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But I should add that yes, if they do put Jim and Pam together it will be good for the characters and those of us who have grown to care for them, but it will be bad for the show. The Jim/Pam relationship has become the nexus of the show.

February 03 2006 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, I really felt for Pam this week. They're doing a good job of making us desperate for her and Jim to get together.

February 03 2006 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another classic uncomfortable episode.

As much as I want to see it, I hope they keep Pam and Jim from getting together. This tension is what makes the sub-plot tick, and if they were together in any way that would be gone.

February 03 2006 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought that the episode made some very clear lines on where Jim and Roy stand when it comes to Pam.

Things should get interesting.

February 03 2006 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Favorite quote:
Michael "And what's better than quality? Equality"

February 03 2006 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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