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October 13, 2015

The Office: Diwali

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Nov 3rd 2006 12:13AM

Ryan(S03E06) You know, this show does it to me every time. I've probably reviewed about 10 episodes of The Office that I have considered classics. Well, you can count this one as number 11.

The episode focused on "Diwali", a major Hindu festival which is celebrated, coincidentally, at this time of the year. In this instance, Kelly has invited the entire staff to a Diwali celebration, and most of the folks are enthusiastic about going, but some, including Angela, are a bit skeptical, if not downright hostile to the idea.

To drum up enthusiasm, Michael convenes a meeting where he attempts to explain "Hindu Halloween" and celebrate the diversity of the Indian/Hindu culture. His presentation includes pictures of famous Indians, and one of them was Apu from The Simpsons, which elicited guffaws from this blogger. Absolute brilliance from the writers.

At the same time, we see Jim discuss his bike riding to work in order to save on gas money and stay in shape. Back in Scranton, the meeting reaches a fever pitch when copies of the "Kama Sutra" are distributed to the staff. Angela thinks it's inappropriate, and Toby seconds the thought, which annoys Michael.

The staff arrive at the festival location, and that's where the fun begins. As we well know, Ryan dates Kelly, who happens to be Indian. Dressed in a traditional outfit, he ends up meeting Kelly's sisters as well as her parents, but the family don't seem that taken with him. Her parents grill him about his financial situation, but it doesn't seem that he has made a good impression. It's funny that although we've seen Ryan downplay his relationship with Kelly, he is attending a major celebration with her and meeting her family. What's that all about?

During the festival we see a number of funny scenes, including Michael dancing with some festival goers. The look of joy on his face was priceless! Everybody else on the staff, save for Angela, seems to be having a great time. Pam even shows up later after saying she wouldn't come, and it looked like she was going to make some sort of connection with a young guy, but nothing seem to come of it.

Back in Stamford, Karen, Jim, and Andy have to work late on a project, and Andy immediately breaks out a bottle. Jim and Andy end up doing shots until they pass out while Karen pours her drinks out. Jim eventually wakes up and attempts to bike home, but he keels over and Karen ends up giving him a ride home.

For me, the Stamford scenes don't seem to add much to the story other than the burgeoning flirtation between Jim and Karen. Will it amount to anything? I guess we'll find out over the next few weeks.

Anyway, Michael brought his girlfriend Carol to the festival, who is dressed in a cheerleader outfit. During all the hoopla, Michael is suddenly overcome with passion/emotion and then grabs a microphone and proposes to her. She is taken aback and says they need to discuss this further.

They part ways with Carol driving home alone and Michael looking for a ride. It doesn't seem that Michael and Carol will be together, but stranger things have happened. Pam was attempting to text message someone (Jim?), and then encounters Michael outside. He then tries to engage her into a discussion about them both losing out on love, but Pam kind of sets him straight. She then gives him a ride home, but he is made to sit in the back seat.

Just a terrific episode. The scenes inside the hall were hysterical, especially the dancing. Will Michael get back into Carol's good graces? Will Pam continue to exhibit her independence? Will Jim and Karen hook up? The next few episodes should give us some sort of clue.

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I'd like to see Toby try to awkwardly pursue Pam a bit more. I loved that scene a few episodes back when he found out Pam was available and tried to ask her out.

November 11 2006 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I could not disagree more with you, Rebecca. Jim and Karen are so much better than Jim and Pam:

1. Karen might be a bit snobbish, but Pam is just so boring that it hurts. I personally prefer snobbish over boring.

2. Karen is a lot smarter than Pam - she would never have stayed with that ape (I forgot the name of Pams ex) for more than one day.

3. Karen is much better looking. Let me repeat that. MUCH better looking.

So, for these highly subjective reasons, I hope Jim and Karen will get together soon...

November 05 2006 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just a note, you guys can dl the mp3 of the diwali song here:


November 03 2006 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode cements a few observations I've noticed early this season. The writers/producers are using this season (a) to spotlight each of the characters, and (b) they've made Pam significantly more assertive. Frankly, I'm not a fan of either strategy since that's not what made The Office so appealing previously. Also, I'm tired of the writers'/producers' "lets string the fanbase along" with the Jim/Pam/Karen storyline. It's transparent and obvious and I don't like being manipulated that way. I can imagine they're going to string this out through the season finale making us return next season. I didn't like it when they did it with "Friends" and I won't like it now. Sorry, but this is apparently what it looks like when fresh shows start to go stale.

November 03 2006 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got to disagree with the other Rebecca about Jim and Karen. They make a great diversion from Jim and Pam. It's the delayed gratification that makes these types of hot relationships so watchable and it's way too soon to have Jim and Pam actually get together. We should be grateful that they allowed us the big kiss at the end of last season. Few series would have dared that. I think Karen could prove to be a worthy competitor and not being having her be another sweet Pam type is the only way to go. She's an equal to Jim career-wise. Pam is obviously very smart but she's not ambitious even by the low standards of Dunder Mifflin. Perhaps finding out about Karen will spur her to sign up for that arts program the company offers and get out of the receptionist rut she's in making her more of an equal status wise.

As for Kelly and Ryan, their relationship is great because it's so humorous. (It would be painful to be in, but it's funny to watch.)

November 03 2006 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite part was definately Sandler's Hanukkah song turned into a Diwali song. It was amazing!!!

November 03 2006 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am Indian and I watch the Office religiously. It was simply amazing that they were able to incorporate Diwali into the show. Kudos to Mindy Kaling who wrote the episode, and yeah who better to play her parents then her actual parents. By the way that video clip with Mindy was a great way to preview the episode. Of course my favorite parts were with Michael and Dwight really getting into the spirit and dancing. Plus Michael's comments at the end... "I think I took the wrong shoes". Of course what celebration would be complete without a rendition of Sandler's Hanukkah song turned into a Diwali song. Steve Carrell should sing more in my opinion. Overall, great episode, great way to talk about different cultures, and just further proof why the Office is my favorite show on TV.

November 03 2006 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

#15 nails it. No recap of this episode is worth a crap without mentioning that kiss and Pam's amazing, super-blunt response!

"What are you doing"
"No-nothing, what, what are YOU doing?"
"I'm rejecting your kiss."


November 03 2006 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a bit surprised that the recap didn't mention the fabulous attempt Michael made to kiss Pam (thanks, Scott, for being the first to do so). That moment made me shriek. And when Andy's love for Big Tuna was expressed at the end of their sing-along, I may have blacked out, it was so great. This episode was outstanding. When Michael was in the back of Pam's car and said, "These aren't my shoes," then tried to turn it into Taxicab Confessions, priceless. Poor Pam, suffering through Michael, just waiting to hear from Jim. Perfect.

November 03 2006 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Jim-and-Pam thing may come to a head sooner rather than later. Here's the description of next week's episode:

"Branch Closing": Michael strives to keep the staff's spirit up after learning of the Scranton branch shutting down; people envision how their lives will change.

November 03 2006 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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