The Office: The Convict
(S03E09) After watching Michael Scott "transform" himself into "Prison Mike," I was so enthralled by it that I've decided to rent Scared Straight from Netflix. I remember watching that documentary back in the 70s when I was a teenager, and I thought it was so over the top that I remember laughing all the way through it. Of course, if I was sitting in that room with those convicts in Rahway, I might have gotten smacked around a bit. But the idea of "lifers" telling kids how to not be like them is just too much grist for the comedy mill.
I can't quite put my finger on it yet, since I'm writing this post literally minutes after watching this episode, but it seemed slightly different from the others so far this season. Granted, it was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, so I guess I was expecting some more "British-y" humor. To some extent, the dialogue about Martin Nash being a black man and Michael doing his best to allay any preconceived notions by naming a black person whom he would "trust" over a white person, seemed like something out of the British version of The Office. However, I don't think Gervais and Merchant went over the top, either. Like I said, it just seemed a little different than the others.
Andy has grown on me. When I first saw him up in Stamford, I thought he was just the Connecticut version of Dwight. But now I think he adds greatly to the mix and is definitely one who is going to stir things up in Scranton. His wooing of Pam, courtesy of Jim's "advice," was priceless. I especially enjoyed his falsetto and banjo combination. I couldn't quite make out what he was singing, so please shed a little light as to what song he was belting out.
Probably my favorite part of the episode was when after Michael unlocked the conference room and set his "convicts" free, most of the office staff acted (I think) traumatized, but Stanley just walked by nonplussed. His character has the best facial reactions by far, IMHO.
After Jim said he and Karen were seeing each other, it was quite interesting to see how Pam would react anytime Jim and Karen were near each other. I don't think we're going to see any type of significant interaction between Pam and Karen for a while, but we'll have to keep a close watch on their dealings with each other, if any.
Watching Michael go to extremes to get his staffers to believe that Dunder Mifflin was better than prison (or at least how Martin described it) was almost too painful to watch. What is it about Dunder Mifflin that makes Michael so fiercely protective ot it? Does he love the company that much, or is he afraid that if he loses his job, he won't be able to get a position anywhere close to what he's doing now? I'm projecting too much, I know, but is Michael that deluded into believing that Dunder Mifflin is so wonderful? When someone said "Prison sounds great!", you could see the air almost come out of Michael's balloon.
At this point, the takeaway out of this episode for me is the notion that Andy is going to go all out to woo Pam, and I wonder how far Jim will let it go before he steps in to "save" her. Hmmm...