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April 24, 2014

The Office: Product Recall

by Jay Black, posted Apr 27th 2007 12:03AM
I wonder why Ryan is in this picture and a bunch of the others are not. Very interesting.(S03E21) The Office this week was like Jessica Simpson if she had a giant oozing pimple right on the tip of her nose (I was going to go with "giant underdeveloped conjoined twin on her back" but thought that image was a bit much). It was wonderful... except for one little thing that was so egregious as to sully the rest of the episode.

What was that thing? I'm too talented a teaser to let you know right off. You'll have to wait until after the jump...

First, the good (and there was a lot of it):

1. Jim as Dwight. "Identity theft is a crime." I thought the calculator watch was a good touch (though, I think in the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that in the early eighties, in a fit of Alex P. Keatonism, I wore a calculator watch for at least one school year).

2. Dwight as Jim. I feel bad for anyone that doesn't stick around for the stinger at the end of every Office. It's worth the wait. Doing a Jim impression isn't all that hard (as SNL proved a few weeks ago); all you have to do is look at the camera with supercilious eyebrows and poof, you're a master impersonator. The thing that was great about this particular Jim impression was that it was Dwight doing it. Rainn Wilson playing the impersonation like his character added about twelve levels of funny to it.

3. "That's the money beet."

4. Andy at the high school. As a former high school teacher I was a little uncomfortable by that whole situation, but it was okay for three reasons: a) it was obvious that she and Andy hadn't done anything illegal and that he was completely flabbergasted by her being a teenager. b) It led to Andy's distress over the situation, which was absolutely hilarious. And finally, c) it opened the door for Jim to try and cheer him up with some a cappella. I asked a few weeks ago why ladies find Jim so irresistible. My wife said tonight that that's the reason why: beneath all the goofing, he's a downright nice guy.

5. Kelly as Bridget Jones and Kevin as an Australian. It's a credit to Mindy Kaling that she's made such a fundamentally annoying character such a funny presence on the show. My wife and I were both disappointed this week that there wasn't any Ryan/Kelly interaction as that's grown to be one of our favorite aspects of The Office.

6. "That's what she said."

The Not-So-Good:

No, we're not at the pimple at the end of Jessica's nose just yet, just some stuff I found annoying (I thought that after the over-enthusiastic review of the last episode I should try to be a bit more fair and balanced).

1) Michael's press conference and apology. I know I applauded Michael when he wanted to jump off the roof, but I found him to be over-the-top in an annoying way this week. I'm not sure why I fluctuate on this opinion. I don't know why I loved it two weeks ago and thought it was unrealistic this week. I think it might be that Michael Scott is a really hard character to pull off. Ricky Gervais's David Brent was never stupid, just socially awkward and too eager to please. Michael is so broad as to be a cartoon character and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. I thought it didn't work this week.

2) The woman who didn't accept Michael's apology. Not for any show reason, I just hate people who say, "I don't accept your apology." Don't use their business again, but don't act like a beyatch about it.

And now... the pimple:

Creed. I know a lot of you love him, but wasn't he just way over the line this week? I love black humor, but holy crap Creed was despicable! I hated him so much for what he did to that poor woman at the paper mill that it actually made me like the episode a little less. And believe me, I'm a little confused about my own creeping sensitivity. When I was younger I would have wanted Creed to go even further (and would have rooted for Andy to hook up with the high school girl), but 30-year-old Jay seems to actually (gulp) care about people. I'm not sure where this is coming from and frankly, I'm scared. Tell me I'm not alone on this one.

Question of the week: My wife pointed out that Pam seems to be kissing Karen's butt in a very "girly" way. According to her, Pam sticking up for Karen two weeks ago about her guessing strategy on the jellybeans and this week when Karen criticized Michael's word-shortening is what girls do when they want another girl to like her. I hadn't noticed, but I thought it was interesting. So, to the females in the reading audience (and the men who understand woman): do you notice the same thing? Is Pam trying to get Karen to like her? If so, why? Your thoughts are appreciated.

And finally, a quick shout-out to my friends in Missouri who graciously allowed me to watch the episode at their house after my comedy show. Midwestern hospitality lives!

Five. It's among my favorite prime numbers.Due to Creed's craziness I can only bring myself to give this episode five discarded greeting cards out of seven.

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keri

ok the creed thing was hilarious! the fact that he's heartless is the funniest part, its totally ridiculous horrible behavior for any one else but b/c it's his character its great! If Jim, or Pam, or really anybody else did that it wouldn't work, we would all be like what the hell?? for creed it totally works

May 01 2007 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Satine

I totally don't think Pam is sucking up to Karen. I really believe that Pam is just a doormat and treats everyone kindly. I don't think it occurs to her to be mean to anyone. She just wants to please and keep the peace... probably for her own sanity.

May 01 2007 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

7 out of 7 from me.

Best episode since Booze Cruise.

April 29 2007 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TVblogger

I love Creed. Like I've always said, Creed is like John Locke's (Lost) long lost inbred cousin. I'll stand up for him here, I thought he was great this episode.

April 28 2007 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

30-year-old Jay seems to actually (gulp) care about people. I'm not sure where this is coming from and frankly, I'm scared.

Don't worry... give it twenty years.... You'll be joining us who enjoy the evil that is Creed!

Mwahahahahaha!

April 28 2007 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob S.

Creed is sooooo much better a character than Michael. I hate Michael. There, I've said it. He's the least believable character on TV, and I mean that literally; we've all seen the Peter Principle in action, but every episode Michael shatters the suspension of disbelief with his ineptitude and cluelessness. Remember when he didn't know that "gay" meant "a homosexual person"? The whole premise of "Safety Training"? I don't want him to be boring, but the only episode I can think of where he didn't break that suspension of disbelief was the brilliant "Dwight's Speech." His mentor character Bob Packer, as simply drawn a caricature as he was, was still more believable. (And it's unbelievable that Michael hates Toby. Toby should have fired Michael's ass over and over and over by now. Michael should be buying Toby cars and women on a daily basis.)

As for Karen and Pam, I'm not arguing against any of the other dynamics mentioned here, but the meeting scene I took as Pam just happy to be able to join in on the diversion that Jim and Karen were creating.

For the show's remaining two years, what I really want is a new title sequence. The one they've got was OK for the brief first season, already wearing thin on the second season, and just irrelevant this season. And it doesn't show Karen and Andy, assuming they survive the season.

April 28 2007 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay

Creed's inhumanity was the icing on the cake of
one of the funniest episodes of the year.

April 27 2007 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JW

#24 -- Michael's response to her threat that she was going to call the Better Business Bureau was something like "well I'm going to report to you to the Bee-otch Hotline!"

#26 -- I did freeze the cue cards but couldn't read the full card because my DVR timeline blocked the bottom of it. The card had how Michael would be affected. His mortgage is many hundreds of dollars and although he gets a company car, he still has to pay for gas and how expensive gas costs.

April 27 2007 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Porchland

I love the repetition bits that the show does: Meredith the drunk, Michael hates Toby, etc. One of the best bits is Michael always insinuating that Phyllis is fat/old/ugly, and I cracked up when I saw her hidden behind a plant during the the press conference.

Also:
* the moving black bar every time they showed the watermarked paper -- even when you couldn't even see it;
* Kelly's overly cheerful constructive criticism;
* Kevin and Oscar air-high-fiving.
* Michael's 5, 4, 3, pause, pause, for the video.

This was one of the better episodes of the season for short laugh gags.

Was it weird that there was no witch hunt to find out who was responsible, or did I miss something? Sounds like something Dwight would have pounced on.

April 27 2007 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mnm

I'll agree that Pam is nice to overcompensate for the fact that SHE wants Jim, but another reason that women (OK, I'm talking about me) would do what she is doing is because the only way to still be close to your crush without making any waves is to be nice to his girlfriend, too. Pam IS a nice person and she would NEVER try to steal a boyfriend from someone, so the only way she can still hang around Jim (because she likes him and she's happy around him) without making him uncomfortable or Karen jealous is to befriend Karen as well.

April 27 2007 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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