The Office: Business Trip
Watching the interplay between Pam and Jim tonight really hit home. I've seen my wife's face when I tell her that I've got to fly to Waukesha, WI (a real place!) to make with the ha-has. I've heard the resignation in her voice as she said, like Jim, "well, it's your dream."
There's been some grumbling in the comments that this season has been a bit off. I'm not 100% sure I agree with that, but I can understand where you're coming from. That said, let me ask you this: is there another comedy show on the planet that can pack such an emotional wallop? Phew...
All right, before you write your angry "this is supposed to be a review of The Office, Jay, not a blog about your many failings as a husband and father!" comments, let's get to the episode.
Michael is given a consolation prize since David Wallace (and a promising movie career) took Holly away: Winnipeg! Yes, Michael, along with Andy and Oscar, gets to take a business trip and approaches it with enough boyish enthusiasm that it just about makes him forget he's depressed. He's got a lot to be excited about: besides the business class seat (wow, business class in this economy? Either Dunder-Mifflin is doing great or Wallace feels really bad), the hotel, and the per diem, he's got Andy as the ultimate wingman, determined to get for Michael what Angela refuses to give to him.
Andy has always been a likable character, but tonight he might as well have been Fozzy Bear for all the good will and sympathy he engendered. He was a hell of a wingman (even better than The Matador), helping Michael score with a concierge and also willing to approach men on behalf of Oscar. Hitting on two dudes in Winnipeg on behalf of your gay buddy? That's commitment to a cause, my friends.
Andy's awesomeness cinched it for me: I'm officially on Team Andy. Don't get me wrong, I love Dwight, but I'm no longer rooting for him and Angela.
Either way, I hope they resolve the love triangle before the end of sweeps -- it's gone on long enough. At this point, it feels like we're just treading water, and that's not like The Office. Even at the height of Jim/Pam/Roy, it always felt like there was foward momentum. Let's get this thing out in the open and over already.
The business trip did something that is rare for this show: make a good episode outside of the confines of Dunder-Mifflin. I'm going to say something now that has never before been uttered in the English language: I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Winnipeg tonight.
-- Let me use this space to apologize to the writers. I was completely wrong about what they were doing with the Jim/Pam thing. I very much did not see Pam coming back tonight! It was a great moment that was made even better by Dwight's immediate order for her to start making copies. I'm excited to see where they take this.
-- A question to the ladies: were Ryan's pushups sexy even a little bit? Would they have been enough to pull you away from a smooth-talking teddy bear like Darryl? I need to know these things.
-- A question to everyone else: what was Ryan's game plan there? Was he hoping that Darryl was going to beat him up? That's the only angle I could figure out. Plus, I wasn't 100% happy with Ryan ending up with Kelly like that; it felt contrived and sitcommy. I'm happy that they're together -- it'll make for some fun stuff -- but it felt like the writers just pressed a big reset button. Next thing you know, Pam is going to wake up and find Roy in the shower, her whole engagement to Jim just a dream...
-- Michael's speech to David Wallace was great. There's nothing like sex with a cast member from Reno 911 to help you realize just how depressed you are.
-- Which team are you on? Dwight or Andy? Explain your reasoning in the comments.
-- All right, I've been inspired. I'm going to leave Maine at this very moment so I can get home in time to surprise my wife when she gets home from work. I won't look as good Jim (or even, really, Kevin), but it'll be worth it. Also, if you see a goofy looking guy asleep at a rest stop on Route 95, please don't stab him to death, at least not tonight. He's on a mission. Wish me luck, gang!