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October 31, 2014

The Office: New Boss

by Jay Black, posted Mar 20th 2009 12:19AM
It is important to write alternative text for these pictures. I'm not sure why exactly, but then again, I'm not very smart.(S05E18) Today, reality came crashing down on the good people of Dunder-Mifflin like Godzilla's foot onto Bambi. It came not in the form of a giant, atomically mutated Japanese lizard, however, but rather in the striking good looks of "black George Clooney" Charles Miner, the new Vice President of the Northeast Region.

Michael's batting average with VPs has been pretty good -- he got to have sex with one and got to act like Jennifer Jason Leigh from Single White Female with another -- so he figures he'll be in fine shape with Charles Miner.

Unfortunately for Michael, Miner is neither a sex-crazed cougar nor a coke-addled narcissist. He's a no-nonsense businessman who very quickly realizes what every executive at Dunder-Mifflin should have realized a long, long time ago: Michael is an awful manager. Really, just brutally awful.

The sparks between the two were brief, intense, and glorious...

First things first: overall, this was a great episode. This week managed to continue last week's winning form with another Michael-centric episode that dialed up the cringe-meter to British Office levels.

I do have a question, however, about what, exactly, Michael's standing at Dunder-Mifflin is (or, I should say, was). I mean, I understand why David Wallace wants to keep Michael under control and out of his hair, but why now? Earlier this year, we were told that Michael's branch was doing so well that he was sent out to give speeches to the other branches to reveal the secret of his success. Yet, all of a sudden, the company brings in Charles Miner to be Edward Vogler to Michael's Dr. House? It doesn't make sense.

Isn't this inconsistent? Or am I missing something? I'd love to hear your thinking on the matter (and, while you're at it, let's open the floor now to predictions for where this is all headed...)

Other stuff:

-- Jim in a tuxedo provided two important things for my family. First, it gave me the rare pleasure of watching one of Jim's jokes backfire; it's nice to see him squirm for once. Second, the act of watching Jim in a tuxedo for a half hour actually increased my wife's fertility levels 9000%. I sneezed during the show and I'm pretty sure she's pregnant now.

-- Wow, I could really use a few more promos for Parks and Recreation! Speed bumps on a slide! Get it? Get it!?

-- How great was Steve Carell tonight? Michael is a complex creature -- even Carell doesn't always manage to find the right balance between childlike wonder and schizophrenic craziness -- but tonight he nailed it. There was so much going on in Michael's head leading up to his resignation, and every bit of it was on his face. Somebody should throw him a party that has ever-shrinking strippers popping out of a series of smaller cakes.

-- Has Kelly achieved Andy and Creed status yet, where you get excited every time she's on screen? I think I'm ready to say yes she has.

-- A small admission: I've been saying for years now that I'd like to see Michael held a bit more accountable for his actions at the office, just for realism's sake. And you know what? About ten minutes into the show I actually hated Miner for doing just that. Does this make me a hypocrite? It most certainly does.

As always, you're comments are like bagels cut into little C's to me.

The Office' Photos

    THE OFFICE Steve Carell as Michael Scott and Amy Ryan as Holly star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Steve Carell as Michael Scott and Amy Ryan as Holly star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor and Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE Amy Ryan as Holly and Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone star in the episode "Weight Loss." Airs Thursday, September 25, 2008.

    NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Rainn Wilson, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, ''Did I Stutter'', (Season 4, airing May 1, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, ''Night Out'', (Season 4, airing April 24, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Mitch Haddad / NBC

    THE OFFICE, Rainn Wilson, Cassie Fliegel, ''Night Out'', (Season 4, airing April 24, 2008), 2005-. Photo: Mitch Haddad / NBC

    THE OFFICE, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, ''The Dinner Party'', (Season 4, episode 4013, aired April 10, 2008), 2005-,. Photo: Chris Haston / NBC / courtesy everett collection

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kim

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March 25 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Burroughs

The episode attempted to make Minor look like the super efficient new boss. But his job was to take each branch and make it better. Scranton was already the most profitable branch. So the last thing he should have done is screw up something that is working. He exhibited terrible management decisions from the start. He tried to bully a successful branch manager. He did not establish a good working relationship with Michael first. He broadsided Michael by showing up so there was no time for Michael to process the new authority structure out of the view of his staff. Minor humiliated the manager in front of the most successful staff in the company. Terrible management.

March 23 2009 at 7:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alex

I feel like michael said I acquit, like he acquitted his complaint from wallace, just what I think and an easy way for him to get back, like hes really leaving anyways...

March 23 2009 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

Michael obviously quit so that he will have to make Wallace choose between him or Miner. You have to think of Michael as a child and what would a retarded infant do. Eventually Wallace will call Michael and say what can we do to keep you and Michael will tell him to s--t can the Black George Clooney. Remember, when Michael left the office to goto NYC he said "your through" meaning he was gonna get Miner fired. Adios Black George Clooney.

March 21 2009 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

Favorite Michael Scott quotes:
"Truth be told I think I thrive under a lack of accountability."
"You say no more parties and then you spend all this money on lunch, I think it's a little hypercritical."

Michael is the unintentional master of the mixed metaphor/cliché.

March 21 2009 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nova

Michael was only using the party as an example. He was concerned about the complete lack of respect for everything he has done for the company. David was patronizing him by thinking that giving him the party was the actual issue. It was the complete lack of respect. And michael knew it.

For all the stupid antics Michael does, there are also many times where you see him for the real person he is. He really isn't that stupid when it comes down to serious things

March 20 2009 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peter Lynn

So, now that Michael has quit, the Scranton branch needs a new regional manager. While I can see Charles Minor stepping in on a temporary basis, I think we can agree that he'll be looking to hire a replacement for Michael.

After this episode, Jim is anything but a leading candidate. So, that would seem to leave the door open for Dwight, who's not only the top salesman in the office but also Michael's former right-hand man. Then again, the latter should actually work against him. Plus, Dwight is also on his last strike, thanks to the fire-drill incident. So I doubt they see him as management material either.

But why does the new manager have to come from a sales background? Charles himself mentioned that he came out of accounting, and this was probably no accident.

My prediction: While I actually think Oscar would be the most sensible choice, I can easily imagine that as Angela cozies up to her black George Clooney, she won't charm her way into his pants but might unexpectedly work her way into the manager's office as he comes to see that she shares his authoritarian management style. And of course, having Angela in charge would be a very bad thing for the staff, but a very good thing for comedy.

March 20 2009 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Peter Lynn's comment
GerryofNorVA

I think Michael's abrupt quitting is to be taken with a grain of salt, it's not as if he's been written out of the series. He'll throw a petulant tantrum and force David and/or Charles to beg him to stay, even though we all know by now that Dunder Mifflin should be throwing the biggest party ever that Michael quit and they didn't have to fire him!

March 21 2009 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I don't think they were necessarily picking on the Scranton branch with Charles coming in, I think since he's the new Reg VP he goes around to all branches and spends the day with them to get a feel for what it's like there.

There's been episodes every season that seem pointless and don't have many typical Office awkward moments, but this one contributed to the plot line A LOT, and was all around a very good episode.

March 20 2009 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justie

haha two-way petting zoo.

You pet the animals and they pet you back.

I think that was the best line in the whole episode.

March 20 2009 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sarah

I don't remember the line exactly but I loved the part when Michael said that he works best when there's no accountability.

And, I'm glad they addressed an issue that myself and everyone in the office I work in has always wondered; how can they afford so many parties? Apparently it was in the Dunder Mifflin budget.

Oh, and I just read the Spoilers Anonymous post and I hope its true!...and I hope its Pam.

March 20 2009 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sarah's comment
beanspants1

Michael is incompetent, but that's not in comparison to new VP; that guy is just as incompetent.

Here are two free managment tips so that you too are not an Office manager:

1) don't undermine the boss the first day you arrive, unless he is breaking specific company policies. He should have let Michael keep his meetings until he proves they are a disruption.

2) don't demand a change to discretionary spending for the rank and file and then buy them lunch. either buy lunch only for VP & Michael (rank & file know that top mgmt it treated differently and that policies don't apply to them) or for no one at all.

Or you could buy lunch for the whole office, but make it clear it's coming out of your own pocket and not on the company's dime.


Otherwise you get exactly what happened on the show.

March 20 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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