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December 20, 2014

Review: 'The Office' - 'Sabre'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 5th 2010 12:30AM
The Office: Sabre
(S01E15)
Why has this season of 'The Office' been so off-kilter? There have been promising episodes but very few that hit the mark. In fact, the only episode that can hold its own with classic 'Office' episodes is the Pam-Jim wedding, and I'm starting to fear that the show really is trying to figure out where to go from that high point.

And Jam may be the big problem here. They're not interesting anymore. But I'll get to them later.

So Dunder Mifflin is now owned by a company called Sabre. We don't quite know what they're all about except that they sell printers and they have a feisty CEO played by Kathy Bates. And in exchange for saving the branch's ass, they've asked for a few very reasonable changes. You'd think that even Michael Scott would embrace those changes. You'd be wrong.

Look, Michael can be petty, but sometimes it's amazing how truly petty he can be. He can't drink water out of tiny cups anymore? He was really willing to get fired over that? Oh, sure, Michael was bristling over the changes -- however small -- that Sabre was implementing on the office because he was used to it being his domain where he made the rules. But, jeez, you'd think even he'd see the wisdom of sacrificing Facebook access for, you know, having an actual job.

I'm wondering if Sabre (which Michael and the staff thought was pronounced "sab-ruh") is going to show their true nature over the next few episodes. Everything seems hunky-dory, with corporate-babble spewing videos starring Christian Slater and environmentally-friendly policies. But that Jo Bennett seems like a hard-ass, and she made sure her message to Michael about his complaints cut right through her Southern charm. It'll be interesting to explore, only if the company somehow either gets progressively more evil or Michael thinks they're getting more evil.

Here's the problem, though: it didn't come off very funny. Maybe because Michael's pettiness seemed idiotic in this case, mainly because he was just resistant to change. Even when he was scared straight by a visit to the depressed and pathetic David Wallace, that whole sequence looked more sad -- and scarily realistic, given this economy -- than funny. And it was wise of the writers to make even Michael see at that point what not having a job can do to even the seemingly most with-it corporate stooge.

So, on to Pam and Jim... what happened to them? They were the voices of reason in a nutty office. Now they're just another couple having problems signing their unborn child up for the best day care site in town. They're not making fun of the goings on at work, they're not progressing as a couple.

They're settled now, about to have a kid. Without their usual above-the-frayness, there's nothing to latch onto anymore. And there's especially no reason to care that Jim kiboshed his kid's chances simply because he walked in on the center's director going to the bathroom. That feels like a bad plot out of the last two years of 'Frasier,' not something you see on 'The Office.'

I'd usually give a "more fun stuff" list here, but there really there wasn't any, outside of Creed asking if the officemates can solve their re-packing-the-box problem by making everything smaller. Even Andy's fumbling attempts at trying to ask Erin out are getting old.

So, yes, it was a very dissatisfying episode, which is disappointing given the fact that we've gotten nothing but a clip show since early December. Episodes like this are happening more often, and it's making a lot of 'Office' fans wonder if the show's starting to make its fade to the finish.

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lylekira

Shocking, here's another TV SQUAD blog saying that the show is no longer good. It's like you guys all have a template and just fill in the blanks with every show I seemto be watching and (GASP!) still enjoying. 24, The Office, Heroes, Lost ... they all are still awesome enjoyable shows, but none of the TV SQUAD bloggers covering these shows seems to think so. Gets dang depressing to come read the same whining every time.

Anyway, thought tonight's episode was awesome. I loved the open and Dwight's line (impulsivebess and a lack of attention to detail). Loved the Sabre song. Michael's obvious issues with the little changes, and seeing David as the apathetic stay at home dad cracked me up. Pam & Jim's scene was pitch perfect too. What? Someone didn't like them??? Priceless. The only thing missing? A little Creed!!!

February 11 2010 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
not good

I have to agree with what the "guy in bathroom" said about Jim and Pam. They are not as charming as they think they are. They come off as thinking they're better than everyone else and they're supposed to be the likeable ones.

February 07 2010 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
I Love Elvis

OMG!!!! The Office is the BEST show on TV!!! I love everyone on that show. I never miss it.

February 07 2010 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmydawg

Parts of this episode bordered on classic, but certainly not the boring Jim/Pam stuff. Writers better watch it with that. Every second with David Wallace was absolutely brilliant and kept getting better to the hilarious ending with him singing the "Suckit" song with his drummer son. I also laughed when David kept walking toward the Sebring waving goodbye as Mike pulled out. Christian Slater's company tape was a hoot. Kathy Bates? Nice touch. Nothing special, though.

February 06 2010 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frostdude1

Yikes! I don't know where to begin to talk about how much I hated this episode.

This entire season has been the worst Office Season yet, such a let down from a wonderful Season 5 last year.
Sabre = Seriously? They had to do this storyline?

The new Jim and Pam are so unlikeable and I hate it every time that they are on TV. Jim has become the most hated character on the show.

I get that Andy and Erin are supposed to be the new Jim and Pam but they don't have the same charm that Jam did in Season 2 and 3.

David Wallace the only good thing in this episode. That was an awesome scene in his house, seeing him so lost Michael being the sane one.

I can't wait for this whole weird season to end and hopefully they go back to The Office we once loved.

February 05 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zack

Disagree with reviewer's comments. While most of this season has not generated the same kind of insane hilarity that previous ones have, several episodes still stand out (esp. Koi Pond!), and Sabre has quite a few funny moments (most of which have already been described). I actually enjoyed the daycare bit, but I agree that Jim is less compelling as a co-boss and is too serious, though what do you expect of a person who is settling down and about to have a kid? It would come off as irritating and unrealistic if he was still acting like an irresponsible goof. After everything Michael has done to Pam, nobody should expect her to be as tolerant of his behavior, either.

There are plenty of new avenues for comedy opened up with Sabre's acquisition of Dunder-Mifflin. This episode was structured to hint at that, and as a transitional episode, I still found it to be quite hilarious.

You might not like some of the changes, but if the show was still the same as seasons 2 or 3, you'd probably be tired of that formula as well--how long do you think you can maintain an office of employees who stand silently agape as their boss makes incessant racially/sexually insensitive remarks?

The show is evolving. Give it time.

February 05 2010 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kip

it wasn't saab-ruh, it was saab-ray. it was definitely a long "A", not a schwa, at the end. (which is why "dunder mifflin's now a part of sabre" could fill in for "it's a party in the U. S. A." in the song)

February 05 2010 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
freedom55

I really enjoyed this episode. Lots of laughs. More than any recent episode. I don't know what you were watching?
And btw they thought it was pronouced "SOB-RAY"

February 05 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brendan

Jim's promotion to co-manager was a big mistake. It disrupted the whole Office universe when he became an overseer instead of a likable goof-off. He's too serious. Jim is now openly contemptuous of Michael, who no longer has any real authority over him. Pam, who used to be sweet, also defies/insults Michael to his face. She isn't as lovable anymore.

February 05 2010 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
EbonyDad

I have to agree with Joel. This show has been a chore to watch these days. Maybe it is the fact it is hitting to close to reality.

I just know this, I use to watch The Office first on Thursday night. Now, I am watching Community first, and if I have the time, get around to The Office.

I just hope the show comes out of its funk.

OH... I hope they stop this Andy/Erin ditzy flirting. It is driving me crazy. Lets have Andy get a clue and ask Erin out. There is comedy gold in the dates they would go on.

February 05 2010 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to EbonyDad's comment
sarah

i do agree with you on the Andy/Erin flirting game. it's annoying. they're wasting precious time with them. i just hope it pays out in the end, in the same manner that the metal water bottles paid out in the end of the episode with the orange juice. "It's like drinking a battery!"

February 05 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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