improving ‘the office’

Lauren and I are having a moving sale tonight [“great deals on quality items that we don’t want to take back to Ontario!”], and afterwards, I fully intend on sitting down and getting reacquainted with The Office. This is my #2 favourite show on TV these days, and it was a downright shame to go through the winter months without a peek into the world of Dunder-Mifflin.

To be honest, though, I thought that Season 4 was off to a bit of a rough start. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had just made my way through the [better] UK version, or that they started off with 4 hour long episodes that were a bit watered down, but I was feeling a bit underwhelmed.

Here are a few suggestions to bring back the magic of earlier episodes:

Bring back Todd Packer: Some of the best episodes have featured appearances by this foul mouthed ‘friend’ of Michael Scott [think Sexual Harrasment and Christmas Party]. The show seems to be moving away from the more cutting edge material that defined its early days, and a dose of Todd Packer could really liven things up.

Less relationship drama: The whole Jim and Pam dynamic was great and it will be interesting to see how that plays out now that they are together, but there has been so many other story lines involving office romances that it sometimes feels like I’m watching Scranton 18510.

Bring back fun Michael: Is it just me or did it seem like Michael was in need of some serious counseling prior to the hiatus? Relationship issues, bankruptcy, depositions. What happened to the Chris Rock impersonations? Where are the hilarious and inappropriate conference room meetings? One of the things I loved about the UK version was a balance between the emotive and the comedic. Michael Scott is at his best when he is a complete buffoon and then surprises you with some tenderness. Maybe it was because they needed filler for the hour long episodes, but Michael was turning into a real Debbie Downer.

The Dundees: Isn’t this meant to be a yearly tradition for Dunder-Mifflin Scranton? We haven’t seen these awarded since Season 2. I think it would be fun to see the gang at Chili’s handing out some Dundees.

Just Schrute me: Dwight is for sure one of the strengths of this show and needs to be highlighted.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some hilarious moments in Sesaon 4. The Fun Run episode was great, and I enjoyed the invasion of the Utica branch. I just think the show was at its best in earlier seasons, and hope that it can maintain that balance between edgy humour and heart that made it so great early on.

Maybe Ricky Gervais has the winning formula by keeping his shows short.

  1. I thought the episode last night started off a bit slow but picked up steam. My favorite quotes included: “Jan, how could you say that? You know I have soft teeth”, “The thought of putting one your your beets in my mouth makes me want to vomit” and “That is a $200 plasma TV!”

    • Sabrina
    • April 11th, 2008


    Great Office thoughts. I hadn’t realized that Michael’s character had become quite so sullen until you mentioned it, and do concur that he has jumped on the bus to Bluesville as of late. I don’t remember when his emotional demise began, but wonder if it is related to his relationship with Jan? It would make sense that a character would experience some sort of change upon entering into a serious relationship with a PSYCHO!!

    Hope your day is fantastic. Not many days of custodial duties left. How exciting.

  2. @ chris – the tv part was funny. “i finally broke down and bought a plasma tv. i could stand here for hours … ” but honestly, jan has to go. she’s killing michael. and when did angela become one of the main characters?

    @ sabrina – i can’t stress it enough. it’s all jan’s fault and she needs to go. she is completely nuts. they dynamic was much better and funnier when she was the boss. i hope you have a great day / weekend as well. we’re having cake here at prov today for those who are departing, to that is a bonus. Lauren and I are looking forward to ken’s birthday party next friday!

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