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 The Office Is Back in Business, Baby!

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PostSubject: The Office Is Back in Business, Baby!   Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:40 am




I have a bone to pick with fellow TV.com writer Steve Heisler. After The Office’s Season 7 premiere, he dismissed the show as one of TV’s most disposable comedies. That may have been true of Season 6, but I believe The Office is back in business this season, and last night’s “The Sting” was a prime example.

Before I get into the details of the episode, I should say that I know that the show is not what it used to be, and hasn’t been for awhile. After seven seasons on the air, there’s just not much more that we need to know about these characters. Season 6 was dismal because it ignored that sentiment and forced drama out of thin air. With the exception of the wedding episode and the baby episode, last season contained way more valleys than peaks, the lowest of which was “Scott’s Tots.” To say that I was dreading Season 7, Steve Carell’s last, would be an understatement.

I’m happy to report that I underestimated The Office’s ability to bounce back. Five episodes into Season 7, it’s clear that The Office is finally comfortable with its age. The show isn’t trying to bombard us with borderline-offensive one-liners or reveal new secrets about the characters we already know too well—it’s just trying to make us laugh. That’s all we could ever ask for out of a comedy, right? The past five episodes, especially the brilliantly irreverent cold opens, have had me in stitches. And “The Sting” made me laugh because it played up everyone’s comedic strengths: Andy (Ed Helms), Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), and Darryl (Craig Robinson) formed a band and jammed while Michael (Carell), Dwight (Rainn Wilson), and Jim (John Krasinski) spied on a rival salesman, Danny Cordray, played by the under-stated and overly-dreamy Timothy Olyphant. Watching Meredith (Kate Flannery) seduce Danny while Oscar (Oscar Nunez) and Ryan (B.J. Novak) pretended to be custodians was pure gold.

To top it all off, a few of the rumored new Regional Managers are getting ample screen time, perhaps so we get used to seeing more of them. “Andy’s Play” was, as you might imagine, all about Andy—and Helms put his jazzy voice to use. Andy’s also got a good bromance going with Darryl, another boss-man front-runner who always seems like he’s stirring up trouble in his new lair. Whoever ends up takes the lead will never fill Michael’s shoes, but he (or she) will certainly have the potential to steer The Office in a new, possibly awesome direction. "Disposable"? More like renewable.

What did you think of “The Sting”?


http://www.tv.com/the-office-is-back-in-business-baby!/story/24353.html
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