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'The Office': Michael Scott's night out

Office Is it possible that Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is now the weakest part of "The Office"?  The same complaint has been lodged here in this column: that when it's at its zaniest, "The Office" is at its worst. Lately, there is almost nothing that Michael does that's not ridiculous.  In last night's episode alone he got gum stuck in his hair by crawling under a car, had his head massaged with peanut butter and left work early to go clubbing in New York with Ryan (B.J. Novak) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) in order to find a one-night stand.  That list would seem like something out of a subpar slapstick sitcom, not a smart, reality-based comedy.  The most realistic thing Michael did in the episode? Admit that he had a hard time understanding the characters on "The Wire."  Frustratingly, Dwight also behaves as fatuously when he serves as Michael's sidekick.  There was Dwight, doing the massaging of the peanut butter into Michael's scalp at work, convinced a short man was a hobbit, singing Ryan a lullaby. It's just too silly to be funny.

Thank goodness for Toby (Paul Lieberstein). It could of course be argued that his big moment in last night's episode was nearly as bizarre as Michael and Dwight's, but because it was Toby, because it was set in the real-life situation of being stranded late at work, because it was borne of his longstanding crush on Pam, it was hilarious to see him let his hand more-than-linger on her knee and then abruptly flee the premises by jumping over the fence and running home.  Hopefully he wasn't serious about moving to Costa Rica.

--Claire Zulkey

(Photo courtesy NBC Universal)

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

I tend to agree. One of my favorite episodes of the Office involved Michael actually closing a deal at Chili's with Tim Meadows as the guest star. Michael is supposed to be a good salesman - not necessarily a good boss. I wish they would show Michael competent at something at least once in a while. Another favorite episode was when they all went out on sales calls. Jim and Dwight were fantastic as a sales team. It was also nice to see Stanley and Phyllis as good sales reps who knew their clients - they were also really funny.

You don't like this show. so it's weird for me then that you're the show tracker.
you should quit and someone who's funny and a fan of the Office should take over.

Have you watched the same episode I did last night? I am willing to bet that you missed the April 10th return and last week's episode because, in the span of two episodes, Michael broke up with Jan and then fell into mourning for a chair model he never knew. As for last night's episode, Michael was in character and he thrives himself on having fun from time to time. As for everybody else, they were supposed to come in the next day (Saturday) and pad sales for the website, for a few hours. I estimate that Michael left for New York about 1/2 hour before quitting time, but was expecting everybody else hard at work when he returned the next morning. It was Jim's idea to work overtime on a Friday night and that caused problems in Scranton.

Angela, I do like this show--I just don't think it's been as good as it used to be lately. I just expect more from it. Don't you think this would be boring if every post gushed about how great every episode is?

Jessy, I've been watching them all. I apologize if I haven't been recapping enough in them--I assumed that most people who read these watched them and knew what went on but I can put in more reiteration if you think it needs it.

I agree w/ Ms. Zulkey. The Office often missteps by being too broad. As much as I hate to still be making comparisons to the UK Office, I will. That show succeeded so brilliantly because it hewed so close to believability.

I TOTALLY agree. We need him (and Dwight) to be BELIEVABLY incompetent, not doing stuff that no sane person would do. The dinner party episode was great but the chair model, the peanut butter shampoo were just plain stupid. Same with Dwight actually believing the short guy was a hobbit. C'mon guys, give your audience a little more credit. I'll keep watching but 30 Rock is quickly overtaking Office as my fave.

It may not have been one of their strongest episodes, but it was solid. Maybe the writers' strike hiatus had some effect on the way people remembered the show. The Office has always mixed the zany with the mundane. Still, I find it a stretch to characterize as "ridiculous" getting gum stuck in one's hair, trying peanut butter to get it out (it works), and ditching work early on a Friday to go to a club.

As for Dwight's thinking Ryan's friend was a hobbit: (1) Dwight thought Jim was going to turn into a vampire, (2) Dwight's only consistent interpersonal contact outside of work has been with Mose, (3) Dwight is probably inbred like Mose seemingly is, and (4) that guy absolutely looked like you'd expect a real-ife hobbit to lool like.

Also, The Office (US) has been much broader than the UK version since the second season, because it needs to be. The UK version was genius and at times painfully real... and it ended after two seasons. The US version had to find its own tone and needed a way to extend beyond two seasons.

I love 30 Rock as well, but The Office is a much better-written show. 30 Rock is a joke factory that throws a lot at you in every episode. That's why some of the episodes are so gut-busting. However, the characters are flat and one-dimensional. I don't care what happens to them unless it's funny. I care about The Office's characters.

Nah. I think the office is doing fine. It's not reality, that's the point. He's an idiot, yet he's not. It's funny, I dunno'... I believe it's doing just as good as it has. And without Michael, well, The Office would suck. It's like making a cake, you need the milk and the eggs. They are all an ingredient.

Nah. I think the office is doing fine. It's not reality, that's the point. He's an idiot, yet he's not. It's funny, I dunno'... I believe it's doing just as good as it has. And without Michael, well, The Office would suck. It's like making a cake, you need the milk and the eggs. They are all an ingredient.

Nah. I think the office is doing fine. It's not reality, that's the point. He's an idiot, yet he's not. It's funny, I dunno'... I believe it's doing just as good as it has. And without Michael, well, The Office would suck. It's like making a cake, you need the milk and the eggs. They are all an ingredient.


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