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'The Office': Where did the funny go?

September 25, 2009 |  7:22 am


The second episode of “The Office’s” sixth season — sixth! How time flies! — proved that sometimes funny at Dunder Mifflin can be paper-thin. But life at a paper company is bound to feel bland at times, right? After all, Michael can’t accidentally hit employees with his car every week. Dwight can’t abuse his experience as a Lackawanna County sheriff's deputy. And even Jim needs a break from all the Dwight pranks. So when the office antics go on the back burner, so do the laughs.

Thursday’s episode was a lesson in office politics. With the Buffalo, N.Y., branch closed, the Scranton office has “absorbed” their clients, leaving a heavier workload for everyone and an opportunity to climb the office ladder. Jim -- looking like a dapper Don Draper in a suit and tie -- met with Dunder Mifflin’s head honcho David Wallace to discuss promotion opportunities — hey, the dude has a baby on the way. And you can’t feed a baby paper! Speaking of Jim’s sharper image, has anyone else noticed how Pam’s style has evolved? The crunchy curls and Keds have been replaced with soft waves and nonfabric footwear. Very office chic.

Sorry. Thoughts like that tended to be frequent during this episode. But back on track…

The secrecy of their meeting left Michael paranoid. And whenever Michael feels threatened you can expect a classic Michael moment is nearby. Good, right? Not this time. Michael had Andy wheel him into the conference room — the setting of so many “Office” laughs. Prison Mike. Lazy Scranton … need I say more? — where he was hidden in an “elegant” cheese cart boasting the best coagulated milk from the Wisconsin region. But a scene that could have resuscitated the so-far lackluster episode failed to do just that. 

In the end, it was announced that Michael and Jim will serve as co-managers of the Scranton branch — Hmm. Wonder if they’ll be sharing Michael’s office. Oh, and we learn that Jam’s (Jim + Pam) wedding will be taking place at Niagara Falls! Meredith likes ribs. Toby is capable of yelling obscenities. And who else loves that Michael consults his mother and H&R Block guy when it comes to making big personal decisions?

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Steve Carell as Michael Scott in "The Office." Credit: NBC Universal