Friday, September 18, 2009

XOXO, Michael Scott here...

The sixth (can you believe it?) season of The Office premiered last night, and while it wasn't one of the series' stronger episodes, it was instantly rewarding to have my well-loved characters back on screen. The episode started off with an excellent cold open in which Michael, Andy, and Dwight demolish the office while trying to film their own parkour stunts. Jim had an awesomely smug line, saying, "Parkour is all about getting from Point A to Point B as creatively as possible, so yes, what they are doing is parkour, if Point A is delusion, and Point B is the hospital." (paraphrased)

Michael Scott was in fine form in last night's episode, obnoxiously trying to ingratiate himself into each of his employees' lives and relationships. Hearing the interns' rumors about Stanley having an affair, he accidentally discovers it to be true, but doesn't realize that spreading this news about the office is a bad idea until Jim tells him so. In trying to cover his trail, he spreads rumors about every one of his employees throughout the day. The rumor that Andy's gay makes him think he might in fact be gay, sending him to Oscar for advice. I sometimes forget about Oscar's character, but when he bemoans his role as counselor to "insecure heterosexual men," he reminds us why we love him.

The rumors fly, that Toby is a virgin, that Kelly is an anorexic,* and that Dwight buys store-bought manure. Oh, and that Pam is pregnant! Of course, she and Jim have been trying to keep this under-wraps, but when they realize it's just a rumor, they end up revealing the truth to the office as a means of protecting Stanley's secret. While this type of reveal was clever, I thought they could have done more with coworkers speculating about Pam's pregnancy, but I hope they'll have a lot of fun with what happens now that everyone knows. Maybe Jan will come back to compare baby notes!

The episode was lacking in big laughs, and veered a touch too close to the bizarre that alienated me a few seasons ago when Michael drove into the lake. We all love Creed's wackiness, but him asking, "if I can't SCUBA, then what has this all been about?" was a little too out there for me. It did have some good quips though, such as Ryan's instantaneous reply to Pam's pregnancy announcement, "Don't vaccinate it!"

*Intern, thinking Kelly was an anorexic: I'm so glad you're eating again!
Kelly, unaware of the rumor: Me too!
(I love Kelly.)

The Office airs Thursday nights at 9pm on NBC.

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