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The Office

The Office is a comedy set in a paper sales company Dunder Mifflin. Shot in a mockumentary style the show follows the exploits of regional manager Michael Scott whose excruciating behaviour can make life difficult for his fellow employees. NBC 2005-???

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Episode 6 - Hot Girl

27 March 2012

Synopsis: Katie is selling handbags in offices. Michael is attracted to her and so invites her to work from the conference room. He and Dwight both unsuccessfully attempt to woo her during the day. In the end Jim asks her out and they head off to get a drink together.

The Good: This is a classic sit com story and it generates a lot of nice comedy moments as a result. The office has an established routine, a new person is introduced into that system and we get to enjoy how her presence affects the established interactions of the characters.

Michael is energised by having a woman around to hit on all day. His “interview” scenes end up being funnier either by coincidence or by product. Instead of being generally straightforward examples of his almost autistic thinking, the writers throw in more punchlines. We learn that Michael subscribes to an in-flight magazine and found an article about Doris Robers to be “illuminating.” He also comments that back in the 1980s a lot of Dunder Mifflin salesmen used cocaine, “Man did they move paper!”

Meanwhile the Jim, Pam and Roy triangle received another boost. Roy’s dull, aggressive thinking (about Katie) gets him in trouble with Pam. Not only did that scene underline why Roy isn’t the best thing for Pam but it allowed Jim to show off some real wit (see Comic Highlight). Jim of course has a very strong episode. He manipulates Dwight nicely and on this occasion more plausibly. As Dwight is clearly unsure in the world of women, he was understandably more susceptible to taking Jim’s advice seriously. Then of course Jim asked out Katie himself, making Pam wonder what she is missing. He was also able to blow off the potentially awkward moment when he tells Pam about his date by joking around about getting “matching tattoos.” In general he looked very smart and likeable throughout.

We got another brief glimpse of Angela’s character which was nice. After revealing her dislike of the “whorish” colour green (104) we now hear which colours she does like – “grey, dark grey, charcoal.”

The Bad: Michael and Dwight still feel too childish when they are on screen together. Dwight suggests “torture” is something people like and asks Michael if he is in love with Katie. Dwight actually buying a purse and wearing it was pretty broad humour and again made him seem less real. The way he was rejected was pretty sad though, he needs a more well rounded character to draw out emotion in moments like that.

Meanwhile Michael can’t read any human emotional cues, is a slob and still sleeps on a futon. Then he brings up Toby’s divorce to cut him down in the eyes of Katie. It’s pretty consistent with his character but it’s still joyless to watch him be so rude and so oblivious.

Jim hanging up Pam’s phone while she is in the middle of a call didn’t seem realistic or professional. Surely she would have been really annoyed about that? His lame impressions of Dwight didn’t exactly recover the situation.

Comic Highlight: Jim, Pam and Roy are eating lunch together. Kevin is in the background. Roy is probably keen to get Jim away from Pam, so asks him what he thinks of Katie. Jim says she isn’t his type and Roy asks if he is gay. Kevin asks what Jim’s type is. Now Jim has to avoid saying anything which might include Pam so he flippantly says “Moms, primarily. Yeah soccer moms, single moms, Nascar moms. Any type of mom really.” The humourless Roy says “That’s disgusting.” Kevin’s one track mind adds “Stay away from my mom.” Jim, having ventured smoothly out of choppy waters retorts “Too late Kev.”

That’s what I said: This episode gives me hope for The Office. Too much Dwight and Michael can be a real downer, as two unlikeable characters conspire to fail and be humiliated. But there is life in the other characters and glimpses of hope here in Dwight and Michael. They both show vulnerability and get out some witty lines. This episode moved closer to being a sit com and not a reality show. That’s where I think it should head.

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