Friday, February 23, 2007

"I date Michael Scott publicly and collapse in on myself like a dying star": The Office

(I'm three weeks behind on My Name Is Earl AND The Knights of Prosperity. But I promise I'll catch up on both and do a big mega post on the two for you guys this weekend.)

One of the things I love about The Office is that the Michael and Jan pairing makes so little sense, yet makes perfect sense at the same time. For all of his annoying quirks and lack of proper socialization, Michael is still a fixer-upper. He's not completely irredeemable, like, say, Dwight. He knows there are social limits (witness, for example, how he found Andy's obsequiousness nauseating), and with a little work, he could be both a fine man and a fine partner. We can sense from the extreme interest she takes in a paper company that's falling apart that Jan likes a project, and I think her strange attraction to Michael stems from her desire to find another project. Also, having always been someone who teases those he's attracted to, I understand completely how Michael's annoyance drives Jan crazy but also kind of turns her on (I know -- weird relationships I've been in).

I really liked the scenes at the party. Michael and Jan's "coming out" was funny, as were Karen's attempts to make Jim think she had slept with every man in the room (and I love how gullible Jim gets around someone he's fallen for). What I didn't like, so much, was Dwight. I like Rainn Wilson's performance, and I think Dwight has done some funny stuff, but his complete lack of ability to know the proper way to act in a given situation will often ruin his scenes for me. I bought, perhaps, that he would be really interested in how big the house he was in was, but going from there to waking up children, testing out studs and going out onto the roof to test chimney strength was a stretch too far. Wouldn't one of his co-workers make sure he wasn't making a jackass of himself?

I did like, though, that Jim continues to advance in his career. His playing basketball with his superior was a step in the right direction for him. Whether he wants to or not, Jim Halpert is on the way up.

The scenes in the bar with the rest of the cast were good too. I'm not sure what to make of Roy's threat to kill Jim, and I thought he and his brother's reaction to finding out that Jim and Pam had kissed was a little overplayed, but the rest of the stuff, right down to Toby playing with the claw machine endlessly to get Pam that stupid duck, worked well for me. Creed's popularity with the local college crowd was another highlight.

Oh, and the straitjacket, which was OK, but mostly to see Stanley's bemused reaction to it.

So what did you think?

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