If a TV show can be bipolar, last night’s episode of “The Office” certainly was. Half the time we’re getting the same kind of off-beat, surprising humor that made us love the show in the first place, and the other half of the time the show seems to be slipping in the same mundane, comedic sitcom formula as all the rest. Take a look at the review to see what we mean…
- Director: Alex Hardcastle
- Cast: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, Leslie David Baker, Paul Lieberstein
Episode Title: “Christening”
Everyone in the office decides to attend the Christening of Jim and Pam’s baby, but a misunderstanding results in everyone also taking part in the small, “private” reception being held afterwards. Food and seating is scarce but Michael is drawn to the communal vibe and randomly enough he even gets from a group of young church-goers who are on their way to Mexico to build a school.
- Just like old times: We always knew that Jim and Pam would be together in the end, we just never assumed that once they had been together for a while they would become so lifeless. Fortunately, by seeing these two characters celebrate the Christening of their child, we get a little reminder of why we loved them in the first place.
- Way to be, Michael: Michael has been getting annoying lately. His idiocy used to be funny, now it just makes us want to punch him in the face. He showed something of a return to form in this episode. First, he delivers the world’s worst Brando impression because he thinks he is the Godfather, lacing his dialogue with typical mafia threats. (“Let me sit next to you before I shoot you in the head.”) Though later on, he regains his credibility when he tears into his coworkers for focusing on how hungry they are and not recognizing the togetherness experienced by the church group.
- Toby: Toby gets a pretty nice spotlight this week. Throughout the episode, he is reluctant to enter the church. When he finally brings himself to do so, he walks up to an image of Christ and asks the ultimate question…
- Prologue: This week’s prologue starts funny, ends gross. We learn a lot about Dwight’s thoughts on the immune system, but we didn’t need to see everyone sneeze into his food.
- The reception: A lot of what went right in the first half of this episode is forgotten after the problematic second half. The reception has no food, no seats, and a lot of unhappy guests. Could be ripe for comedy. It isn’t. All we get are a lot of angry people and a lot of uncomfortable tension. This is a comedy sitcom, not “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
- Predictability: Michael tends to make some stupid decisions when he’s feeling down, and such is definitely the case in this week’s episode. However, these spontaneous acts of stupidity are funny because we don’t see them coming. This time around, we know exactly what he is going to do. Nothing comes of it, and it ends very abruptly. It really feels like the second half of this episode is pointless, with nowhere to go.
- C’mon, Jim: Jim’s ineptitude can be funny-it led to his baby being Christened in a tiny Arcade Fire shirt-but it gets a little out of hand when he actually loses his baby. That doesn’t really come off as funny. It’s just kind of awful.
This show is not nearly as satisfying as it used to be, but last night had some good moments. Sadly, a great first half gave way to an unfocused and aimless second half.
“The Office” airs on NBC every Thursday night!
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