This week’s episode of “The Office” delivered the laughs and proved once again that this season isn’t as awful as it seemed to be at first. The return of Todd Packer amps up the comedy, and while there was probably room for more jokes, we’re not displeased with the final product. Very few episodes lately have been as strong as the early ones, but it’s still an entertaining show. Read our review to see how we felt…
- Director: Randall Einhorn
- Writer: Amelie Gillette
- Cast: Steve Carell, Amy Ryan, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Ed Helms
Episode Title: “Todd Packer”
A familiar character from early seasons returns this week, and while Michael is happy and Holly is blissfully ignorant, just about everyone else is not too pleased with the sudden presence of Todd Packer in the office. His jokes and overall attitude are so grating that sworn enemies Jim and Dwight team up with one another to prank him. In the meantime, after Pam buys a new computer for Erin, Andy wants one too, and Pam breaks some rules help him out.
- Todd Packer: Hey, we know that this character is supposed to be a jerk, and with that in mind, it’s easy enough to just enjoy the fact that he is an obnoxious pain in the ass. After all, you can’t be a fan of “The Office” if you want all of the characters to behave reasonably. It’s kind of funny to have a character who needs to come to the realization that “it’s probably not ok to call my daughter a bitch in front of other people.”
- Jim and Dwight: Although their partnership gets off to a pretty rocky start when Dwight rejects one of Jim’s prank ideas and Jim pulls it on Dwight in retaliation, it was a nice change of pace to see these two collaborating on a project. Even if that project did involve sending Todd on a trip to Florida.
- Kevin: It’s an easy joke to make, but when Kevin gets angry and admits that he has “very little tolerance for stupidity,” it’s hard not to laugh. His insistence on not being offended by Todd’s obviously insensitive comments is also enjoyable; he really hits the “trying not to cry” notes perfectly.
- Holly: Holly is a little inconsistent in this episode. Sure, she is swayed by Michael’s enthusiasm for Todd and is impressed by his sales, but her wishy-washy take on Todd is a little unrealistic.
- Andy: Andy is usually a fairly nice guy, but he acts very selfishly this week. He cares too much about Erin to just take her computer the way he does. It didn’t seem to fit with his character.
- Jim and Pam: Ok, now “The Office” is getting too realistic! Since these two have been married, their relationship has been at worst non-existent, and at best forced and tense. It’s a minor complaint, but we do miss some genuine romance on this show.
Not fantastic or memorable by any standards, but a pretty entertaining episode nonetheless. The laughs keep coming, the writing is sharp, and there isn’t a moment when we felt like changing the channel. These aren’t the kinds of episodes that made “The Office” wildly successful, but they are the kind that made it worth watching after a long day of work.
“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!
What did you think of last night’s episode? Tell us in the comments!