A recently fired Andy and his newly acquired life crisis takes center stage at a local fundraiser on the latest episode of The Office. Even cute dogs and a dapper Robert California aren’t enough to save the “Fundraiser”, which, to be fair, is funny here and there in between the mediocrity. A far cry from the comedy brilliance the show has delivered in the past.

Check out our full review below…

The Players:

  • Director: David Rogers
  • Writers: Own Ellickson
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, James Spader, B.J. Novak, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith

Episode Title: “Fundraiser”

Unemployed Andy crashes a fundraiser for the Senator – and ends up the unlikely owner of a dozen disabled dogs.

The Good:

  • Ryan: Picking up from last week’s episode, Ryan rocked it in the cold open with the Smokey Robinson riff. His back and forth with Jim and Pam about the ‘Smoke Man’ was possibly the best part of the episode – all before the opening credits even rolled.
  • Andy: He’s much more tolerable when he’s not manager. Even better when he’s having a minor breakdown about being fired and working on his rock opera. Hell yes, Thomas Organ!
  • Jim: Best moment was his reaction/dialogue when Oscar shows he and Pam the seductive look the Senator gave him: “What happened, did he do it?”
  • Pam: To follow up, Pam’s enthusiastic quote that “life is Downton Abbey” was delivered quite well, quite humorously.
  • David Wallace: Hell yeah, David Wallace is back! And rich, bitch! He sold the Suck It! for big money. Good for David. He looks like he added some lbs., but still cool and rockin’ the sweet glasses.
  • Angela: The look she gives that dog is awesome. So very Angela of her.
  • Nellie: It worked, the trying to buddy up with Darryl stuff. Her taco eating skills are not good, yet humorous to watch.
  • Kevin: Showed up quite a bit in the episode, but scored the most points laying on the floor with his big, cute dog at the end.

The Bad:

  • Kelly: No Kelly. Mindy Kaling must be off working on her Fox pilot.
  • Dwight: The storyline with Dwight not understanding the concept of a silent auction registered a big yawn. It wasn’t funny when it started, and by the end, with his big speech, it was long past tired.

Overall:

Those viewers of The Office that have scolded the show throughout the season for its varying degrees of sucking, are not likely to be changing their thinking after watching the latest episode.

Like just about every episode in season 8, there are moments in “Fundraiser” that deliver smiles and laughs, but enough blah material and/or scenes that makes everyone weep for the old days when the show just killed it every week and everyone was happy. This was yet another incomplete episode, some parts good, some parts not so much.

“Fundraiser” has some funny content, and good work from the cast. But then we get this story with Dwight and the silent auction, which did not work. At all. The Jim-Pam-Oscar scenes regarding the ‘maybe he’s gay’ Senator had some funny lines, the Nellie-Darryl combo wasn’t awful, and even Andy and his rock opera delivered occasionally. But the episode lost steam somewhere along the way, and it  turned slow and a little boring.

What wasn’t boring was the cold open. Very funny dialogue for Ryan, Jim, and Pam as they discussed Smokey Robinson. We needed more of that spirit in the episode. The cold opens have been good, to very good, almost all season long. So there’s that.

 

Rating: 6/10

The Office airs on NBC at 9pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?