The Office: The Farm: Episode 17 Season 9 – TV Review

NBC has already passed on the Dwight Schrute spin-off show, The Farm, but the backdoor pilot still gets its moment in the sun on the latest episode of The Office.

Check below for the full review…

The Players:

  • Director: Paul Lieberstein
  • Writers: Paul Lieberstein
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith, Clark Duke, Jake Lacy, B.J. Novak, Andy Buckley, Chris Diamantopoulos

Episode Title: “The Farm”

Dwight and Oscar attend a funeral at Schrute Farms. Todd Packer returns to the office – with cupcakes!

The Good:

  • Down On The Farm: The Dwight Schrute spin-off that goes no further than the pilot features both funny and tender moments in the major storyline of the night. Dwight shined as the central focus, doing a nice job of setting up what might have been some humorous story-lines to follow had the show been picked up.
  • Jeb & Frannie: Had to love the scene when Dwight’s brother, Jeb, drives the convertible into the grave. Both the sister and brother characters had enjoyable moments in the episode. A personal favorite is Jeb and Dwight’s quick chat about the ‘crap soil’ in the cemetery.
  • Blake Garrett Rosenthal: Frannie’s son is super cute, and shared a nice scene with Dwight in the barn.
  • Kevin: Had the key moment in the cupcakes plot with his comment to Pam as he prepares to eat yet another poisoned desert: “I understand, Pam… I understand…”
  • Packer’s License Plate: WL Hung. Nice!
  • Cold Open: Not bad. Dwight casually tossing dirt on his co-workers was funny. Cutting away as he hurls a gooey, dirt ball at Jim actually tied up the scene nicely.
  • Skyfall: The awesome James Bond film gets a nice mention courtesy of Pam. And Kevin is right, James Bond would eat the cupcake.
  • Speaking of Pam: One can only assume the dramatic manner in which we left she and hubby Jim at the close of “Moving On” will be addressed in future episodes. With the Dwight pilot out of the way, the show can now veer back to when the staff views the documentary, the Jim/Pam situation, and other issues that need tending to before the show wraps.
  • Best Line: Oscar: “That’s it for me!”

The Bad:

  • Cupcakes: This plot, featuring Todd Packer, provided a chuckle or two, but could have easily been swept aside for a full episode of just Dwight and his family.
  • Pete: Is he still fired? Where did he go? I guess we’ll get back into that story-line as the final episodes start to unspool.
  • Andy/Kevin: Their montage of a drug-fueled evening (courtesy of Packer’s cupcakes) just didn’t work, more goofy than funny. And not in the good kind of goofy.

Overall:

Oh, what might have been. There were numerous moments throughout “The Farm” that made it seem plausible that a Dwight Shrute spin-off could become viable TV comedy. At least for two seasons. But NBC brass has already spiked the idea, and so we are left with a one-off look at Dwight Schrute: Life Outside the Office. The cupcakes/Todd Packer plot is nothing special, save for Kevin, and Packer, providing some laughs. The funeral, the introduction of the family, and the set-up of taking over the farm all worked, with Dwight doing just fine in the lead role. The supporting cast did superbly; it looked as if the ensemble were perfectly in sync with the material. On paper, most people thought it was a bad idea for a spin-off. Fair enough. But now having seen the pilot, perhaps the show deserved a chance to see what it could do with a full season. It’s not as if NBC is loaded across the schedule with great TV shows these days.

 

Rating: 7/10

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

What did you think of tonight’s episode?