Friday, May 16, 2008

TBG's 2007-08 TV Report Card: The Office

Grade: C+

Thoughts: Judging from the bowls full of hot, steamy praise this show gets, you'd think it was still one of the most perfectly satirical sitcoms on the air. And, it is still eminently watchable…it's just that The Office has become something of a one-note joke. Clueless boss Michael Scott is still saying stupid things, the neurotic Dwight Schrute falls for every prank and is oblivious to his own goofiness, Jim Halpert is the goofball with a heart of gold. It's been the same schtick for four years, with changes that were predictable (Jim and Pam finallyOMGOMG hook up); exasperating (Dwight's pursuit of Angela) or preposterous (Ryan's power-mad executive arc that ended with a terrible drug habit/arrested for fraud cliffhanger).

Season's Best Episode: "Dinner Party"…this one was slammed by a lot of fans, but I thought the miniature plasma screen TV bit and the interminable wait for the food was terrific. Michael's brilliant con job to get Jim and Pam to come was only matched by Jim's deadpan realization that he'd been had.

Season's Worst Episode: "Night Out"…I really was looking forward to the forced evolution of Ryan's "temp to the top floor" character this season. But, he was written to be an unlikable prick from the get-go and would grow more and more repulsive before bottoming out (at the time, anyway) with a descent into cocaine addiction. Woefully unfunny, despite the million or so midget jokes here.

In or Out for Next Season: In...but, the expected 2009 spinoff can kiss my Black ass.

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