…And well into season 4. So, more “The Office” talk.
If you don’t like it, well, hey. My blog, man.
I’ll bullet point it:
- I’m not fully sure why, but I’m actually really invested in the Jim/Pam stuff. I think it’s Jenna Fischer. Her smile is incredibly infectious. Just looking at it cheers me up. Extremely attractive, but she has the “girl next door” thing down pat. Her performance is very underrated.
- Season three might have been slightly worse than season 2, but the whole season is worth it for Prison Mike. And the Ben Franklin episode.
Seriously though, just watch the Prison Mike scene. I’m not sure if I’ve ever laughed so much within four minutes. “You my friend would be da belle uv da ball”.
- I like that the season finales end on high notes. I guess ending season 2 with Jim kissing Pam and season three ending with him asking her on a date are technically cliffhangers, but they’re definitely optimistic ones. I like that.
- I’m a broken record by now, but Carrell is stunningly good as Michael. He takes a guy who should be thoroughly unlikeable in every way and somehow has you rooting for him. Truly a brilliant performance.
- Looking at the comments sections of reviews is hilarious in retrospect. Season four so far has certainly been up to par with two and three. The people who were saying its darker had apparently never seen the episode “Halloween” or the episode where Michael almost jumps off the roof (hilariously, onto a bouncy castle, but still).
- Another thing that puts “The Office” above and beyond other sitcoms is how it handles its few serious moments. I really think, so far anyway, that the balance is dead-on perfect. The few serious moments pack great punches – When Pam and Jim cheer Michael up at the Dundies, when Michael gives the kids his Halloween candy, when Jim awards Michael the gold medal in “Office Olympics” and, my two favorite, Michael complimenting Pam at her art show and Michael’s “Absolutely not” line in “The Deposition”. Wow. That one REALLY hit home.
That, by the way, isn’t all of the serious moments. I think the reason they work so well is that, with very rare exceptions, the serious moments are tied up in completely ridiculous situations. Michael expressing solidarity with Jim on the booze cruise is touching, but the whole reason Michael is there is because he’s been tied to the railing after lying about the ship sinking. Even the pathos is inherently undercut with humor.
- “The Office” does a good job convincing you that certain employees at Dunder-Mifflin (Dwight and Jim specifically) are actually quite good at their jobs when they decide to work, and they do a pretty good job showing people how, exactly, Michael got his position: He’s an outstanding salesman. The increasingly ridiculous scene at Chili’s in “The Client” is actually a really good explanation of how Michael got promoted. At one time he was a genuinely good, even great, employee.
- I don’t care if it bothers some people. Jim’s pranks on Dwight are some of my favorite parts of the show. Faxes from “Future Dwight” are major highlights.
- Favorite episodes: “The Client” and “Dinner Party”, which I haven’t gotten to in my binge-watch quite yet (next episode) but which I saw separately on TV. Absolutely hysterical, and incredibly dark. “The Office” at the top of its game.