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The Office – New Leads

At times, I get extremely confused. I’ll sit in the chair in my dorm, stare at my television after a new episode of “The Office” has aired and ask myself, “What the hell happened to the show?” Harsh? Maybe a little, but as Season 6 has progressed, I’ve found it to be wildly uneven, and tonight’s episode sort of culminated in a few very funny moments and a slew of strange, out-of-character and painfully awkward moments that didn’t feel like the same show I have grown to love over the past five years.

People gave last week’s episode a lot of grief, but for me, that was a better episode than this week. Last week, we had a lot of the typical Office shenanigans, involving Dwight and Jim pranking each other, Todd Packer making his first return appearance since Season 3 and a lot of funny lines that wouldn’t feel out of place in an earlier season. However, tonight’s episode seemed to try to parody Glengarry Glen Ross TOO much, making Jim, Phyllis, Stanley and other salesmen and women in the office act so out of character that I felt they weren’t even the same people. Phyllis can be a funny character at times, but hearing her call Michael numb-nuts isn’t quite as funny coming from her. Maybe some people thought it would, but I just cringed at how odd it sounded coming from her. And Jim has stayed pretty much the same throughout the show (barring the occasional foray into co-manager territory), but tonight, it was hard to sympathize with somebody who was gloating about how much money they were making to the people making less money.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments. Michael was awesome tonight, coming up with ridiculous riddles for Jim to solve and delivering some solid-as-usual talking heads. I also liked the quick cut to Creed wearing goofy glasses after Michael mentioned that somebody stole the Lost and Found box. Creed does not get nearly enough lines, and even a quick cut to him doing something weird is good enough for me now, especially if we’re not going to hear him say anything. I also liked some of the Andy/Erin moments; Andy misinterpreting everything she was doing was pretty funny and realistic too (everybody’s been in an awkward situation like that before.. I know that I sure have.) But the fight in the dump was a little awkward and felt out of place in a show like The Office. It felt like something that might be done on Parks and Recreation (a show that’s more known for being completely insane, and pulls it off better than The Office too).

I suppose I’m being a little harsh on this episode, but this is just weeks of frustration being unleashed on this episode. I was really expecting a great episode after reading the premise and seeing the cold open, but I was somewhat surprised to find it lacking in the elements that usually make a great Office episode. Mark me down as disappointed, but hopeful that next week will be better.

7.5/10

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