The Husband:

The Office 5.20 “Dream Team”

The Office has taken some very interesting roads this season, and now it’s finally time for the show to live with its choices. Whether or not you think Michael is smart or being a complete fool in starting up a competing paper company – named, of course, the Michael Scott Paper Company – you have to agree that it’s a gnarly way of shaking things up.

After walking out on Dunder Mifflin after years of being [somewhat justly] ignored, and taking Pam with him, Michael at first tries to start his new paper company from within the confines of his own condo, but Pam is so worried that she creates a to-do list for him for the day which includes finding an actual office where you have to wear more than a robe and a pair of Crocs.

“I have egg in my Crocs!” – Michael

And what’s their second stop? Why, roping in the poor, fired Ryan into the Michael Scott Paper Company. Haven fallen on very hard times after losing his corporate job at DM thanks to his drug usage, he is now bleach blonde and working at the local bowling alley. But Michael’s one great trait is his ability to rally the troops, and so now Ryan is a part of the new company.

“Pam, everyone deserves a second second chance.” – Michael

Finally, they go to pick up one of Michael’s friends back when he worked as a telemarketer (one of my favorite Michael-based eps, since it showed that he can, actually, be a personable and nice fellow), and all go to visit Michael’s potential investor. Unfortunately, that happens to be his nana, and when the term “nana” is explained to the ESL telemarketer employee, he ditches the company immediately.

And so where does this ragtag group end up? Well, they find an office, all right, but it’s in the same building as Dunder Mifflin. In a closet. Oh well…

What was the other funny bit in this episode? Now that Pam’s gone, Kevin is now working the phones at Dunder Mifflin, but he can’t seem to get the hang of transferring calls. When a call comes in for Andy, the call goes to several other people until Kevin finally gets it right. And when the call finally reaches Mr. Andy Bernard, his face falls as he proclaims,

“My maid died.” – Andy

The Office 5.21 “The Michael Scott Paper Company”

A few days ago, after my wife’s review of Parks & Recreation, I put forth that any Greg Daniels show wasn’t meant to be this raucous laugh-out-loud comedy, but more comedies of cleverness and little in-jokes, meant to more elicit chuckles and thought than the guffaws one would get from 30 Rock or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Well, this week’s episode started off with one of those massive bouts of laughing, so hard that I had to pause my DVR. And what was it? The “new” intro to the show, which presented clips of life not from Dunder Mifflin but from the new offices (read: closet) of the Michael Scott Paper Company. My favorite? The Xerox machine labeled “Trash.”

Yes, it is indeed a terrible place to work. It’s one crowded room, Pam and Ryan are sharing a poker table as a desk, and the sewage pipes go through a corner of the room. But they have passion, yes they do! And Pam really wants to be taken seriously as a salesperson, so much so that she is unwilling to make copies for Michael, because if she does it once, then she feels it will never end, and then she’s back to being a receptionist. No matter that she actually likes doing copies (she likes how the pages come out all warm.)

On second thought, maybe I will go work in that closet . . .

On second thought, maybe I will go work in that closet . . .

Up at Dunder Mifflin, while Jim is struggling to understand what the hell Charles Minor wants when he asks Jim to make a rundown of all his clients, Dwight and Andy, once the embittered “other man” to one another in Angela’s love life, now both have eyes for DM’s new receptionist. (Her name is actually Kelly, but since Kelly Kapoor took this as an opportunity to stand outside Charles’ office and jump in whenever she heard the name “Kelly” uttered, receptionist Kelly decides to go by her middle name, Erin.) Dwight, in fact, does a surprisingly good job flirting with [Kelly] Erin at first, until Andy butts in later. This degrades into a guitar-banjo face-off of John Denver’s “(Take Me Home} Country Roads,” until they have both creeped out [Kelly] Erin to the point of her leaving.

A good double-dose of episodes last Thursday, working their way up to some good end-of-the-season events. And the title sequence in the second episode is almost enough to make me eat crow re: Greg Daniels

Okay, there was another funny bit even earlier in the episode, but it’s more of a shameless laugh.

[Michael drives up to the office building and stops in front of the camera, blasting Lady Gaga]

“It’s Britney, bitch.” – Michael