Tag Archives: dunder mifflin

the office recapping: mrs. california

By: Joe Finch

Maura Tierney, best known for her role as Dr. Abby Lockhart on ER, guest starred this week as Robert California’s wife, Susan. Unfortunately, even with her presence on set, the show still flat lined.

As usual, Robert continued his cat and mouse game with Andy, only this time, made the mistake of getting his wife tangled up in his lunacy. After initially ordering Andy not to hire Mrs. California under any circumstances, Robert then jumbled Andy’s mind with mixed signals, which ultimately led Andy to erroneously hiring her. With the bickering between Andy and Robert being so annoyingly overdone, it was sometimes hard to remember that Susan, not Andy, was Robert’s wife. Although there were no laughs provided from this trio, the groundwork for a potential tryst between Andy and the boss’s wife was laid (pun intended).
While the work triangle played out in the office, Dwight continued his entrepreneurial ways by opening “Dwight Schrute’s Gym for Muscles.” After renovating the gym (according to Darryl, the original setup looked like something out of Saw 5), Darryl agreed to join. With Dwight acting as his personal trainer, we learned that Darryl’s sudden fitness motivation was Val (from the warehouse, not Kilmer). Interestingly enough, this was the same woman that Gabe fell for in previous episodes.

The saving grace for laughs, and perhaps the funniest moment of the season, was Jim’s attempted escape from Dunder Mifflin headquarters. Realizing that he was about to be called into the conference room to settle Andy and Robert’s dispute, Jim ran out of the building, and right for his car. However, Robert’s call down to security foiled his getaway plan, as the gates closed as he tried to pull away. Totally out of character, Jim left his car unattended (and unlocked), and made his way up the fire escape, knowing that he was being chased down. Upon reaching the roof, he was greeted by Creed, who was casually operating a mechanical toy helicopter.

If it weren’t for that last scene, this could have potentially been the dullest episode of the entire eight seasons. They did take strides with the plot, if in fact something is brewing in the extramarital affair department. Also, we are in store for a Darryl/Gabe clash, which should make for great comedy. However, the writers used to find ways to setup storylines while still intertwining humor. These days, they sacrifice one for the other. If you want character progression, you can’t have slapstick, and vice versa.

Maybe this was the real reason Jim was trying so hard to escape.

Darryl – “I used to say I wanted to live long enough to see a black president. I didn’t realize how easy that would be. So now, I want to live to see a really, really gay president. Or a super model president. I wanna see all the different kinds of presidents.”

Dwight – “It’s the second easiest job in the world (sales). Being a mom.”

Darryl – “Uh, no, this is not a gym. This is like a scene out of Saw 5.”

Andy – “Let me beat around the bush for a second.”

Jim – “No, I don’t think we should be trying to make this place unpleasant. I think we should let this place crush her spirit by itself. It knows what it’s doing.”

Robert – “I should head out. Get to the ATM before the homeless man sets up camp for the night.”

Darryl – “It’s Lejon Brames.”

Dwight – “Well, how do you think the Fonz got so cool? He stretched his pelvic bowl.”

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the office recapping: lotto

By: Joe Finch

Growing up, there were always adults throwing around clichés that I never quite comprehended, and to be honest, still don’t to this day. What rule does one’s thumb carry? If I can have cake, why can’t I eat it too? And I would never pick a bone with anyone, because it seems a bit intrusive and kind of gross. While these phrases continue to mystify me, the latest episode of The Office finally made sense of one of these adages—addition by subtraction.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying third time’s a charm, but it took Season 8 three episodes to retreat back to its roots of good old fashioned comedy. The show opens with Oscar bashing in someone’s car window (an assumed snowboarder pothead, based on the vehicle’s bumper sticker) for leaving their dog unattended. 

Following the intro, the show hits the snooze button and does its usual lag, before providing more laughs. We learn that all of the warehouse workers resign after hitting the lottery collectively (playing Darryl’s birthday, who wasn’t included on the winnings), leaving Andy with shipment orders and no shippers.

Andy and Darryl team up to recruit new workers, which is a painfully boring scene that is finally rescued by humor when Darryl reveals that he has developed a soy allergy at 35, and Stanley realizes his lunch has been eaten by one of the interviewees.

As the botched search for new employees continues on, Jim, Kevin, Dwight and Erin team up to carry the workload in the warehouse to fill the void, only to find out that their moving methods can’t quite handle the task (Kevin oiling up his body and being slid across the floor with packages on him went into the good idea category). Darryl and Andy resolve the warehouse crisis, but only after they address their personal conflicts. Darryl lets Andy know that he deserved the promotion over him, only to be surprisingly and refreshingly combated with a strong response by Andy that satisfied even Darryl.

This episode should satisfy Office loyalists for eliminating a good portion of what is wrong at Dunder Mifflin Sabre. Robert California isn’t in this episode, which allows us to watch the original cast interact without the nonsense that he contributes to the show. Also, the writers finally let Andy Bernard be Andy the Manager and not Michael Scott Jr. (with the exception of a random Mr. T impression, which was familiar to Michael’s random outbursts). His uninspired and awkward leadership is still hard to digest, but it felt natural watching him attempt to manage.

The approach of simplifying the format of the show is both effective and rewarding. Clearly, the producers felt the need to make a splash once Steve Carell announced his departure, so they pulled out all the stops (another idiom that’s origin is still unclear to me) and brought in a heavy artillery of celebrities. Now that the transition is fully in place, hopefully the Hollywood noise will subside, and the focus can once again be on the people who put Scranton, Pennsylvania on the map in the first place. I can only hope that future episodes are as consistently funny as this one was, but I won’t count my chickens before they hatch.



Kelly – “You want to just let him die, you scumbag?”

Meredith – “We’re looking at one suicide and one weird sex thing.”

Dwight – @Jim  “I know what you’d do with the money. “Hey Pam, let’s buy expensive bathrobes and hug.”

Jim – “I’m a barista in your fantasy?”

Meredith – “Get. A. Divorce.”

Darryl – “Hide is investing in an energy drink for Asian homosexuals.”

Darryl – “Who gets a soy allergy at 35? And why is soy in everything?”

Andy – “Does anyone get distracted easily by bubble wrap?”

Darryl – “My future is not going to be determined by seven little white lotto balls. It’s going to be determined by two big black balls. I control my destiny. I do.”

Jim  – “Senor Loadenstein.”

Toby – “I would spend a lot of time launching my true crime podcast, The Flenderson Files.”

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the office recapping: the incentive

By: Joe Finch

Photo courtesy of http://www.laughspin.com

Ponder for a minute a failed relationship you have had at some point in your life. Reminisce about what made you care so greatly in the first place; what made you laugh, what triggered that permanent grin on your face. Now, fast forward a few years, long after the honeymoon phase has subsided. Think about the predictability, the annoying habits, and the lack of excitement that has gradually crept up and tarnished that once infallible bond. Eight years in the making, I finally had a realization hit me last night while watching the newest installment of The Office –the thrills are gone.

The introduction provides a couple of chuckles, as Kevin explains his new time management strategy of eliminating unnecessary words and syllables. As he practices his new language (sounds eerily similar to early Native American stereotype), the office tries to decipher his fragmented sentences, which ironically, takes up a great deal of time.

As the show commences, Darryl shares with his coworkers that he and his ex-wife are back together (she makes an appearance at the office later on in the episode, where she is greeted by all, but is intentionally only introduced to Jim and Oscar), Andy continues with his struggles of being manager, and Dwight reveals that he will no longer contribute much to the team, in hopes that Andy will fail. As if those plotlines aren’t already snooze-worthy enough, the writers continue to befuddle us with their one- trick pony antics.

Robert continues to give misplaced speeches throughout the show that have no real message, although somehow the writers find it plausible that intellects like Jim would be inspired by the meaningless banter.

Andy is a virtual carbon copy of Michael in every facet. His supposedly unorthodox style is in every way shaped by his former boss, as he demonstrates the same unconventional meetings, lack of awareness, and overall buffoonery that exemplified Michael. In this episode, Andy interrupts Dwight’s meeting so that the staff can choose a tie for him, sits on Jim’s desk as he asks people for ideas on doubling profits (since he has no idea himself), and ultimately comes up with a points reward system (some of the prizes include a stuffed polar bear, a vibrator, and a maternity shirt) to inspire the troops to make more sales. The Scranton branch has zero interest in the prizes, until Andy ups the ante and says that he will get a tattoo of their choice on his derriere, to the delight of the roused workers.

For the first time in the history of the show, the office looks functional, successful and highly energetic, which is hysterical when thinking about the motivation that is driving them. That original feel of newfound energy however, is a sad reminder to viewers that the writers have themselves become the same lackadaisical workers they have created.

The eighth season has just begun, but in my head, my relationship with this paper supplier is over. Like many relationships, these feelings will probably linger on, and I will still stick it out, even knowing the inevitable outcome. It might drag on for weeks, months, maybe years, until one day, I will build up the courage to walk away, and maybe find a new show that makes me smile like Dunder Mifflin once did.


Jim – “Kev, are you saying see the world or Sea World.”

Kevin – “When me President, they see. They see.”

Dwight  While speaking to Oscar  “Your friend Neil Patrick Harris made me laugh the other night.”

AndyGreeting Robert “Hi dad.”

Robert – “This coffee is cold.”

Erin – “It’s old. I asked if you wanted a cold beverage and you said coffee.”

Kelly – “Why is it all kids stuff and a vibrator?”

Stanley – “You’ve got to unleash the power of the pyramid.”

Andy – “Let’s ink my stink.”

Andy – “My heart belongs to music. But my ass –belongs to these people.”

Andy – “Invest in softer cotton, sir.”

Robert – “There’s something about an underdog that really inspires the unexceptional.”

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