Tag Archives: schrute farms

the office recapping: gettysburg

By: Joe Finch

Barring some fantastic quips and a couple of hilarious scenes, this week’s episode of The Office was sluggish enough to make a Gettysburg tour seem more exciting.

In yet another episode heavily dominated by Andy and his insecurities, he continues to try and convince people of his leadership by taking some of the “troops” on a field trip to Gettysburg. After delivering a long winded speech comparing war to paper sales, we are finally treated to some comic relief when Gabe is mistaken for Abraham Lincoln (which isn’t the first time). Gabe embraces his new role as the former President, and delivers a hysterical performance, tying his own suffering into the monologue.

While half the staff holds down the fort back in Scranton, Robert stops in and gives them an impromptu challenge to come up with new ideas, and adds that they should feel free to “get weird with it.” Well, that they do. Ryan comes up with an idea to invest in origami, the next big Japanese craze to hit America since sushi.  Stanley underwhelms Robert with his idea of women’s paper, even after attempting to play the race card with it. The only idea that invigorates Robert comes from a very unlikely source—Kevin. Kevin’s analysis of cookie placement in the vending machine spurs Robert to shift the focus of their product line, and credits Kevin with the concept. However, Robert also learns about Kevin’s Big Mac idea (take one ingredient a day out of a Big Mac and save it, so that by week’s end you have a free Big Mac), and realizes his cookie pitch was not a metaphor, it was literally a cookie concern.

Back over at Gettysburg, Dwight adamantly insists that Schrute Farms was a bloodier battlefield, only to find out from a historian that Schrute Farms was a refuge site for dandies and dreamers. Meanwhile, Andy grows frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm shown by his underlings, and vents his frustrations to Jim and Darryl.


The show’s saving grace was incorporating the entire cast into the mix. Although it was mostly a toxic combination of Andy and Robert again, it had enough cameo shots to ease the pain. However, the pity party for Andy needs to stop. If the writers want us to move on from the Michael Scott era, then stop reminding us week after week that Andy is the new manager. Just let him be the boss and go about running the company.

Also, it is still so unclear what the developing storylines of the season are, if there are any at all. After last week’s episode, there was potential for a growing plot involving Jim’s health, which wasn’t addressed at all in this episode. Some sitcoms can get away with never really developing a lingering story, but The Office doesn’t have this luxury, considering they have had developing sagas for eight seasons.

The show has really been picking up lately in the comedic department, but came to a screeching halt with this episode. Then again, this should surprise no one, considering the writers chose “Gettysburg” as the optimal location to draw laughs.

 

QUOTES

Andy – “I can’t force you to go. You’re not my slaves. Thanks to Gettysburg.”

Ryan – “Robert, you got your sheep. You got your black sheep. And I’m not even a sheep. I’m on the freaking moon.”

Jim – “Of course we’re not tourists. We’re just people that aren’t from here that are taking a tour.”

Dwight – “Mad props to Gettysburg.”

Ryan – “Origami—it’s the sushi of paper.”

Stanley – “Paper for women. Pink, scented, and silky soft. Now, you can watch the game, and she can write a letter to her sister.”

Ryan – “Okay, we are now on a planet where Kevin is the most creative person around, and I am just some good looking guy.

Gabe – (performing as Abe Lincoln) “Perhaps a trip to the theater will enlighten my spirits.”

Phyllis – “All I had for breakfast was oatmeal, yogurt, coffee, orange juice and toast—two poached eggs and half a sandwich on the bus.”

Jim – “I’m wearing a very pink hat. I’ve been getting weird looks all day because I’m pretty sure ‘DM Does GB’ means something sexual.”

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the office recapping: doomsday

There were a lot of firsts of the season on this week’s episode of The Office. Robert acted somewhat normal, we learned how paper was made, courtesy of Kevin, and the emphasis was finally on a character not named Andy. Although I felt like I was watching more of a drama then a sitcom, the show at least took a small step forward by avoiding some of the irritating dialogue and plot direction I’ve become accustomed to. Ironically, this episode titled “Doomsday,” might just be what the office needed to save the series.

The opening didn’t set a good precedent, as I found myself irked early when Andy was impersonating a bartender while singing along to “Closing Time.” Not quite sure if it was intentional or not on the writer’s part, but this was the same character he mimicked in “Michael Scorn,” a Michael Scott production. Instantaneously, my stomach churned as they yet again went the repetitive route.

The stomach knots subsided quickly however, as I was pleasantly surprised with Robert’s demeanor throughout the show. Opposed to his usual robotic and creepy self, he resembled a real boss, one with concerns and demands about the mistakes being made in the company. He didn’t convey his message through garbled rhetoric, but simply told Andy what needed to be done. His bluntness actually worked well when blended in with his whacky little tangents about names and iPhones.

In response to Robert’s critiques, Andy must find ways for the staff to be more efficient—Dwight to the rescue. Dwight convinces Andy to allow him to implement his accountability booster, which will track all mistakes made by anyone in the office. Once the group makes 5 mistakes collectively (according to Dwight, 5 strikes equals a homerun, and you’re out), the software automatically triggers an email alert to Robert (the email alert contains other email forwards of staff talking poorly about Robert).

While the staff is focusing less on flawlessness and more on cracking Dwight’s password to deactivate the software, Gabe wanders down into the warehouse to hit on one of the workers. Of course, before doing so, he follows what he believes is HR protocol, and requests that Toby document his new relationship with the woman he has yet to ask out.

After many failed attempts to get Dwight to shutdown the software, Pam, Andy, and Kevin take a trip over to Schrute Farms, in hopes of convincing Dwight that sending this email will be detrimental to everyone. Aside from the group assisting Dwight in digging a horse grave, Pam uses a corny joke (pobody’s nerfect) to try and sway Dwight’s decision, which ends up working.               

The only major flaw in the episode was that they built too much around a few core characters, which eliminated a lot of the quick one-liner outbursts from folks such as Creed, Meredith, Phyllis, and Ryan. Otherwise, the show really showed signs of promise last night. Robert finally seemed to have found his niche, Andy was much more tolerable when the focus wasn’t solely on him, and it was nice to see Dwight return to his roots as the office villain. The producers did a great job of avoiding their fifth strike last night.

QUOTES

Dwight – “As with all my dreams, I’m guessing it was about my fear of immigrants.”

Robert – “We can talk about names all day. Our favorite names, silly names, made up names, normal names said in a silly voice.”

Andy – “You’re the deuce that I never want to drop.”

Toby – “She’s gonna be screaming her own last name?”

Kevin – “Apparently a big client for this company needs to know the story about how paper gets made.”

Kevin – “The man tree puts his penis in …”

Erin – “He’s at some club where you either eat squash or play squash.”

Dwight – “What does it look like I’m doing? Making a grave for a horse.”

Gabe – “So, tonight I was thinking, I‘m gonna go to the cemetery, drink a little wine and thought maybe you’d like to come with me.”

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the office recapping: garden party

Rock’n Roll Musician, Ricky Nelson, once wrote a song based on an experience he had at Madison Square Garden. Nelson was booed off stage for trying out some new, unfamiliar tunes, instead of belting out his classics that the audience came to listen to. In response, Nelson wrote “Garden Party,” a song describing his realization that “you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.”

The concept behind that song could certainly be used as a metaphor for this week’s Office, which shares the same title. The show certainly isn’t delivering many hits these days, and the new beats and sounds are hardly recognizable to its core audience.

 The writers nail the intro, as Andy finds out that his Sabre billboard campaign has been modified by vandals who apparently felt there wasn’t enough phallic representation in the original ads.

The show leads off with Andy planning a garden party, which will be held at the very prestigious Schrute Farms. It doesn’t take long to be reminded that the Office now marches to the beat of a different drummer, as Andy reveals a Youtube video of his brother (Josh Groban) and father (Stephen Collins) singing a duet. Once again, the cameo appearances are awkward and completely unwarranted.

We are treated to a glimpse of the past, as Jim and Dwight engage in their antics of yesteryear. Jim writes a “How to” book about throwing a garden party and anonymously dupes Dwight into purchasing it. Dwight’s compliance with the advice of the fictitious author, James Trickington, provides a few ridiculously funny scenes.

 Robert California returns after a one show hiatus, and delivers a speech about how he contributes nothing to the office, and acknowledges that it is his employees that make everything work. Anyone that has ever watched the show prior to Robert’s arrival would probably concur with his assessment. His character continues to churn out the same spiel week after week, and yet the producers of the show seem quite satisfied with themselves, as the tired act continues on.

Transitioning from one overkilled theme to another, we find ourselves sympathizing with Andy for a third consecutive week. First, we had to hold his hand while he struggled with the complexities of being boss. Then, he needed coddling from everyone when he got his Nard Dog tattoo. Now, the focus once again shifts right back to him, as he desperately attempts to gain approval from his parents by throwing this “high society” shindig.

Ricky Nelson got booed off stage for trying something new. It didn’t work, but he attempted to break his roots in hopes that his audience would still be engaged. The Office producers simply used auto-tunes, without ever giving us the opportunity to cheer or jeer at a new concept. They settled on a lazy and repetitive script, because they knew they could. The ratings were always there, which meant the celeb cameos would be there, but for how much longer will the audience be there? Like the line in “Garden Party” goes, “you’ve got to please yourself.” Perhaps I will, by switching to a different channel.

 

QUOTES

Jim – “Announcing guests as they enter is the height of decorum. The more volume displayed, the more honor is bestowed upon everyone present.”

Jim – “One of the host’s most important duties is as dance master. A proper courtly dance sets the tone for an entire afternoon.”

Gabe – “I cannot believe I didn’t think of toasting Robert. Get in the game, Gabriel. Why are you talking to Stanley’s mistress?”

Ryan – “I’d like to make a toast. To the troops—all the troops—both sides.”

Andy – “You can’t triple toast someone.”

Jim – “The tableau vivant is not only welcome but expected entertainment at any garden party.”

Robert – “You know difference between a crying baby and a manager? One day the baby will grow up.”

Dwight – “I can get you exotic meats. Hippo steaks, giraffe burgers.”

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