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Friday, April 25, 2008

Answer: After last night's "Office," nobody

I don't know where to begin. I was literally stunned by how bad last night's episode of "The Office" was. Physically pained. Nauseated. I'm sure watching it is what made those U.S. contractors fire on those Iranian boats today. Yes, last night's episode was bad enough to start a war over.

Let's just list all the excruciatingly unfunny things that happened in "Night Out," shall we? Michael getting gum in his hair after chasing something shiny under Stanley's car. Dwight attempting to dislodge the gum by giving his boss a peanut-butter scalp massage. Ryan visiting the office and spouting platitudes like "Stay real, Scranton!" Michael's continual horndog antics, announcing to his employees that he was heading out to a New York nightclub to "get laid," and Dwight tagging on "With sex!" Dwight going ON AND ON AND ON about the guy who looked like a hobbit. (WE GET IT. THE DUDE WAS SHORT.) The security guard locking everyone in, because obviously he didn't see all their cars parked there. Ryan's obvious coke addiction. (Because cocaine addiction is hi-larry-us!)

Oh god, I can't even go on. Just typing this I can feel my soul seeping out my fingers, and, hey, what's that noise? Why, it's the sound of ten thousand babies crying. Nice job, "The Office." You made TEN THOUSAND BABIES CRY.

"Night Out," written by "Office" regular Mindy "Kelly Kapoor" Kaling, seemed to retread a lot of popular and oh-so-worn-out themes. Michael's hopelessness with women. Dwight's obsession with fantasy. Ryan's douchebaggery. Jim's ineptitude as a leader. It was stuff we have seen ad nauseum from this show, and simply stank of creative bankruptcy.

And to add insult to injury, it also appears that Toby, long my favorite character, will soon be exiting the show. Maybe. After a rather awkward (geez, does this show know how to do anything else?) moment involving his hand and Pam's thigh, Toby announces to the group that he's moving to Costa Rica, then jumps the parking lot gate and hoofs it home. Whether or not that's the last we'll ever see of our puppy-faced PR rep remains to be seen. But wow, he couldn't have picked a worse episode to go out on.

-- Adam Reinhard, lifeisfunnybutnothahafunny@gmail.com

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8 Comments:

Here here, Adam... I fought you on the comeback episode, but I am SO on board with you about this one. L-to the-ame, The Office. We are ON THE OUTS!

By Blogger Amanda, At April 26, 2008 at 2:47 PM  

I think this is the relationship from here on out ... a few bright spots and occasional glimpses of the show we first fell in love with, but far too many reminders that those days are long gone and it might be time to pull the rip cord. Not as disastrous as the Dinner Party, but a pretty foul episode, especially Ryan's drug use. You can take an uneasy topic and spin some humor -- for instance, making creepy Creed appear to be a Dunder Mifflin Infinity pedophile -- but Ryan on coke? Um, Jan and the crazy train thinks that's ridiculous.

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At April 27, 2008 at 2:47 PM  

I must also affirm your diatribe, Mr. Reinhard. The wife and I, as "Office" latecomers, have been tearing through the DVDs of seasons 1 of 2 in the last week, and the drop-off between those episodes and this out-and-out dud was alarming. I can only hope that this was a setup for a relatively serious plot about Ryan's drug use. Otherwise that was just a sad excuse for humor. I can only blame "Family Guy."

By Blogger Andy Behrendt, At April 27, 2008 at 9:42 PM  

On a very special episode of "The Office" ... Nancy Reagan makes her "Just Say No" pitch to a rehab-bound Ryan Howard ...

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At April 27, 2008 at 10:07 PM  

It's sad when the weakest of the first three seasons (#3) seems 10 times funnier than anything we've see so far.

But the fence jumping from Toby was pretty aweome. IMHO.

--Malavika

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At April 28, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

Well-meaning friends implored me to watch the show for the past 3 years, knowing my life was meaningless without it. Last weekend I cracked (ha, pun) and I bought the first two seasons.

I watched them so quickly you'd think I was a coke addict and The Office episodes were my crack rocks. But who am I, Ryan?

I tuned in last Thursday thinking surely I was missing out by not enjoying the current season. I was wrong. So wrong.

If I were a weaker sort, I would be in danger of turning to drugs to ease my pain - especially after having seen what fun Ryan has doing drugs. Good thing I am not so weak.

By Blogger Ms. Quarter, At April 28, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

On a national level, the show is still getting rave reviews. Even if you visit the AV Club -- where the commenters are notorious for trashing EVERYTHING -- people are just lovin' the Jan craziness and Ryan drug plotline. I'm baffled. TV must really be that bad, because although I'll keep watching in the short term, eventually, I'm going to get "Scrubbed" out. Just saying, "It's still better than anything else out there" just doesn't work for me. I've been disappointed in "30 Rock," too. Ah, at least I still have "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" to warm my heart ...

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At April 28, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

I'm not quite understanding all the hate you guys are directing at the new episodes. Sure, they've gone down a bit of a dark road, and it takes a little bit more work to mine the funny out of all the drug habits and other excruciating awkwardness. It's DARK humor, but it's humor nonetheless. No, these episodes aren't living up to the apogee that was season 2, but I'm going to keep watching on a weekly basis, if only because the highs far outweigh the lows/uneasiness. The Toby thing was heartbreaking though, he just got lost in his head and flipped out after caressing Pam's knee. I really hope he isn't gone, but it looks like he will be. But, as Tom said, 30 Rock has been sagging a bit lately as well. I don't know if it's post-strike blahs or what, but I think things will get back on track soon for both shows.

-Daniel

By Anonymous Daniel, At May 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM  

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