What I’m Watching – The OfficePosted: April 30, 2009
My love for The Office has been stated before – so I won’t bore you with an argument about how great this show is. Instead this post will discuss the latest season of the show – which has been uneven to say the least.
The season began on a high note with the continuation of the story arcs from the fourth season – Michael and Holly, Jan’s baby, Pam going to New York, the Dwight/Andy/Angela love triangle. The problem is pretty much these storylines went no where and kind of fizzled out. Pam went to New York but failed and came back. The Michael/Holly love story sort came to an abrupt conclusion – almost out of nowhere. Jan disappeared after two episodes. The consequences for the blow up of the Dwight, Andy, and Angela storyline was remarkably clean.
The reset button has been hit a little too easily this season.
I think the big problem with this season is that it lacks the narrative tightness that made the second, third, and four seasons so fantastic. While their have been invidual moments of absolutely hilarity and many excellent character moments – the season has not hung together well this time around. I have kept asking myself where the hell are going with all this?
Many of those complaints have been washed away in recent episodes – the “Michael Scott Paper Company” arc. While at the end of the arc things were reset – yet there were some big changes that will alter how the show works forever and further character arcs that have been building since the show started. Especially with Pam. In the last six episodes the show really has been what I thought the whole season should be – tight plotting, good character work, and solid comedic moments. It almost seems like the writers need 14 episodes to hit their stride.
What I’ve appreciated most able this season though is that the writers haven’t introduced useless, stupid drama to tear Pam and Jim apart. Nothing is more lame than those sort of “plot twists” which replay the same drama over and over again.
So in sum: this season has been uneven but still funny and has improved recently.