It’s Got Pheromones In It
I was bummed to miss blogging last week’s episode – while I understand a lot of folks complained about it, I really liked it, not least of all because we got to hear someone finally tell Jim and Pam that they’re not as charming as they might think! You know who is charming, though? Andy and Erin! And, perhaps with the new managerial situation, Jim and Pam might be so once again. Let’s take each in turn.
Kelly’s brief infatuation with the one she had never ‘seen’ before (was that an underhanded dig at Avatar?) was hilarious, but even funnier to me is Erin’s infatuation with Kelly! Granted, Kelly buys all her clothes at the mall – I mean, can you get much cooler than that? But Erin’s sweet way of being so intimidated by the office drama-queen screw-up is actually kind of sweet itself, especially as it manifests in her own insecurities around Andy.
Of course, we’ve seen the salesman/receptionist love-story plotline before (Tim and Dawn; Jim and Pam), but this one’s different – more of a comedy of errors. We don’t have to wonder how each feels – we know they like each other. There’s not even an old ball-and-chain fiancé lingering in the background. Instead, what defeats their getting together is their own foolishness, and that makes for more humour and a greater sense of will-they-won’t –they-oh-my-gosh-I-hope-they-do on the part of the viewer. And with each being so delightfully endearing in and of their own individual self, my sense is that they won’t become superbly and mainstream domestically annoying once they do hook up, but instead will go on funny adventures together that involve dancing, singing and maybe some funny costumes…even if those adventures involve 20 people dead in a pile up and blood everywhere.
Having continually admitted frustration with Jim and Pam, though, I wondered tonight if Jim’s return to the sales pit would create a resurgence of their own, old delightful ways. The flashback episode a few weeks ago (another episode lots hated but I quite enjoyed) reminded us all of how sweet and fun Jim and Pam once were. As Jim tucked Dwight’s tie into his coffee last night, I was reminded of his stupid cutting of his own wedding tie and recalled that Jim and Pam are at their best when they’re goofing on Dwight rather than focusing on themselves. Perhaps this is the turning point we all needed.
And it’s worth noting how good The Office has become at these strange side-plotlines. Making Jim co-manager seemed like a permanent decision, but really it was just a fun diversion from the norm, just as Michael’s own paper company seemed to be a permanent decision, but really just shook things up at Dunder Mifflin. The Office isn’t afraid to take on such large stories and changes, and isn’t afraid to let them go when they cease to work. That’s a great way to keep things fresh!
Of course, the best couple of the night was Dwight and Ryan – while they clearly broke up in the cold-closer, their ongoing diabolical plan to forge Jim’s downfall this season has hovered in the background in some brilliant ways…heightened of course by Ryan’s strangely and awkwardly hip fashion choices each week of old-man cardigans, oversized thick-rimmed glasses and tonight, a jaunty turquoise scarf.
I realize that the real life Kelly and Ryan have to spend a lot of time writing the show and therefore can’t figure too greatly in each storyline – but, oh my goodness, they are brilliant when they do make it in!
I would be remiss if I neglected to mention Kathy Bates’ lovely turn as the southern CEO. Bates is an actress I could watch act anything. She’s beautiful and she’s brilliant and she’s a pleasure to watch onscreen. The idea of her sleeping with three of the same guys as Truman Capote is genius. I await her (and Christian Slater’s) reappearances soon!
Two competitors for best line in the episode – Michael’s, “I can’t even go near a cigarette now without thinking of a penis…and vice versa” and Dwight’s, “It’s not really 1992 anymore” to the giggles of his sales colleagues. I love seeing Dwight accepted among his peers!
The only question I’m left with for the episode, then, is: um, is it a problem for me that I own that shirt Angela was wearing, just in pink? That’s a little embarrassing!
Posted by Natalie.