Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who Would You Fire?

I was not a avid The Office fan until my senior year of college when watching repeats became a normal hung-over routine between me and my roommates (hell yes we sprung for DVR). But I quickly became addicted to Michael's comments that made you wince, Pam & Jim's glances of lust, and Dwight's quirks.

So the past few years, I would DVR Grey's and dutifully watch The Office because I couldn't not watch it as it first aired. But these days my love of The Office has faded. And now I turn on Grey's (even though Izzy is dying - wait what?!?) and watch The Office on when I get bored.

In a recent article in the LA Times, writer Jon Caramanica argues that The Office is slowly fading and the reason is Michael Scott. His solution: fire someone. And if we're getting specific here, he says fire Michael Scott.

Caramanica writes, "Early on, taking after Ricky Gervais' David Brent on the original British version of the show, Michael was a catalyst for misbehavior and ill will. He was difficult, verging on unlovable; you almost had to shield your eyes watching him, so great was his capacity for awkwardness." He argues that Steve Carrell isn't playing the character like he used to - and he even physically looks better. He has better hair, better posture, and we almost feel sympathetic towards Michael Scott. Which should not be the case.

And I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree. Something is off (come on, I would rather watch Grey's obviously something is off).

The article goes on to say that Steve Carrell isn't the only problem - Jim & Pam are even annoying...Jim especially. The article describes Jim as being "smug and self-satisfied"...again, I agree. Before, Jim used to deliver one-liners that weren't blatantly stings, but now it's like he's not even trying. His one-liners are borderline cruel.

So who is keeping the show afloat? Sidekick storylines - plain and simple. The Accounting corner is probably one of the only reasons I tune in any longer. Oscar, Kevin, and Angela are a great combination that always ellicit laughs.

And my favorite character who doesn't get nearly enough lines? Kelly Kapoor. She is hilarious! I love her pop culture comments, her need to stay thin by eating tapeworms she buys from Creed, and she (like me) loves her birthday. So let's give her some new story lines please.

If it were up to me, I would fire Stanley. Ever since he blew up last season, he has become my most hated character on the show. He's sarcastic yes and sure sometimes he makes me grin, but his bad attitude is killing me slowly. Quit already! And give us some new Office blood.

P.S. Where the hell did Ryan disappear to?


belle said...

This is something that really drives me crazy about shows. They set up these romances, this whole 'will they get together' situation, and then when they do the whole show is just shot. I felt the same way about Grey's, I loved Grey's so much more when Meredith and Derek were having drama (hello, forbidden exam room sex!!!), when they're all together and perfect it's not as entertaining.

Anyway, back to The Office, it seems like now that Pam and Jim are together, the show's just gotten kind of boring. The storyline that kept us coming back week after week has run its course and they haven't replaced it with anything. I don't think they can fire Michael, but they need to do something to shake things up around there.

Maybe Stanley will quit. He seems unhappier than usual lately...

Moi said...

I have to say that as much as I love the show (and also TVO Grey's while watching the office)I agree with the you and with the article. I havent even been upset when I miss an episode...i really hope it picks back up!

Lauren said...

I haven't watched the show in a while and, due to this review, I'm kind of glad I haven't! Honestly, I've always favored the British one, so it's interesting that they think Carrell has deviated from the original role so much. Hmm. Guess we'll see what happens!

Daisy Silverbell said...

I've never seen the American version of The Office. Have you seen the British version? Try and catch it if you can, i'm sure you can buy the DVD from Amazon really cheaply. I read that the reason that they made an American version was because Americans don't understand British comedy - can that be true?? You should also watch Extras from the same makers as The Office - you'll spend most of each episode cringing!

Lindsay said...

Kelly is my favorite, too. Ever read Mindy Kaling's blog?

Cee ♥ said...

OH MY GOSH... Belle... my thoughts exactly. I've been less enthused by The Office since Jim and Pam are together. I love the "will they or won't they", just like everyone else - they put them together far, far, far too soon.

And I can't even stomach Meredith and Derek anymore. And Izzy's "dream affair" with Denny... I was about to go mad.

And as for Michael - you're right, he does get sympathy votes nowadays... odd. During the superbowl episode with the roast - I literally was in pain watching him take all the low blows. I just wanted to hug him! Michael Scott sans hair plugs and designer suits needs to come back - he is less pathetic, and somehow, it makes him less pathetic (how sad is THAT? I just reread my last sentence)

Anyway, a couple other small points - fire Stanley. I love, love, love Kelly Kapoor; she is underrated and underused. And break up Jim and Pam for a bit.

GREAT post!

Anonymous said...

Ryan's in Thailand, hellooooo! (part of the problem is that so many of the actors are writers - sometimes they're too busy doing one thing to fit themselves in for the other!

I find the Brit Office unwatchable because it's so painful - what I love about the American one is its sweetness, that Michael's like your awkward mess of a cousin, that Jim and Dwight bicker like siblings... I like that they're exploring other relationships besides just Jim & Pam now that they're together. But I agree it could use an infusion of something/someones to liven it up again. Maegan said...

oh I love The Office. ...not so much Grey's but only because I've never watched it.

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I actually have to disagree. I still love The Office. Part of the reason that the back characters are so funny is because you only see them every other episode- and that's why they should stay that way. I do think that the Willy Wonka episode wasn't very good though.

However Greys? I still watch it but was ready to hit my head against a wall repeatedly with the Denny episodes. Everyone knows that Katherine Heigl wants off the show (so does T.R. Knight), so why give her a prolonged send-off?

P said...

Michael's two lady friends (the HR lady and Jan) need to come back. There might be some good action in that gruesome three-some . . . or four-some if you count Astrid, the baby.

Pam said...

I completely agree. I want more Kelly, more Andrew Bernard sing-a-longs and more Holly Flax. Actually, I hear she'll be back for the season finale, so that's a little something to look forward to...but yeah, the story lines have seemed flat lately. I miss seasons 2 and 3, they were hilarious. And I can't stand Stanley at ALL. I hope he quits or gets fired or magically disappears. Yuck.

So in conclusion, beer me a little more Nard Dog please...and a whole lot more Kelly. Oh and maybe a few shots of Jim without his shirt. Grrr.

Anonymous said...

i agree completely with belle. i mean when i watch shows, i always want the guy and the girl to get together, but then they do, and there's no reason to watch the show any more.

unforunately, a lot of shows are slipping: scrubs, greys, heroes, lost.

the only one that is kind of still good is ER. and i'm startring to watch Canadian shows such as Being Erica, Heartland and Wild Roses. Now those show asre still good

Anonymous said...

I love Kelly Kapoor! One of my favorite KK exchanges:

Kelly Kapoor: Oh my God I have so much to tell you!

Jim Halpert: Really?

Kelly Kapoor: Yes! Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, they had a baby and they named it Suri, and then Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, they had a baby, too, and they named it Shiloh. And both babies are amazing!

Jim Halpert: Great. What's new with you?

Kelly Kapoor: [blank stare] I just told you.

Windy City Kelley's said...

I agree, it's starting to lag. I used to watch it EVERY week and now I have three episodes we still need to watch.

Mrs. B said...

I HATE the office. The British version wasn't too bad, but I cannot watch the American version. HATE it!

Bayjb said...

I hate to say it, like really hate to say it, but there is some truth to that article. I still am a huge Jim/Pam fan so I would prefer them not to go away or break up but I think the writing has lacked a little bit lately. It seems to have lost some focus (including lack of Kelly) and I'm not sure if Parks & Recreation is really necessary if they can't fix the Office. There have been some great parts this season but it needs to really get back on track a la season 2.

Erin said...

I agree with you 100% on the fact that something is off. The dynamic is weird between everyone and the episodes are kind of schizophrenic. I'm pretty sure Bj Novak (Ryan) is shooting a movie right now.

I miss the days of Jim and Pam and Dwight and Angela and Michael and Jan, oh the fun!

alyssa said...

I still love the Office, however, it seems like the first few seasons, pretty much every episode was amazing. This season, I do love most of them but some are lacking. It's still the only show that I watch in real time and don't DVR and watch later, hah! My favorite character always changes, right now I am digging Angela!