Oh, The Office, how I worried about you. With the news of Steve Carrell leaving, Mindy Kaling maybe leaving, and a less than stellar outing last season, we fans had reason to fret. Had the show run it’s course? Can they sustain another season? What are they going to do without Carrell and Kaling? Should they have gone the way of the original Office and gone short instead of long? Has our beloved Office lost everything?
And then we had a lipdub.
And all was right in the world.
The Office came out with a very solid episode for their seventh season (one more season and they match According to Jim!). As the show was wrapping up, I caught myself being surprised it was almost over. I had barely felt the 22 minutes pass, it seemed like they were just getting into the second act. And that is a good thing. A very good thing. We slip into the episode like a comfortable slipper. It was everything we love about The Office with very few bumps along the way.
So what happened? Michael hired his nephew to be an assistant. And everyone hates him. He mixes up coffee orders, has demeaning nicknames for everyone (‘Tiny’ for Kevin was my personal favorite), and really doesn’t do his job. Michael finally snaps and starts to spank him and he quits in an embarrassed storm. This, of course, can’t go unpunished for Michael despite the fact that he was celebrated throughout the office. His punishment? A fate worse than death. A fate worse than a thousand lifetimes spent burning in the sulfuric fires of hell.
Six sessions of counseling. With Toby.
As a huge fan of Toby, I am particularly excited for this development. I wasn’t sure about the new assistant story line, but since it caused this development I can deal with it. Alls well that ends well with Toby.
The other story line was a classic Jim and Dwight prank. Over the summer, Dwight purchased the building Dunder Mifflin occupies and thus is in charge of fixing everything, which means he has a ton of keys and that means his power has grown exponentially. Jim tries to put more keys on the keyring, but Pam accidentally blows it. Jim wasn’t mad at her (I mean seriously, how could you be mad at Jenna Fischer?) but she still feels bad about it so she tries to make it up. Which causes her and Dwight to get stuck in an elevator. Cue the cuteness overload when Jim finds them halfway up in the elevator and Pam unwilling to slide out due to not wanting to get cut in half and the pee on the floor (which I think is best left unexplained).
Finally we get some new developments with the new cast. Erin is now dating Gabe (that dweeb) instead of Andy, but Andy is taking it pretty well all things considered. And Erin is happy with it because you can’t say no to your boss. This was the only thing that seemed a little off to me. Weren’t Andy and Erin doing ok towards the end of last season or am I forgetting something? Either way The Office is good at drawing out the will they won’t they bit so this shouldn’t be that big of a problem.
Other random things that were awesome: an updated opening credit sequence! Yay! Some people have been complaining about the lipdub cold opening saying “Oh, how 2006 of you.” Come on, this is The Office we’re talking about. The characters they are portraying aren’t exactly the most internet savvy so of course they would be a little behind the times. Take that slightly cynical internet comments! The opening was awesome.
So yes, a good first showing for The Office. This might be a comeback season for them which will make the departure of Carrell that much more bittersweet.