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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Office: Nepotism

Just as with 30 Rock, a lot of people were disappointed with the last season of The Office. (I actually didn't really see a lot of the same issues that other people did, but what can I say, I'm a forgiving, warm-hearted guy.)

I haven't seen any critical commentary on "Nepotism" but I expect the opening will be pretty divisive but I loved it. To me it demonstrated the awareness the show has for who its characters are. I loved Stanley reminding the cameraman that he was falling behind and Ryan wrecking it with his self-promotion, Angela refusing to participate and Dwight of course making things uncomfortably weird for everyone else. The capper was definitely cameraman Toby's "well...it was better."

As for the show itself, I'm amazed the show hasn't done anything with nepotism before, and therefore encouraged that they can still come up with new stuff at this point in time. Michael's defense of his nephew in the conference room (spoiled when the kid shows up bearing just one pint of soy ice cream) was hilarious, especially his invocation of the previously-unknown "reverse nepotism" and the exasperated "that's as clear as I can make it" after his "Don't Bother Luke" logo confused everyone. And of course, the comparison to God hiring his Son was fantastic.

This promises to be a big year for Ed Helms with Gabe stealing Erin away from Andy over the summer interlude. Andy's idyllic Cape Cod, complete with an orca feasting on Gabe, was well-played by Helms.

It's a great sign when, at the start of its seventh season a show can still come up with moments that shock you and make you burst out laughing. Michael spanking his nephew in full view of the staff might go down as one of the best things they've ever done.

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