Watching last night’s episode of The Office, it was kind of hard not to wonder if the show had finally hit rock bottom. The series has struggled to bring the funny for a few seasons already, and while the post-Michael Scott era has brought with it some bright spots, on the whole it’s been more bad than good. In truth it’s kind of an accomplishment to say that the latest episode was worse than usual … so there’s that.
And lest we forget what comes after rock bottom: a steady climb out of the cellar. I’m not saying we can expect that anytime soon, but like an addict who finds himself selling sexual favors on a street corner for crack, sooner or later The Office will be heading off to rehab. Fingers crossed.
Even the cold open was bad. Granted I’m biased because I’m a member of the rabid anti-Ryan club, but it wasn’t even a funny conceit. Celebrity death rumors? Ha?
Part of me was hoping that Andy quitting last week would be a one-off story that had no continuity. I suppose that was a stretch, but it would have been preferable to what we had to endure. In “Fundraiser,” Andy faced Robert California for the first time since the incident, and the hype that was built up never materialized. Andy exploded last episode; last night he just acted a tad crazy. His purchase of a table probably wasn’t the wisest of moves considering his unemployment, and his adopting twelve elderly — and sickly — dogs was just plain dumb. Not funny, dumb.
Dwight failing to grasp the concept of a silent auction had potential. I loved how he ended up spending $34,000 on a boatload of random items because he correctly guessed their prices, but his tirade against excess and waste was misplaced, and his running from the room fell a bit flat. Besides, we saw much the same thing on Friends with Joey and The Mr. Beaumont … and that was really funny.
I’m pretty sure we’re all convinced that Angela’s husband, State Senator Robert Lipton, is gay. We got that more than a year ago. So why drag the plot on twenty two episodes into this season? Maybe it would have worked if the story had been confined to Oscar’s conversation with Robert, but by the time half the office had gotten his cell number, the dead horse had been beaten too many times.
The one spark of humor came when Kevin started telling his coworkers about the dog he’d adopted. We were all on the same page there — Kevin’s dog was dead! I loved how the writers took that to the next level by having Kevin lie next to a motionless dog on the floor of his home. As soon as I started to wonder when Kevin would realize that his dog was no longer alive, it started to lick his face. That is one well trained pup!
So is rehab and recovery around the corner for The Office? I’m not sure, but one can always hope.