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The Office – The Andy Bernard Paper Company

Not a bad cold open this time. Dwight drinking the protein powder straight was amazing, and I loved the thigh curl contest. The card -- "Sleep Over Party, We Gossiped all Night" -- was cute, but Gabe’s "Flex them all night at the discotheque" line took the cake!

- Season 8, Episode 23 - "Turf War"

It’s an inevitability that shows will recycle plots. It’s just something that’s going to happen after cranking out countless stories over the course of thousands of episode minutes. But The Michael Scott Paper Company? That’s one I never thought we’d see again.

First of all, only Michael — and perhaps Dwight — have enough goodwill (and bad) built up to storm off and go in their own direction. Second, well … it’s been done already. And done well (although I don’t think they should have returned to Dunder Mifflin). So why bother with take two?

Sure Andy’s sole intent was to blackmail his way back into Dunder Mifflin by creating Big Red Paper Company and stealing Prestige Direct Mail Solutions as a client — great guest spot by Dan Castellaneta as Mr. Ramish — not starting his own company. But that notwithstanding, the basic concept is a copy of the original.

The best thing about the episode was Dwight and Jim teaming up, first to scoop up Dunder Mifflin Binghamton’s clients, and then to beat Syracuse’s Harry (The Wire‘s Chris Bauer) to Prestige. Dwight turning to Jim to finish his insult of Harry was great, and I love how Dwight whispered “Up his butt” as a correction.

Even better was when the two took off in Jim’s car. Dwight insulting Jim’s kid’s stuffed monkey was hilarious, as was his asking Jim to activate his Turbo, nitrous, or NOS, only to have Jim turn on the windshield wipers. But the best was Jim getting out of the car at the stop to open Harry’s door. It was terrible as a stall tactic — to be fair Jim didn’t have the opportunity to slash his tires! — but it was hilarious nonetheless. The look on Harry’s face was priceless.

Dwight locking the doors to the building with his belt was great — isn’t he the office fire marshal? — as was Dwight’s pressing a second button in the elevator so that Jim could get out and run up the stairs. I loved when Dwight started jumping up and down in an effort to activate the seismic fail-safe, only to have his pants fall down. Awesome!

I’ll give it to Andy that giving Ramish the keys to his house — and his network pass code — was great comedy, but I was too annoyed by the obvious rip-off of Michael to really enjoy it. David Wallace’s (Andy Buckley) reappearance is much appreciated, but it wasn’t enough. At this stage I’d rather Andy just disappear into the night.

Some other good stuff:

  • Erin’s clear hesitation — but insistence — when putting the visitor’s pass over Andy’s head
  • Robert California needs to go away, but I loved when he challenged Pam by asking her to list the things that would keep her from helping him
  • Erin asking Jim and Dwight “What are your last names?”
  • Toby jumping right into the character of Lloyd Gross. Ignore for a moment that as the head of HR he should have had serious problems with what Jim and Dwight were doing (I’m kind of surprised by Jim); Toby developing a back story for his character was hilarious. Lloyd’s a no nonsense guy who doesn’t back down from anybody … and who calls people Kimosabe
  • Jim telling Harry that he’d like to sell beets and submit them for competition. Dwight’s slipping if he didn’t get that right away!

And who hadn’t realized that Robert’s running the company into the ground? Hello!

Photo Credit: NBC

2 Responses to “The Office – The Andy Bernard Paper Company”

May 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I think Jim (and others in Scranton) didn’t figure out that Robert’s been doing a horrible job because “quirky” management has been normal there, and they’ve come this far. It’s just that this particular quirky boss happens to be extraordinarily bad at what he does.

I noticed you stopped hating on Nelly for a week. You’re slipping.

May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Don’t misunderstand … she’s so horrible I prefer to ignore her existence. :)

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