Here we go…season 7 and the last for Michael Scott. I really didn’t have much in the way of expectations for this premiere, since the past year or two of The Office has been very uneven. There was a time when The Office was at the top of my list in shows I “had” to watch. It was fresh, funny and unique. Now, I find myself getting a little tired and irritated at some of the hijinks. I am saying this because I am not sure if my little analysis will be fully justified, or if I entered the season slightly jaded.
The lip dub opening song seemed a little like The Office of long-ago with the whole group participating in a fun stunt. At the same time, for some reason it didn’t amuse me as much as those types of things used to. However, I did laugh out loud when Meredith hung from a backpack on Kevin. The whole thing was weird, which is classic Office. I am just not sure if it was good weird or bad weird. I think I said “what the….” a few times throughout this sequence.
I was super bummed to learn that over the summer Erin started dating Gabe. I believe I also said “what the…” when she kissed him, and right in front of Andy. I admit that I can’t really remember exactly where the Andy – Erin relationship left off last season, but I thought they were at least on the path of progress? Not to mention that if you were to ask me what I liked about last season, the ONE thing that stands out in my mind was the hilarious and adorable (and super strange) courtship between Andy and Erin. And now, without any real rhyme or reason, we are just told that she is with Gabe. Does Andy’s anger management class have any openings…because I may need to join on behalf of the Nard Dog.
It was nice to see Jim back to his Dwight pranks. Jim is at his finest when he has that mischievous twinkle in his eyes. But, when the heck did Pam become such a crappy prankster? She used to be a great partner in crime for Jim and was a smooth operator during far more complicated schemes. All of a sudden she blows a prank by giggling and then actually picks Kevin (seriously—KEVIN) to tinker with electrical wiring of an elevator. Why not just take a hammer to the buttons? You are smarter than that Pam. She did have to pay the price for her poor judgment, though, because Dwight was quick to establish a “pee corner” in the elevator. Well (and disgustingly) played, Dwight.
Finally, the main story of the night revolved around Michael’s obnoxious nephew, Luke, working at Dunder Mifflin/Sabre. This plotline actually annoyed me the most. Not only did I find Luke to be too broad a character to “enjoy,” but I couldn’t even stand the whining and complaining by the rest of the characters. I mean, when is the last time something other than solitaire was on Meredith’s computer or a word doc posing as a blog on Creed’s computer? Let’s face it—the staff at Dunder Mifflin is not exactly known for productivity, yet somehow they all seem to mind that this kid doesn’t do much. The big difference is that Creed and Meredith are hilarious, so they can stay.
So, I don’t want to say “Don’t Bother” on The Office, because it is still a better show than most out there and because I owe it to Diversity Day, Pretzel Day, Boat Cruise and Casino Night to stick around with my favorite crew from Scranton. And because I don’t want to end on a negative note, here are some of the moments and lines from last night that reminded me to “don’t don’t bother” with Michael and the gang:
- Erin explaining how she started dating Gabe—it’s a good thing he’s her boss, so she had to say yes to a first date.
- It may be time for an anger management refresher for Andy, since he is imagining peaceful whales eating Gabe.
- Daryl giving the death stare to Luke about his messed up coffee order.
- Angela explaining how she discovered all the items in Luke’s car—of course she goes outside to feed the feral cats.
- How many times do you think the writers will toy with us on how Michael will leave the show the end of this season? We are only in the first episode and it already ended with Michael contemplating quitting over having to get counseling from Toby.