It’s the world’s most famous shopping trip. Poor Julia Roberts arrives at a snooty Rodeo Drive store in her hooker clothes and is denied a shopportunity (shout out to Marshalls—woot!). The next day, after the dashing and wealthy Richard Gere accompanies her for a makeover, she returns to the original store, triumphant in her new attire, waltzes in and asks the saleswoman “You work on commission, right?” When the saleswoman says she does, Julia Robert’s response is “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
Tonight’s episode of The Office took this infamous scene and actually made it work on a few different levels for several characters. Dwight is denied entry into a store at the local mall and his coworkers (Kelly to be exact) recommend he go back there and “Pretty Woman them” for revenge. Of course Dwight needs to be clued in to the plotline, since beet farming and owning a corporate office park and being just generally weird doesn’t leave much time for watching one of the most famous chick flicks of all time. Fortunately and unfortunately for him, Jim sees the opportunity for his Dwight prank o’ the week. What ensues is a great “makeover” session with Andy (channeling Professor Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady) and tips from the whole office to turn Dwight into a sophisticated gentleman. I really enjoyed Andy and Dwight trying to give us the plot highlights from Pretty Woman. It was obvious from the beginning (and just knowing Dwight) that the reason he was denied service was going to be for something creepy. But I still enjoyed this storyline that brought most of our characters together working on a common goal—to mess with Dwight. I think The Office is usually at its best when it takes on these kinds of endeavors. And, I have to admit, I liked that Michael was NOT a part of this plotline because I am pretty sure who would have pushed the Pretty Woman card too far.
Michael was actually busy elsewhere getting counseling from Toby, a result of the “corporate punishment” he doled out last week by spanking his nephew at the workplace. Sometimes I imagine the writers of The Office sitting around creating lists and lists of terms that Michael could very easily confuse and that they probably get very excited when they have the chance to use one. Toby quickly learned that it was a “big mistake, big, huge” to attempt counseling with Michael. And Michael had fun spewing out every therapy cliché he could think of—and was pleased with himself for being so cunning with his purposeful Freudian slips. It was even better when Toby used some basic reverse psychology on Michael (i.e. the kind an elementary school guidance counselor would use) and actually got his nemesis to open up. It was good to see these two share a few genuine laughs together. Michael and Toby have always had a great dynamic—I will be curious to see if Toby plays some kind of role in Michael’s departure at the end of the season (maybe even in a positive way)?
I saved Pam’s storyline for last because it was my least favorite of the night (I very easily could have had her contribute to the Dwight as Pretty Woman story). But, just like those snooty shopkeepers who denied Julia Roberts, Pam has worked on commission ever since becoming a salesperson and apparently is just realizing she kind of sucks at sales. After some manipulation and because Gabe is the world’s biggest pushover, it seems Pam may now have a new title: Office Administrator. Only time will tell how this is different from Gabe’s or Erin’s jobs.
I close up shop tonight with a few other funny moments from tonight’s episode:
- I wonder if Dwight’s daycare is accredited? I mean, it has a giant sign that reads FUN, plenty of forks and knives to play with, and locking doors. What could go wrong? I would actually like to see a webisode spinoff of Dwight and Moses running such an establishment.
- Erin provided me with the funniest line of the night regarding disposable cameras—“They are fun, but they seem wasteful and you never get to see your pictures” (as she takes a photo with one and then tosses it in the garbage). It is a real credit to the actress that she can pull off that level of cluelessness and still seem genuine.
- What the heck was that punch card Angela had Dwight stamp? I assume it has something to do with their baby-making contract from last season? Do you think she offers a special promotion, like after 5 times the 6th visit is free?