The Office, NBC, Airs Thursday 9/8c

Episode: “Baby Shower” (Season 5, Episode 3)

Synopsis: Michael (Steve Carell) practices for Jan’s (Melora Hardin) birth by having Dwight (Rainn Wilson) go over birthing scenarios. Along the way, Dwight gives birth to a watermelon, Michael wants a golden shower, and Stanley (Leslie David Baker) wonders why people only care about pregnant womens’ sore nipples.

Review: Screw the Presidential election. The reason why I love The Office is because they always find a way to solve any of America’s tough issues. For example, Michael Scott claims that babies should become President. “If a baby were President there would be no taxes, there would be no war,” Michael eloquently explains. Of course he backtracks by saying, “There would be no government. Things could get terrible. It actually would probably be a better screenplay than a serious suggestion.” It’s thoughts like these that 1) remind me of some people who may or may not have been on drugs that I hung out with last year in college, and 2) make me love this show just when I thought I couldn’t begin to love it more. As stupid as a baby President movie sounds, it is important to remember some douchebag in Hollywood gave the greenlight for Baby Geniuses and SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Can you believe that Kathleen Turner, Jon Voight, Christopher Lloyd, and Kim Cattrall were attached to those projects? Okay, congratulations to The Office, you have inspired a Baby Geniuses round-table discussion in this review.

Last week we saw Michael do a pretty damn good job of pushing Holly (Amy Ryan) away from him in a debate over business ethics. This week he continued adding to that by trying to impress his pseudo-baby mama, Jan. What didn’t work for last season with the Angela/Dwight/Andy (Ed Helms) love triangle has been fleshed out much better in the developing struggle that Michael is having in balancing his romantic past and present. Call it a case of comedic trail and error, I guess. Also, the show was able to flip the script on the outlandish humor in a matter of seconds when Michael and Holly shared a tender moment together. The writers are doing a tremendous job of finding the middle ground between comedy and drama.

We finally got to see Jan Levinson, the hottest/funniest nutjob ex-girlfriend on television, return with a newborn baby and a singing voice that could put her as a backup singer for Aretha Franklin … or more like Duffy at this point.The show can never have enough Jan, in my opinion, and I am eager to see what will happen if Michael comes to her in an effort to confess his attraction to Holly. Boiling bunnies in Fatal Attraction will be nothing compared to what the Dunder Mifflin ex will do.

“Baby Shower” reminded us that there isn’t a funnier supporting cast on television. Stanley had me wiping tears from my eyes when he wondered why people don’t have more sympathy for him than pregnant women. “I have varicose veins too,” he explains, surely a plight many middle-aged men suffer. The man is truly a warrior and inspiration to all around him. Speaking of inspiring, moments like Angela’s (Angela Martin) Anne Geddes photography moment are exactly why this show has now proven to me that it could stay on the air another five years if it wanted to. So long as they have enough random and ridiculous moments mixed in with sincere attempts to move the story forward, as they did in the episode, The Office will maintain the charm that drew people to it originally.

As we head into the fourth episode of the season there is a definite sense that some division is beginning to exist between Jim and Pam. Maybe it will end up just being a matter of “a bad day” as they both tried to get on the same page, but the distance between them is definitely creating chinks in the romantic armor. Many people will disagree with me, as has been mentioned before in past review comment pages, but I think this is a good thing for the show and the story development of the two paper company lovebirds. Don’t worry, they will find a way to work it all out. It’s Jim and Pam for God’s sake. The fictional couple have become synonymous with romance in modern American pop culture. So props to The Office, one of the funniest shows in television history that has also found a way to create the cutest couple on the tube.

Up Next Week: Michael helps Pam get a part-time job at corporate so she can afford to go to art school. Holly and Michael get an early start at the office on their date night. After the office gets robbed, Michael decides to hold an auction to raise money for all the items lost.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you see the “The Office” this week? If so, what did you think?

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