Television

TV Review: The Office – Casual Friday

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The Office, NBC, Airs Thursdays 9/8c

Episode: “Casual Friday” (Season 5, Episode 24)

Synopsis: Michael has to mediate a dispute within his new sales team. Meanwhile, trouble brews in the office when several employees take the term “casual” Fridays too loosely.

Review: The chickens have come home to roost, y’all! Michael (Steve Carell), Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Ryan (B.J. Novak) returned to Dunder Mifflin but haven’t lost the bond that was forged with the Michael Scott Paper Company, resulting in the alienation of the rest of the Scranton branch. A mutiny is on the rise, my lads and lasses! Michael found out that his push against corporate backfired, hurting his Scranton family’s feelings, which is really what is important. So he had to give the employees back the clients MSPC stole, and make a “difficult choice” of whether to keep Ryan or Pam as a sales client, which really isn’t that difficult of a decision when you really think about it. It’s only the fact that Michael is so misguided that there was a real risk of Pam getting fired. I will admit that I thought she was gone. Don’t fake fire people, Michael. You fake fire a piece of our heart when you do. Wasn’t that A Pat Benatar or Janis Joplin song?

It’s cool to watch how Michael is learning from his mistakes. In the past, he would have gone crazy and made everyone look like idiots. He did that to a lesser degree, but handled the situation relatively maturely, displaying the progression of his character after leaving and running his own business. Well played, The Office writers.

“Don’t read the secret memo” is the new “Don’t eat the yellow snow.” Mark it down.

I am pretty sure that I have had a boss send me to the complaint department, a trash can, the same way Michael did to Dwight (Rainn Wilson). It’s good to know that insulting Dwight comes so easily for him. It’s like riding a bike really.

Why do people keep dogging on Pam’s looks? Are they looking at the alternatives?

Did anyone ever think Pam and Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) would wear the same clothes? That’s a very strange coincidence. I will say this. Pam better not cross her again. Phyllis will cut a bitch, straight up and put them on ice in a Vance refrigerator.

Maybe I’m alone on this one, but Meredith’s (Kate Flannery) Paris Hilton imitation is hot. Just saying. Okay, I am joking. Hot? Probably not. Hilarious? Hell yes.

When Jim (John Krasinski) admitted Pam’s tendency to be shrill when she’s sleepy, I could have sworn that Michael was going to run and tell her, causing a big blowup between the perfect couple. Wouldn’t that have been classic Michael Scott? When did he learn to keep a secret?

Casual Friday lacked the depth that the previous three episodes had, but maybe the show needed a break from serious behavior. You have to find a balance between the grave and goofy. Where the next obstacle will come from is anyone’s guess.

Up Next Week: Michael enters the cafe-disco business. Meanwhile, Pam and Jim decide to take a secret trip.

Did you check out Casual Friday? If so, what did you think? If not, well why the hell not?

Adam Sweeney has a background in journalism, having spent 4 years on the Lone Star Lutheran as an Opinions and Arts & Entertainment columnist. He graduated in May 2008 from Texas Lutheran University with a Dramatic Media degree and hopes to become a filmmaker/journalist/radio host/actor extraordinaire. He also writes film and play scripts and figures if Good Luck Chuck can make it to the big screen then why can't he? He can also be read at TalkHoops.net as a feature writer on all things basketball, and his personal blog covers everything from politics to why Keira Knightley is looking more like Jack Skellington every day. (www.myspace.com/theadamlee)

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