Television

TV Review: The Office – Two Weeks

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The Office, NBC, Airs Thursdays 9/8c

Episode: “Two Weeks” (Season 5, Episode 19)

Synopsis: Michael’s (Steve Carell) relationship with the new vice president (Idris Elba) becomes increasingly tense, as Michael finds an excuse to goof off even more than usual. Meanwhile, Pam (Jenna Fischer) faces the challenge of a new copier and Kelly (Mindy Kaling) develops a crush.

Review: Desperation is a beautiful and hilarious thing. No one understands that quite like Michael Scott. While his methods of persuasion weren’t the most logical, they did turn to be quite effective. Pam and Michael both leaving Dunder Mifflin is a double whammy for the company, even if they don’t know it yet. They’ll catch on once, as will their clients, once they get a load of Kevin’s phone answering skills. Charles Miner’s delegation displayed how out of touch he is with the office.

We were left with an ending that was equal parts Jerry Maguire and The Graduate, liberation burdened by the weight of uncertainty. It made for one of the most powerful endings the show has seen.

The question that is begging to be asked is why didn’t Dunder Mifflin try to keep Michael Scott on staff? Didn’t he just get asked to give lectures on how to motivate employees? If he is so great at sales, it seems odd that the company would be inclined to just let a valuable employee walk.

Say what you want about Michael Scott’s lack of professionalism but I would take a job under him any day before working for Charles Miner. Miner had his moments that would have put him in hot water this week. You can not threaten another employee. I wonder why nobody called him out on it. Fear is a strong weapon, I suppose.

Miner represents the upper tier management that only care about the bottom line. It’s a study of extremes. My vote goes to Michael, who makes up for his incompetence with genuine compassion, perhaps sometimes misguided, for his employees and clients. By the end of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a modern mutiny against Miner, the only two willing to stay being Angela (Angela Kinsey) and Kelly, who are hilarious in their attempts to get Miner’s attention. It’s nice to see Angela smile, by the way.

There will be some complaints that Two Weeks didn’t focus enough on the lighter side of the story. That, in my opinion, is actually what makes this episode rise above others we have seen. Clever camera work helped push the funny moments to a new level and Steve Carell and Jenna Fischer navigated the ship toward more profound waters.

What has always separated The Office from almost every other comedy is how it can speak to the viewer on their level. In such a horrible economic climate, we want to see characters that are experiencing hardships like us. It’s not so much that we want to see someone else suffer as much as it comes down to that we want to know that we’re not alone. Watching the employees at the Scranton branch wrestle between self-satisfaction and job security? That speaks to all of us.

A final thought. Give us more Oscar (Oscar Nunez). He is hilarious and comes off as one of the few characters that knows what they’re talking about.

Read More: Office Recaps

Did you watch the Two Weeks episode? What do you have to say about it? Who would you date, Angela or Kelly?

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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