Friday, February 16, 2007

Recap of The Office: "Business School"

Amid the stinging wind chills and the frozen snow sludge piled in gray and yellow heaps and packed into dreary treacherous sheets along the thoroughfares this week, I can't help but feel a little Scrantonesque as we hit what, for my money, is the low point of the Gregorian calendar. So what better way to cheer up than to laugh at a depressed fake rendition of the real Scranton, as portrayed in another quality sweeps-month episode of "The Office"?

While Michael is away from Dunder Mifflin for a presentation to Ryan's business class (he needs the extra credit), a little tomfoolery ensues as Dwight unearths a bat that was living in the ceiling. Hijinx! Jim uses it as an opportunity to convince Dwight he was bitten and is becoming a vampire. While it was really hard to believe that was meant to be believeable, it was still funny. Especially at the end, when Jim wraps his coat around himself as he leaves, with Dwight soberly remarking that "Jim is on a path now. An eternal journey. And I wish him well. But I have a destiny in this realm." Specifically, catching the bat in a garbage bag. Good lookin out, Dwight.

The center of this episode, however, was Michael. Predictably (but no less amusing despite that), Michael attempts to give this uber-inspirational speech at Ryan's college, which brings back for him "so many memories, that I would have made." The speech includes tearing pages out of a poor student's text book to remind them to learn life lessons, and throwing theme candy into the crowd ("Once you have a Pay Day" -- throw candy -- "eventually you can make 100 Grand" -- throw candy). Not only was this funny in and of itself, it was clever because it showed how stupid these kinds of things actually are when they are not in movies. No one standing on their desks one by one to slowly applaud here. Perhaps the funniest piece of advice Michael gave the kids was that "There are four kinds of business. Tourism. Food service. Railroads. And sales. And hospitals/manufacturing. And air travel." Indeed. Now there's some wisdom you really can't get from a book.

At the end of the show, Michael gets another forum. Pam is participating in a local art show, and as her ex-fiance Roy (they are now back together, with Roy making ham-fisted attempts to relate to her) painfully pretends to enjoy himself ("Pam, your art is the best art of all the art") and Oscar and his lover trash her work without knowing she can hear them (OF COURSE it's the gay couple that does this), Pam is looking forlorn. Cue Jim to saunter in and offer up double entendres about the beauty all around him -- art-wise, of course. But no. Instead, in comes Michael, who in the same boyish way he made a buffoon of himself in business class, genuinely marvels at her work and buys a sketch she did of the office, to hang in the office. An appreciative Pam gives him a heartfelt hug. It was SO very nice. Until she feels something hard in his pocket. It's a Chunky bar, left over from the business presentation. Does she want half?

And that concluded this week's episode. Still no Andy though -- how do they explain that? I don't know. Maybe next week. In the meantime, back to the seasonal depression.

The Office [NBC]
Last week's recap [No One Appreciates Me]

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I.P. Daily said...

The Office was hilarious last night. One thing I found to be true to life is how "brining-in the real world manager guy" often fails in an academic setting. Even at their most humble state, managers generally get a huge ego rush for those sorts of engagements, and they always want to tell you their entire professional history, as if we're an audience watching their biopic. I've only seen two such engagements in b-school, and both times the presenters totally missed the mark on topical information in favor of dwelling on their own stories. It's such a glaringly bad thing to do that when my Marketing professor from last semester said that he personally knew the subject of one of our case studies, and we asked him to bring the guy in, he responded that he doesn't do that as a policy because it always goes wrong, and then he'd have to spend the rest of the semester deconflicting and unlearning the students from the bad advice they were given in one lecture, such as, "All real business is done on paper."

Jen said...

The office has really grown on me. It's now my new TV obsession! I got a little misty-eyed at the scene of Michael at Pam's art show... I would ...