Friday, February 23, 2007

Recap of The Office: "Cocktails"

Funny episode last night, but more than that, this was a major episode in terms of advancing the overall storyline. In a moment of what can only be described as absolute and purely abject stupidity, Pam tells ex-fiance/new-boyfriend Roy that Jim came on to her and they kissed while she and Roy were still together. Of course, she waited until they were both drunk, so that was pretty smart, too. Of course, Roy freaks out, breaks a few glasses, and their relationship finally ends for good. So Jim now officially has a stalker for the rest of this season. Hooray! I'm predicting a drunken intra-office encounter leaves Jim bloodied and Roy out of a job (and off the show). Until then, it's a ticking time bomb.

And speaking of Jim, it was nice to see him go beyond his usual comfort zone -- resigned smirk, prank-playing, puppy-eyed over Pam, aw-shucksing it with colleauges -- and actually display some real emotion. I'm beginning to think John Krasinski isn't the actor I maybe thought him to be. Since he is, really, the main character of the show plot-wise, shouldn't they expand him a little bit? As he circulated through a company cocktail party, it was nice to see him berating Karen for her, shall we say, undiscriminating dating past, and then bashfully shooting hoops with the company's CFO, who is hosting the party. But let's see him break out of his shell a little more. Come on, it won't hurt.

Meanwhile, at the same cocktail party, Michael -- guess what -- made a fool of himself. Could ya die? But here's what gets me about this. Michael shows up so early, and carrying a tub of rancid grocery store potato salad to a catered soiree, that the hostess is still wearing her shower towel. He later asks them how much they paid for the house. But of course, shortly thereafter, the CFO is handing him a glass of the 20-year-old scotch Lee Iaccoca once gave him as a gift. Er, what? These kinds of Michael-acts-like-a-jackass scenarios would be MUCH funnier if you could perceive the people around him slowly lowering their opinions of and changing their interactions with him, rather than get momentarily appalled and then seemingly forget anything was awry. Take the Larry David approach, as it were.

Michael also delivered the funniest line of the episode, although it was said so quickly I almost missed it. As Jan pulls him into the bathroom for some canoodling, Michael says "Why are we going into the bathroom? I thought this was where you liked your privacy." I watched the show twice last night, and that cracked me up both times.

Overall, thumbs up on the episode. Jim...watch your back, buddy. You've got an angry bearded man after you now.

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The Office [NBC]

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