‘The Office’ – ‘Christening’: Save me, Jeebus!

Senior Television Writer
11.05.10 86 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “The Office” coming up just as soon as Jesus is my caterer…

I’m not even sure where to begin with “Christening,” beyond the fact that – with the notable exception of Toby’s question to God, perfectly delivered by Paul Lieberstein – it was just spectacularly unfunny.

There was no part of it where I felt Michael was acting out of character. He’s this lonely, this in need of purpose and a family of some kind, that I could see him getting drunk on the holy spirit for a little while, just as I could see him sobering up on the long bus ride and backing out immediately. And there have been some very dark, character-driven Michael spotlights that have worked despite being thin on laughs (season four’s “Money,” with Michael’s moonlighting job, comes to mind). But those worked because they really did take Michael’s problems seriously, where this one just used his loneliness as the set-up for an incredibly predictable tantrum with Andy on the bus.

The christening and reception, meanwhile, was simultaneously frantic and lifeless. While it’s occasionally funny to see Jim and/or Pam under a lot of stress (see the episode last year where they found out about Michael and Pam’s mom), neither character is well-serviced by a story where they’re anxious and under siege the entire time. And while I’m usually amused by Stanley’s misanthropy and hunger-fueled rage, here I found myself just hating virtually the entire branch.

That was just a bad, bad episode of “The Office.”

What did everybody else think?

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