‘The Office’ – ‘The Sting’: Un-justified behavior

Senior Television Writer
10.21.10 62 Comments

A quick review of tonight’s “The Office” coming up just as soon as we do a novelty song about frogs…

“You have to understand that we are not normally like this.” -Michael

I’m of two minds about “The Sting.”

On the one hand, even by the loose standards of reality that “The Office” has set in some previous episodes, this one felt disconnected form all reason, logic and sense that this is an actual office staffed by recognizable human beings.

On the other hand, I found myself laughing a surprising amount of the time, even more than at previous episodes this season that felt more “Office”-like (say, “Counseling”).

Meredith’s behavior, for instance, was ridiculous, yet I was amused by how she simply and repeatedly foiled Michael’s attempts to send in other staffers to get her out of there.

The use of Tim Olyphant, an actor mostly known for gritty cable dramas playing a normal character unsettled by the culture of the Scranton branch (and so handsome that all the women drool over him), feels somewhat similar to Idris Elba’s stint a couple of seasons ago, but already Danny seems a more promising comic character than Charles Minor was, and the added tension of Danny having briefly dated Pam four years ago (in between Pam calling off the wedding to Roy and Jim asking her out) is a nice wrinkle that continues this season’s reinvigoration of Jim and Pam.

Again, it was a complete cartoon. It bore very little resemblance to what the show once was, and still can be from time to time. But on its own completely absurd level, it worked. And it gave us more Andy/Darryl interaction (with a side of Kevin in Scrantonicity mode), and Ryan pointing out “I don’t think they usually skate to such bad songs,” and a tag where the new band did, indeed, do a novelty song about frogs with Kevin singing lead. And it offered us the possibility of Dave Koechner’s first appearance as Todd Packer in a while.

I should really dislike this episode. But I kinda didn’t.

What did everybody else think?

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