Skip to main content

Auctions and Ultimatums: Crime Aid on "The Office"

I have to say that I really quite enjoyed last night's episode of The Office ("Crime Aid"), written by new writer Charlie Grandy (Saturday Night Live) and directed by first-time director Jennifer Celotta (who also serves as an executive producer and writer on the series), who turned out a gorgeously filmed episode and has proven that she's just as talented behind the camera as she is writing dialogue for the employees of Dunder Mifflin. (Well done, Jen!)

While the Jim and Pam fluff bored to me to tears (is anyone quite as sick of these two as I am?) and the cold open was a whole lot of nothing, the rest of the episode was filled to the brim with the stuff I love best about The Office: genuine emotion (as opposed to forced or trite sentimentality), hysterical moments, and character growth.

How fantastic was it that Holly tricked Michael into returning to the office so she could make out with him without the cameras filming them? (I also loved the fact that they directly addressed the cameras' presence AND made it funny by having Michael turn his mike all the way up instead of down.)

I'm absolutely loving Michael and Holly as a couple, even if David Wallace didn't look too pleased to learn that these two were dating. Holly is such a perfect female version of Michael that is seems perfect to put these two together... and it's nice to see Michael happy for a change (which makes me just know that things are going to come crashing down for these two lovebirds very soon). Their exchange at the beginning of the episode about going out that night was adorable and very funny.

The fact that Holly knew that Michael never had any Springsteen tickets for their crime aid auction was a nice touch that belied her love for Michael and the realization that some things are just too good to be true. There was no explosive fight, no shouting (as there would have been from Jan), but just good-humored acceptance from Holly.

And how incredibly touching and, yes, earned was it that Dwight would bid on Phyllis' hug after taking her advice (and then getting slapped when he was ungrateful) and issuing an ultimatum to a Disney World-bound Angela? Instead of inane baby carriage pranks, we got some actual character growth from Dwight Schrute this week as he realized that perhaps he does need--and deserve--some actual warmth for a change. His exchange with Phyllis in the break room (during which he engaged in a conversation with himself) was absolutely hysterical (among the things he learned about from Angela: pasteurized milk, monotheism, sheets, presents on your birthday) and touching.

Pam's six-plus minute drunk voicemail to Jim? Irritating. While I once loved Pam, she's seriously irking these days and I don't enjoy their long-distance relationship storyline in any way. I'm glad that Jim turned the car around on the interstate rather than go see Pam in New York because I would have really pulled out my hair had that been where the writers were taking this plot point. And I was glad to see Roy, even if it was just for a 30-second scene at the bar.

Best line of the evening: "You’re making a knife with a knife?" - Phyllis.

Next week on The Office ("Employee Transfer"), Pam is horrified when she is the only person at corporate wearing a costume on Halloween; Holly and Michael get some shocking news; Dwight torments Andy.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I think this was the first episode where someone actually really acknowledged the camera. Very refreshing!
I really liked this episode, and agreed totally about the Jim and Pam thing.
Anonymous said…
Also agree about the Jim/Pam story. I'm bored with it. Michael and Holly were perfect in this episode. Where the Michael/Jan relationship was excruciatingly awkward (albeit hilarious). Michael and Holly manage to be completely awkward in a very loveable way. Steve Carrell & Amy Ryan have fantastic chemistry.
Anonymous said…
Not to sound repetitive but I'll echo the above sentiments as well and add my own to the discussion. Jim and Pam were interesting a few seasons ago but I find their romance to be really boring these days. Michael and Holly though are incredibly interesting and funny. I wish Amy Ryan could stay on the show forever!
Unknown said…
@PixelGurl: They've acknowledged the camera before, taken off their mics, tried to hide, etc. (even if you don't count the "interview" pieces they do).

I like Jim and Pam's in-perseon interactions; long-distance isn't making it. Pam's doing a solo act, which doesn't work well. I hope they bring her back to Scranton soon.

When Jim started driving to NY, I thought 'Oh no. He'll arrive and see some guy coming out of Pam's room, and it'll turn out to be a big misunderstanding.' Ugh. Glad I was wrong. So far...
Anonymous said…
Michael and Holly are much, much more interesting than Jim and Pam this season. I only hope they can keep the wonderful Amy Ryan around for awhile as she's breathed new life into the show.
Pavement Runner said…
I thought the "it squeaks when you bang it" line was the best "that's what she said" in the history of the office. I was laughing my ass of watching it and am still laughing about it today. Great!
TVBlogster said…
At first, I wasn't over the moon about this one. It took me a few viewings to love this episode, but I did get there. So many funny moments. Dwight and Phyllis were wonderful. Michael and Holly were sweet in all their dorkiness.

I kind of agree with you on Jim and Pam. I'm not so much bored with them as I am bored with their long distance relationship. Pam's voice mail also bugged. Glad she's having fun, but yesh. I wish they had Jim do a little self improvement rather that just be pining for Pam.

Great editorial!
Anonymous said…
I thought this was the best ep of the season, so far, and it's NOT because i am biased. :)

Like SKST, I had the same thought - Jim seeing another guy coming out of Pam's place (Rich Sommer?). SO glad that didn't happen (though, a similar misunderstang happened on Skins, and I didn't care for it there).

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision