|Index||2 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh there's spoilers for sure here. If you haven't seen the episode this
will ruin it. Dwight as boss. Andy as #2. Hmm it could happen again
couldn't it? Jan melts down. Schrutebucks. Ryan somehow leapfrogging
the corporate ladder. Lots going on in this episode (as season finales
If there was ever an episode to convince a person that love exists this is the one. 50 episodes in (more or less) with all Jim and Pam have been through (admittedly self-inflicted mostly) we have our payoff. That's what makes this such a perfect story. Who of us hasn't done the wrong thing at the wrong time to make life miserable on ourself? Pam said she couldn't when she should have said she could. Jim waited until right before her wedding to get the courage to say what he should have said how many times before? He moved away. She got back with Roy. It was never going to work out.
And then it did. "Don't forget us when you're famous" with a tin yogurt lid and paper clips. Not going to be one of Hallmark's best sellers. But for one guy and one girl it was perfect. Perfect enough for him to leave an interview for a promotion he was sure to get. Perfect enough to give up a good relationship. Perfect enough to drive two hours just for the chance. Perfect enough to risk a friendship the likes of which neither of them would see again. "You've got to take a chance on something" he told her. It's for the one time it works that we endure the 99 times it doesn't.
I read a comment in the paper a few days ago that disputed someone's
claim that 30 Rock was the best sitcom out there at the moment because
the writer of this piece of blurb felt it was the US version of The
Office. I didn't think too much about it because it is all opinion but
I can see the point. In my opinion 30 Rock is by far the better comedy
because it gets the biggest laughs out of me, but The Office is the
better sitcom. The reason for this disparity is because The Office has
a better narrative running through the jokes and has characters that
the viewer cares about beyond their role as comedy material. This was
seen in season 2 of The Office (the first good season) but the way they
ended that season perhaps made me think that things would be awkward or
difficult to carry on from particularly in a show which I already
know is on its 5th season.
I needn't have worried though because S3 does a very good job of moving on from the conclusion of the previous season and keeping the character threads going. We join quite some time after the end of the last season, with characters scattered a bit, new characters added, new unspoken complications but yet also the continuation of the same awkward relationships that I enjoyed from season 2. This continues till about the mid-point of the season where the dynamics are changed again, while also still keeping the same essential plots. It is to the writers' credit that it works as well as it does because the character-driven plots are evenly spread across the season and each episode; OK they have moments where they come to the fore but they never feel like they are sitting on a shelf waiting for the show to need a cliff-hanger or something like that.
Of course neither the characters nor their threads are strong enough to work if this were a drama series, but thankfully it is not and instead these factors compliment what is otherwise a consistently funny comedy show. The bad memory of season 1 is long gone now as The Office US has settled totally into what it is doing rather than what the UK did almost to the point where comparison is like comparing apples and potatoes simply because they are both in the same colour box (although of course this is the internet so these arguments will continue forever). I found S3 to be funnier again than S2. The improved narrative threads prevented each episode feeling like a totally contained sketch while the dialogue and observational stuff continues to be frequently funny. I did also like the fact that S3 allowed for more moments where we get to see that the people in the office are not useless even if they are odd characters. The sales call episode is the clearest example of this but there are lots of little moments that offer similar. It is also surprisingly touching at times again part of the reason that it works best as a sitcom rather than a "judge me by the laughs" comedy.
Yet again the cast deliver on this well and seem a lot happier doing what they are doing now as opposed to the jobs they were given in season 1. Carell is very good at his role and fits it very well. Fischer continues to be the best at the "pained" comedy as she always had been and this skill serves her very well within the comedy and also within her narrative thread. Krasinski is still a bit too much about the mugging for my taste but the lack of complexity or openness in his performance adds realism to a point. He works well with Jones, who is the best of the new additions and helps drive a lot of the character plot. Wilson continues to deliver great lines and a consistently good comedy character. The supporting cast continue to do the good work they did in S2 despite Baker's Stanley looking ever more like a cartoon version of himself. I continue to love Kaling and Bratton but everyone else is good again, with more use of everyone in terms of narrative and comedy (where perhaps S2 used the supporting cast just for comedy asides).
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