The Office: Season 5, Episode 26

Company Picnic (14 May 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
8.7
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Michael runs into Holly at the company picnic, and the two of them accidentally reveal that the Buffalo branch is closing during a comedy skit before corporate has made the announcement.

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Title: Company Picnic (14 May 2009)

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Michael runs into Holly at the company picnic, and the two of them accidentally reveal that the Buffalo branch is closing during a comedy skit before corporate has made the announcement.

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Comedy

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14 May 2009 (USA)  »

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Dwight Schrute: Normally, I don't condone leaving early, but I have an appointment with the horse doctor. How that horse became a doctor, I don't know. No, I'm kidding. He's just a regular doctor who shoots your horse in the head when its leg is broken.
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User Reviews

Season 5: A slight change in the approach that affects the comedy a little but still works
30 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although the pretty poor first season could be compared to the UK original, The Office US quickly became its own beast in the second and subsequent seasons. This should be kept in mind because while the UK version ran for about 12 episodes and some extended specials, the US version is approaching 100 episodes. Season 4 perhaps started to show the strain a little bit but this fifth season is the first one where there appears to have been a change in approach that is noticeable. Mostly, The Office story lines in the past have been about the office as a place – a place where day to day things happen which are work-related and, within this, you have people and their lives – but the narrative for each episode was mostly structured and driven by these internal events. Season 5 sees things become much more driven by these characters and the relationships within the office.

This change is not massive but it is telling. The Office was always more of a standard sitcom than the much more scatological type of sitcom of 30 Rock but with 100 or so episodes down it has become more reliant on the characters to make the stories rather than them just being in the story. Thus we have engagements, affairs, lost love, broken hearts, sackings etc. Mostly these work because it is not yet at the point where strain is showing like it does in some shows where the constant plot twists involving old characters and new additions start to make it seem silly. It must be said that it doesn't quite have the lightness that it once did and the plot does occasionally seem a bit contrived or convenient but it does still work well enough to support the show.

That it is still funny is the main thing that makes ti work though. The asides are still very good, the minor characters doing asides are very good and I still had fun with each episode. It isn't the laugh fest that it may once have been given the work now being put into creating plots and threads but the writers have not forgotten what about the show viewers come for. The cast continue to do well with the material and indeed some do better with more of a character driven piece. Carell continues to be good. He gives us enough of the fool to make it easy to laugh at Michael but always knows when to humanise him and keep the viewers on his side despite himself (much like Pam does with him). Speaking of Pam Fischer also does well with her character despite her going down a series of threads that don't totally work but keep her to the fore, which is not something I always appreciated. Krasinski is nicely charming as before and has grown on me and he works well with his relationship dynamic. Wilson's thread is a bit strained but he continues to be the best provider of asides and laughs. Novak is feeling more and more like baggage in the cast and he doesn't have much to do but it is like the show is afraid not to have him. Baker, Smith, Kaling, Nunez, Bratton and the others continue to be a very reliable support cast of characters.

Overall season 5 does show a bit of the strain of being such a long running show in terms of the writing of the plots but the show remains engaging and funny enough to cover these minor issues. It isn't the best of the seasons but it is not far below the bar and viewers who have followed it for the whole run will have no reason not to look forward to season 6.


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