The Office: Procrastanalysis on Parkour and Pregnancy
Oh, I am so glad The Office is back! The opening sequence on Parkour, the internet sensation of 2004, had tears streaming. I guess they were technically doing Parkour if “point A is delusion and point B is the hospital” – genius! The thing that I love about it, though, is that we all wanted to do that when first saw Parkour, right? But none of us did. And that’s what I love about Michael, Dwight and Andy – for all the ways in which they are moronic, they give in to those desires that the rest of us resist because giving in to them would alienate us from our communities. There’s something in that that I find interesting, hopeful and fun.
But on to what is likely to be the real arc of this season: Pam’s pregnancy. With each stage of Jim and Pam’s relationship, I worry that it’s going to get all Ross and Rachel obsessive annoying. The British Office did it perfectly – everything ends when Tim and Dawn get together, so we don’t have to witness the annoying back and forth of regular relationships. And so with The American Office, we’ve had to see what happens after the couple gets together, and I have to say – it’s not nearly as annoying as I thought it would be! So here’s the next stage in that development towards normative family status – a baby.
The first episode bodes well, though: while offering the seed of a plotline, the pregnancy was not the central story. It remained one of many stories, fit into an overarching, larger communal narrative. Here’s hoping The Office manages to keep on this track and doesn’t bow to making normative, nuclear families the organizing principle of a season!