So The Office decided to weigh in on the economic crisis and the problems with corporate greed this week. We got a glimpse of top level management with their extravagant perks of lavish lounge spaces and expensive limo rides, not to mention the insane costs of large-scale meetings that accomplish next to nothing. But while I’m with the rest of the country in thinking recent scandals regarding bonuses at AIG and the like indicate a capitalism run amok, I also hold some hope that the fat cats in the back rooms are at least trying to fix some aspect of their economic problems – if not to be responsible to their shareholders, at least to secure their own livelihood.
But The Office decided to depict a decidedly different situation. Here, the upper level bosses had given up, even our own David Wallace who, in the bleakest of moments, usually still reveals himself to be a good guy. It takes a middle-level guy like Michael to even desire seeking a solution. He’s got some of the tools to do so at his fingertips – like Oscar’s own insights into how to save the company, which Michael recognizes as helpful, but Oscar is too weak or pathetic to unfurl. But sadly enough, the disconnects in the paths of communication necessary to complete the task overpower the fix. And so we close with a vision of everyone scrambling to grab what they can from the wreckage – be it one more glass of whiskey in the hands of a congressman during a break from a meeting, a bottle of booze and a surreptitious limo ride scrambled by Michael and the boys or, in perhaps the most frustrating turn of events, a lackadaisical work attitude from underlings like Ryan.
Which leads us to Jim and his own scramble to assert himself to a drunk Phyllis, a wretched Ryan and a mocking Pam. Jim is walking such a fine line right now and I find it fascinating – is he going to manage to grow up and be a boss, or is he going to descend into some childish form of stubborn self-assertion? Ryan deserved the dressing down, so it was hard to tell this week. I felt for Jim as he attempted to be the boss, to live into his position. I’m curious to see if he’ll be able to step into that role with any grace or if, like Michael, he’ll fumble his way into moments of success that happen more in spite of his efforts than as a direct result of them.
Round up – Creed again was wonderful. Ryan’s “do you love her or do you love the idea of her?” added a new dimension to this creepy old guy. Apparently he has a love life?!? Oh please, Office, show her to us!! And we can’t close this post without mentioning the genius of Recyclops, who truly does reveal that we can all become anything we want to. Between the switching out of the receptionists over the years, the evolution of the costume, Dwight’s insane deeper and deeper inhabitation of the character, the fact that others in the office have a sense of a long-term narrative for this creature and, sadly, that he finally turned to destroy the planet he once loved – all a gorgeous depiction of how far we can get from our original goals as everything we do to accomplish them takes on a life of its own that in the end obscures them.
Posted by Natalie
Read the entire conversation about The Office from start to finish here