Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Office, "Koi Pond": The face of the joke

Seems to be at least one Thursday a season where I'm too overwhelmed by a cold or flu to be able to tell if "The Office" was any good or not. I want to say that "Koi Pond" didn't really work, but that could just be the germs talking. (Though I will say that they have not rendered me incapable of laughing, as I got a big kick out of finally watching the "Subtle Sexuality" webisodes afterwards.)

So since I feel incapable of rendering judgment (and will therefore put off "30 Rock" until tomorrow morning, or whenever I start to feel human again), what did everybody else think?

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I liked it as a whole, but I thought the Hallowe'en party in the warehouse could have been expanded upon- or removed entirely. I enjoyed Pandy, though- like an alternate universe.

Tom said...

Nothing made me laugh harder than the Halloween party, but I thought the episode kind of fell apart when Michael took Jim's advice about making fun of himself too far. The staff -- and we -- didn't need another reminder of what a sad sack he is.

Steve Ely said...

I like how much Erin digs Andy.

Anonymous said...

Both of the major plots just missed. Each had some good stuff, but seemed a beat off. It was good to see nice Pam make a reappearance. More Halloween please.

wjm said...

Yet another understated costume from Jim. Love it. I sat through the entire "Haunted Warehouse" scene with my chin in my hand, trying to get past Michael's choice of a costume.

P.S. More Darryl! More Darryl!

Muz said...

I have nothing to say about this show particularly. I'm just amused that the last four entries are all for mockumentary comedies and their screen grabs are all blinding riots of colour.

Joe said...

I am amused that with Jim's new office he will need to be in a lot more background shots during the TH's. In the past I am sure Stanley probably spent more time on set than anybody else for those shots, and now Jim will need to be there for many of them as well.

Andrew said...

Community is not a mockumentary. Colorful though.

I think the two storylines in this one didn't quite mesh. The ideal Office episode structure has one storyline with the "awe shucks" heartstring moment and the other one is more of a straight comedy (Last weeks Pam's mom story vs. Dwight bugging Jim, for example). But having both storylines try for that emotional moment made it feel overloaded and having those sad sack moments with Andy coupled with the sad sack moments from Michael was just too much. But maybe thats just me.

And Erin is fitting in more and more. I was concerned when they brought her in that she might be a little too normal for the long time. Glad to see that is not nearly the case. And she is damn adorable...

Kathryn said...

As is often the case, I thought the opener before the credits was the funniest part of the show. I wish the entire episode had been centered around the gang putting on the Halloween haunted warehouse.

I found the bit with clients all assuming Pam and Andy were a couple (what, because she's pregnant?!) completely contrived and not very funny.

Henry said...

I loved Darryl's pumpkin shirt. I'm not much into Halloween but I'd like to wear something like that around the office or something. Also loved Jim's "costume." Doesn't top his three-hole punch paper costume from a few years ago, but it's pertty good.

I just liked how both Michael and Jim kept a straight face even though Jim's completely dry and Michael's soaking wet. And I liked the continuation of the joke where Kevin fist bumps Michael for something Kevin loves about Michael.

"Sex with a terrorist." Made my jaw drop.

"They said you stepped on its head." GREAT delivery from Ellie Kemper.

olucy said...

Both main stories fell flat for me (and I found people assuming that Andy and Pam were a couple unfathomable).

I felt cheated out of a good Halloween ep!

Larry McGillicuddy said...

Episodes like this (while not one of the best The Office has to offer) remind me why the show is so great, and why shows like 30 Rock will never reach the same level. Even when The Office is not completely clicking on a comedy level, there's still so much to keep you interested. I felt bad for Jim. I felt bad for Michael. I felt bad for Andy. When 30 Rock isn't very funny (like this current season)it just sits there without anything else to offer. The Office is so good on so many levels that it can afford to have a couple missteps and still be entertaining.

Having said that, there were still some really funny moments, but the best was probably Jim snapping at Angela. Something about that was just so incredibly funny to me.

BigTed said...

Unfortunately, the stories about Michael and Jim as co-managers are getting awfully repetitious. They argue, Michael does something stupid, Jim does something vaguely obnoxious, the staff turns against one or both of them, and they bond over being bosses. We don't need to see that storyline anymore.

In fact, the whole idea that Jim has to grow up and stop joking around so much in order to fit his new role as boss and husband/father is interesting from a dramatic point of view, but really isn't very funny.

But I agree that Erin having a bigger role in the stories is a good idea. I originally thought she was too naive to realize what a wacky place the office is, but now it seems that she just likes it that way. Unlike Pam, she views being a receptionist as a real job, and she's happy to be doing it in a place where people have some fun.

MikeS said...

Wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.

We've seen a lot of this before. Michael is so pitiful, yet so annoying while doing it. This time, we find out that while Jim didn't push him into the pool, he actively avoided helping Michael as he was falling.

It almost is starting to seem as the underlying theme of season 6 is turning Jim from jokester salesman of seasons 1-5 into the Michael, the disliked boss.

Rick said...

I guess I'm in the minority, because I really enjoyed it. Thought the way they played out the koi pond thread, keeping the visual evidence out until near the end, worked very well, and the sensitivity meeting had some good moments too ("You're paying way too much for worms, man").

Pam 'n' Andy was a little forced, but his overshare on the ride back was an excellent Ed Helms moment.

Anonymous said...

Am I alone in thinking that Erin is one of the most adorable women on Earth?

Kensington said...

I liked it okay, even though I wasn't entirely focused on watching it. I still love the novelty of Jim having trouble growing into his new job, particularly when he snapped at Angela. I don't think we've ever seen that Jim before.

And, as unfathomable as some found the notion of Jim and Andy as a couple, I find the idea of Erin being attracted to him mystifying.

gravyboat said...

As far as I'm concerned, any episode with TWO Creed moments is a good episode. I also really liked giving Michael and Andy each some honest moments of self-revelation in front of other characters.

I've been hoping for a while to get some plotlines that don't center on Jim, Michael, Pam and/or Dwight, but even pairing Pam with Andy for a dynamic I don't recall ever really exploring before was a nice change of pace.

And while I agree with BigTed that Jim's changing role presents a range of dramatic possibilities, I think it may also be an opportunity to really be an impetus for evolving Michael's character a bit, and end up being a way to save Michael from following the same arc as Homer Simpson.

LoopyChew said...

Agreed with Rick. I was hoping the jump text was going to be "call my worm guy" or something of the like.

Maybe it will be.

Anonymous @ 2:42, definitely not. :-)

CAPTCHA: "pitede," which Michael should be after his brief breakdown in the office.

Question Mark said...

The direction seemed a bit off this episode. Everyone seemed to be framed tightly, making things feel very claustrophobic.

Roger said...

I love that Erin is turning out to be one of the more insane people there.

LDP said...

I thought it was a pretty good episode, particularly when compared to last night's Community, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, all of which stunk.

jscclipper said...

I actually like it - my favorite part was that Jim didn't only keep an extra suit in his office and therefore be able to give it to Michael, but the EXACT same suit an EXACT same shirt and tie.

christy said...

Erin had me at Disco Cafe. Amazing how well and how quickly she fit in to the show.

I laughed a lot this episode. "Sex with terrorist" had me howling. I loved Creed's face when Michael's self-deprecation went too far. Lots of other little moments.

But I agree that overall, it felt a little disjointed.

Jon said...

The Halloween segment was hilarious - "and here's an octopus, and a burn victim" - brilliant. The Pam/Andy bonding was uncomfortable but funny, as The Office often is, and the Jim/Michael segment - meh.

LA said...

"Who's your worm man?"

Oh, Creed. You complete me.

zodin2008 said...

I have to second the notion that "The Office" is always 2 steps ahead of "30 Rock" on the funny. "30 Rock" has started to get on my nerves with more frequency though last night's episode wasn't too bad.

Interestingly, we had the ABC and NBC comedies all saved on DVR from Wednesday and then into last night, and I can always tell what my wife and I are enjoying the most but what we watch in what order...we watched "Modern Family" first ("The Office had only just started anyway so we didn't want commercials) then "Flash Forward", then "The Office" and then when it came to "Cougar Town" vs. "30 Rock", we went "Cougar Town" first.

(we HATED "Community" and it was taken off our season pass after 2 episodes.)

The "Book Face" thing with Jim was hysterical. I actually also found the stuff with Pam and Andy funny, while mixing sad with cute.

Imamarilyn said...

My favorite part was Darrell's narration at the haunted house.

A new sales technique...pretend you are a pregnant couple to connect with the client. Loved the Pam/Andy interaction.

Mike Warren said...

I have no idea what most of y'all are thinking, but I'll give Alan the benefit of the doubt since he said he had the sniffles. This was exactly the kind of episode we needed after last week's hysterically funny but outrageous episode. This was low-key, mainly within the office, with some really funny moments. I loved Erin's process for making sure she doesn't read the stuff she has to fax!

I agree that dragging out the act of falling into the pond had a great payoff, and I think it shows some real maturity on the part of the writers. I think if this had happened a few seasons ago, we would have seen Michael fall into the pond as it happened. This way, we had a much more interesting story with the twist of Jim's betrayal.

My favorite part: Dwight's self-imposed confusion over whether or not Jim is his enemy or his friend.

Hannah Lee said...

I thought the Halloween warehouse opening was pretty funny. Agree that Darryl’s narration was hysterical. Plus LeeLoo, a scary octopus, Ryan continuing his pretentiousness as the Twilight vampire and was Oscar dressed as Sarah Palin?

Sorry to say, though, I didn’t make it through the whole episode…the ‘Pam and Andy are mistaken for a couple’ bit just didn’t make sense, and was kind of dull and offensive at the same time, but not funny. As they were squirming through the 2nd or 3rd client meeting, I turned the TV off (and never made it back for 30 Rock.)

I thought Community and Parks & Recreation were hysterical last night, though. It’s weird to have the new kids on NBC’s Thursday block be the ones that are keeping my attention and becoming ‘must see’ for me. But, after reading the comments here, I’ll probably try watching The Office again, since it seems like there were so good parts later.

Anthony said...

I actually like it - my favorite part was that Jim didn't only keep an extra suit in his office and therefore be able to give it to Michael, but the EXACT same suit an EXACT same shirt and tie.

I think that may have to do with Jim's embarassment at being stuck in the office in a tuxedo on Charles Miner's first day. Maybe after that he decided always to keep a suit at the office, just in case.

Ariella said...

Very, very satisfying. Not the best episode ever, but this reminded me of what I love about the office.

Jim snapping at Angela?? Well, hello Mr. Halpert! ;)

I really felt all the relationships between the characters. All the other office people bantering, Pam and Andy's sales call, Andy's genuine sadness at being single and how Erin is TOTALLY perfect for him, and especially Jim and Michael's moments together at the end, where you can see how this two-boss situation might just work.

It's also nice to be reminded that Jim and Pam, as much as I do adore them, are not perfect people. Jim's anger got the best of him and he let Michael fall, and that's something a lot of people would do when treated the way Michael treated Jim. And a few episodes back, when Pam was asking Phyllis to change her soap - that was just inappropriate and unreasonable. JAM is awesome, but JAM are not angels.

All in all, a stick-to-your ribs episode that thoroughly enjoyed.

John C. said...

I feel like Pam is probably still not over Michael dating her mom, so sending her out of the office this week was a way of allowing the writers not to have to deal with that.

Michael G. said...

I agree with John C. I think Michael dating Pam's mom will come up again, but maybe the writers wanted to put some space in between the episodes before they dealt with it again.

"Sex with a terrorist" was the funniest part of the episode, easily. The Pam and Andy stuff wasn't very funny, and the main plot was onlu OK, with a couple of high points.

C. Joseph said...

This was not a good episode of television.

JamesG said...

I thought this episode was pretty good overall. Unlike most others here, my least favorite part was the Halloween opening. It just seemed way too overproduced to be realistic. As I always ask in these situations, where does a failing paper company get the money for such elaborate settings and decorations?

Did anyone catch all the other "do not insult" topics on the board? I think Erin's was "Orphan" and Angela's was "shrimpy." Very nice touch.

I was disappointed that there was no fallout or reference to Michael dating Pam's mom. I guess they sidestepped the issue by keeping her and Michael apart, but even Jim seemed to be just fine with it. I would have thought, for sure, that Michael could have thrown this in during his self-effacing speech, something like "I even have such a hard time finding women I have to date my co-worker's moms!"

Anonymous said...

It's interesting--I think Koi Pond is a funny, sound episode in any case but definitely worked a lot better after the unrelenting unpleasantness we saw during The Lover. The best changes involved Pam: from her not interacted at all with Michael and getting her dismissive "no WAY I'd ever be dating Andy" attitude tossed back in her face, to having some selfless moments when she talked to Andy about his loneliness and later sort of talked him up to Erin.
The story between Jim and Michael had a lot of nice twists and turns, highlighted by the co-managers either undercutting each other (Michael refusing to back out of the sales call, Jim peevishly letting him fall into the koi pond) to helping each other (Jim advising Michael to make fun of himself to defuse things, and Michael later playing along after the office rightly ridiculed Jim for his on-tape behavior).
I'd also echo other comments that this story worked because it stayed closely on-site with most of the events, and carefully hewed to using documentary footage for something unavoidable (Andy and Pam's sales calls).
Add to that Michael being completely Michael at the Halloween party and we had a good show here.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that when Dwight rode in as Jigsaw, Mose was standing frozen along the wall?

Office Fan said...

I thought this episode was great, alot going on and alot of one liners throughout. IMO it didn't falter in any way, after all it is "The Office"!

Billiam said...

Did anyone else raise an eyebrow over the fact that Pam and Andy were the two salesmen with the lowest amount of sales.
I thought we'd established that Pam was better than Ryan.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I thought we'd established that Pam was better than Ryan.

Ryan's not a salesman anymore. He's back to his old temp duties, whatever those were.

Isaac Lin said...

Though I really hope the Jim-as-manager arc finds a way for Jim to avoid turning into Michael, dressing the two of them identically was a funny reference to this process (or since Jim lent Michael the suit, perhaps Michael will turn into Jim?).

Jeff B. said...

Upon rewatching, I realized that Meredith referenced her "roommate's friend"... she has a roommate!

Glimpses into Meredith's personal life are always as entertaining as Creed's.