The Office: Did I Stutter
May 4, 2008

NBC, Thursdays at 9:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: Its Funny Because Its Oh So True.

This episode could’ve been called “The One With All The Awkward Moments”.  The main awkward moment happened while Michael was trying to whip up excitement in the office about whipping up excitement in the office.  When Jim suggested an urban appeal, of course Michael turned to Stanley.  What was pretty standard fare became particularly awkward when Stanley clearly made his feelings of wanting to be left alone known.  Michael fled and tried to come up with a way to keep the peace.  In a brief season highlight, he consulted Daryl about what his “street life” taught him.  “Fluffy Fingers”.  Hilarious.  After a failed “fake firing”, Stanley tore into Michael with an uncharacteristic viciousness, and Michael responded by demanding everyone leave.  I was with Kevin when I thought Michael was really about to let go on Stanley.  But this is The Office, and he broke down in a whimper.  Eventually though, Michael did show a flash of the business man he is, telling Stanley he doesn’t need to respect him, but he has to treat him with respect in the office.

The other awkward moment stemmed from last week.  Ryan subtly mentioned that he knew Jim had spoken to Ryan’s boss about what doesn’t work with Dunder Mifflin Infinity’s website.  This week, Ryan and Tobey told Jim that his work has been substandard and he was warned.  Jim initially believed that this was Ryan’s payback (it probably is), but Ryan said he knows how much time Jim wastes around the office.  Tobey, seizing on this opportunity to take Pam’s love interest down a peg, agreed.  Here’s the thing: Does anyone think Ryan’s really wrong?  His motivation aside, did he say anything that isn’t true?  Jim’s a lovable underachiever, but that still makes him an underachiever.  Do we really expect him to want to work at that office forever (or for Pam to always be the secretary at the office?)?  This piece of story is surely going to play into that ring Jim’s had in his pocket.

Final Grade: A-