Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Office: "Safety" Happy Dance

This week, I had been working on a scathing blog about The Office and what I feel has been its recent downward spiral. Jim was bothering me, Pam was frustrating me, and Karen was boring me. Even Michael’s antics were rather lackluster.

Maybe it’s just me hating the March/April period of repeats, but my repertoire of television is rather disappointing right now.

I was ready to bitch about it.

Then I saw “Safety Training.”

This episode restored my faith in The Office and in Jam. It had a very Season Two feel to it, what with Michael doing something ridiculously stupid while the rest of the staff watches. Jim and Pam were on speaking terms, everybody was happy...

I’ve heard complaints that this episode lacked plot motion, but you know what? I’m okay with that.

Most episodes from Seasons One and Two can be watched individually without concern for being lost in a sea of backstory. They’re independently hilarious, and, no, they don’t really do much. Remember, for the first thirty episodes or so, Jim pined helplessly for Pam. Sure, they occasionally threw in a “Booze Cruise,” but other than that, the Jam storyline remained relatively flat. Fast-forward to this season, where one of them does something ridiculously emo in every episode.

“Safety Training” was a delightful departure from the unnecessary drama that The Office has been shrouded in lately.

Funny that I say that, seeing as much of this week’s hilarity came from Michael’s threat of suicide.

I was thoroughly pleased with the whole episode, from Creed’s potato snack to Kelly’s Netflix explanation to the watermelon “test.”

I am also hopeful for the future of Jam for the first time in several episodes.

I doubt the season will end with a juicy Jam kiss, nor do I want it to. First of all, it would be too reminiscent of “Casino Night,” and wouldn’t properly show the character development that has taken place in the last year. Plus, right now, Jim and Pam are about as far from each other as we’ve ever seen them. Having them make up and make out in the finale would require the pair to gloss over all the problems they have right now. I would be unsatisfied with such a result.

The only thing I’ll allow myself to hope for is a Jim Desk Relocation. I predict that the finale will end with Jim emptying his desk and moving back to his pre-Stamford work station. This would give the audience some Jam happiness—maybe he sinks down into his chair and catches her eye, or positions his Office Olympic Bronze Medal just so—without skipping any of the necessary steps toward reconciliation. Maybe Jim will have broken up with Karen, making Jim’s move back symbolic of things returning to pre-Stamford normalcy.

At least as normal as Dunder-Mifflin gets.

One response to “The Office: "Safety" Happy Dance”

Cayce said...

I agree so much with wanting Jim to move back to his old spot. I think that has accounted for A LOT of the distance between JAM. Pam doesn't catch Jim's eye anymore BECAUSE HE CAN'T SEE HER! Hehehe.

Seriously, though. You made some really great points.

(BTW...every Thursday I post a blog about that night's upcoming Office episode if you're interested).