Reviewing the Finales: The Office – “The Job”

The Office closed its season tonight with a series of job interviews, a new regime taking over the Office, and a set of boobs which Michael can’t ignore in “The Job”. The series’ second season ended with a high note, closing with the epic “Casino Night”. It had everything: moments for every supporting character, Michael with a low-key and charming love triangle, and of course…the kiss heard round the world. And, while “The Job” was certainly not a terrible hour of television, it failed to live up to all of the qualities which made Casino Night so great.

The biggest problem was that the show’s supporting characters didn’t get a time to shine at all, and the finale was very much isolated into its starring roles. In the first of such isolations, Michael dealt with a returning Jan who has gotten breast implants and finds that the job Michael is interviewing for is in fact her own: she’s being fired. This plotline might have been fine if it didn’t require the assassination of Jan’s character. Although her craziness could be explained by medications and emotional reactions, I can’t help but feel that they went too far. The character became a set of boobs, and she went too off the wall for the purpose of the episode. It was lazy: although she’s been descending over time, I felt her fall was too quick.

The result was that Michael’s storyline was a burden: it wasn’t funny, it was kind of sad. I agree with Jim, who was a bit taken aback when Karen didn’t feel sorry for Jan and Michael’s situation. Karen was another problem with the episode, and I think it’s a problem with her development: she never became a real character. She was never anything more than Jim’s girlfriend since she arrived at Scranton, incapable of being a complex character. It was especially apparent in this episode: she was the jealous girlfriend who thought Pam was a bitch…no emotions behind it, she was just plain jealous. Her talking heads lacked depth, and she was just a nothing character. Considering that, based on the episode’s ending, she might be coming back, I hope this can change.

And yet, Karen’s cold nature helped the episode reach its real conclusion: the return of Jim and Pam to each other’s lives. On Jim’s side, Karen was being cold and bitchy and basically not really his girlfriend. She ditched him at the interview to go hang with some friends, and it was a little bit too simple. Still, it was natural, and Jim’s reconnection with Pam took place in a real fashion: she had inserted into some photocopies a small memo telling Jim to remember them when he’s famous…and connected to it a yogurt lid gold medal ala “Office Olympics”. It was touching, heartfelt, and warming to my cold heart.

And, on Pam’s side, she was similarly leaning towards Jim after having some fun at Dwight’s expense.

That fun was a bit repetitive compared to previous episodes, and my biggest problem was that (unlike Casino Night) it didn’t have anything for the supporting characters to really do. Dwight and Andy had their moments, Angela had hers, but no one else had an opportunity to do anything or make an impression amongst the rest of the madness. The office antics gave Pam her purpose to miss Jim, but I felt like other people could have been involved at a greater level.

So, although it’s nice to see Jim and Pam returning to one another for a dinner date, I don’t feel like things have changed enough. I don’t have that warm feeling inside that I should over my Jim/Pam Shippage, and I don’t even have that satisfied feeling after a good laugh. Instead, I’ve got an odd feeling of…nothingness. Even writing these thoughts has been tough…this is my second run through, the first felt too impersonal. I should feel something about Jim and Pam, I should feel something about bigger things…but I don’t. Sure, Ryan getting the corporate job at the end was cute and worth a laugh, but it hasn’t stuck with me. Nothing has.

I remember being out of sorts over the ending to Casino Night. Right now, I’m basically just left underwhelmed. And that…well, that’s not what I had hoped for.

However, let’s not end on a sour note: in perhaps the best supporting character moment of the episode, Creed revealed that he had a “blog”. It wasn’t, really, but in real life it exists. Enjoy the link (Thanks to Spooks @ NeoGAF).

NBC.com – CreedThoughts 

4 Comments

Filed under NBC, Television, The Office

4 responses to “Reviewing the Finales: The Office – “The Job”

  1. I think the Casino Night comparisons aren’t warranted. I just re-watched it a few days back, and it’s more a series of isolated vignettes than a coherent whole. That, and it’s remembered fondly because of the brilliant Jim-Pam scenes at the tail-end of the episode, which skew the opinion of the episode as a whole.

    I’ve watched “The Job” five times now, and it’s a pretty good episode; its Jim-Pam ending, though, is very, very different from season two, so those expecting some all-out emoting are bound to be disappointed.

    I don’t know – maybe I liked it because I’m an Office snob and have forcibly lowered my expectations in efforts to still enjoy the show. That, and I’ve wanted a “realistic” resolution to the season-three Jim-Pam arc. In this case, Jim simply asking Pam out on a date was what I wanted and what I think is approprite for the show.

  2. See, I guess this is where we get into what kind of office episode we enjoy. For me, Casino Night was a series of vignettes surrounding a big event…but that allowed for each character to have their moment in the sun (Scrantonicity, Creed and the Fridge, Angela slapping Dwight, Kelly’s drink order, the Poker Game, etc.). I think that in this way it felt like an event. It felt like something where things happen, where a year comes to a close.

    For me, The Job didn’t feel like that. It felt like a mundane series of events which dealt only with two relationships, and was a non-event otherwise. I needed more impact. I agree that the Jim/Pam subtlety was ideal, but the problem was that the show isn’t just about Jim/Pam. I think that’s why I wasn’t so much a fan.

  3. Pingback: Cultural Learnings’ Fall 2007 Lineup: Thursdays « Cultural Learnings

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