THE OFFICE: New Boss

March 19, 2009 by  

(The following contains spoilers for tonight’s episode of THE OFFICE. Stop reading if you haven’t yet watched.)

If you’re skin is crawling with awkwardness then you might have just finished watching tonight’s episode of THE OFFICE. Talk about cringeworthy.  I watched most of the episode with my hands over my eyes. And I loved every minute of it!

Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have been with the show from the beginning and you could really feel that history tonight as they nailed the tone perfectly. Quotable lines, uncomfortable moments, and a (somewhat) shocking twist. Way to keep it classy guys…I hope you’re wearing your tuxes.

Idris Elba is a fantastic addition to the cast as the new corporate VP, Charles Minor. In the past the VP position has been reserved for the incapable and unprofessional such as Jan Levinson and Ryan “Fire Guy” Howard.  Seems corporate stepped up their game because Charles seems to be the real deal. But Michael, and let’s face it Jim, managed to give their new boss a reason to keep a watchful eye on the branch. And it’s not the kind of eye you want on you when the company is looking to create efficiences across the board – especially when you are the Scranton Branch.

You can always trust Michael Scott to make an ass out of himself.  He was childish, petty, inappropriate and off the charts unprofessional. But Jim.  Whoa, talk about a bad day. We’ve seen Jim choke before but every time he opened him mouth it just got worse. The new boss didn’t take too kindly to Jim’s lack of professionalism and it seemed that’s all Jim was offering up today. I’m glad we’ve seen Jim exposed like this in the past because it made his fouls that much more believable.  But I also don’t think he did anything to help himself.  For instance, why not ditch the jacket and bow tie and leave the tux look behind?  Certainly not the first impression you want to make when your career is possibly on the line.Think about your mortgage and upcoming (hopefully) nuptuials, James. Although, let’s be honest here, he did look quite handsome (and classy) in the tux so at least there’s that. I mean it did take him 40 minutes to get ready.

Despite some great lines tonight, I still continue to be disappointed in what the writers have done to Angela. Close your eyes and think back to the first few seasons. Picture Angela Martin with her tight bun and sensible shoes.  Now would that Angela Martin practically throw herself at her new boss? I dare say not. But I need to get over it. I need to stop complaining.  I fear that version of Angela Martin is gone…for good.

Not feeling he was getting the respect he deserved, Michael pulled something unexpected out of his hat – he quit. Didn’t see that one coming.  We the audience of course know it won’t stick but it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.  What will Michael Scott do without Dunder Mifflin? Who will he be? And who will take over the branch?  I’m not sure Charles is going to put the “Assistant Regional Manager”, Jim Halpert in charge. Will Dwight finally get to rule the branch? I can’t wait to see!

Oh and Charles, a word please. Listen, I know you are new around here, but I’ve been here for a long time now.  How about you ease up on my boy, Halpert.  He’s a good worker.  Perhaps a little misguided at times but he means well, and he is the glue that holds Michael, and by extension, the branch together.  So chillax, ok.  Oh and one more thing.  Assistant Regional Manager is a real position.  It was the title Jim received as part of him promotion when he transferred to the Stamford Branch.  Dunder Mifflin even put his title on a name plate…so there!

I’m anxious to read what you all thought of the episode.  I thought it was by far one of the strongest of the season.  This is one that will definitely stay on the DVR for some time as it’s worthy of a few more re-watches.

Some other great moments from “New Boss”:

  • I loved the cold open.  Seems everything sounds better in a tux. Chocolate covered fruit anyone? Perhaps strawberries?
  • I’ve seen John Krasinski in a tux many, many times yet tonight it looked 100% like Jim Halpert in a tux.  Just an observation.
  • In his first episode, Idris Elba figured out how to work the camera.  His subtle glances were spot on.
  • Michael: It was my understanding that I was not going to be managed.
    David Wallace:
    What gave you that idea?
    Michael:
    It was my understanding.
  • Michael: I think I thrive under a lack of accountability.
  • Michael: Tell him to call me ASAP as possible.
  • Charles: Who is this? Who is this?
    Michael:
    I was never given a name.
  • MichaeI: I think it’s hypercritical.
  • Kelly: Should I seduce him?
    Angela:
    No. No one wants to see that.
  • Michael and his copycat game was beyond uncomfortable.  The whole office could feel it.  But Andy’s You need to stop doing that.” had me howling!
  • Jim: And for my next trick I’ll make my career..disappear.
  • Kelly: I can see our kids facing obstacles being half Black and half Indian, but it’s so worth it you guys.
  • Angela: He does not need to go dumpster diving for companionship.
  • Michael: I quit.
    Me: WHAT?!

Talk to me Dunder Mifflinites.  Was this episode classy enough for you?  Could you handle the awkwardness of it all?  Do you think Jim’s interaction with Charles foreshadowed some future issues?

Share your favorite (or not so favorite) moments!

Comments

25 Responses to “THE OFFICE: New Boss”

  1. LuhReeUh on March 19th, 2009 10:50 pm

    LOL. I’m still laughing from this episode. I’ll have to agree with you and say that this, IMO, is by far the strongest laugh out loud episode of the season. The cold open is something I’ve been missing all season, and the writers and the actors brought it tonight.

    My favorite scene of the night: when Jim took a peek into the conference room to see Charles looking at him. Seconds later, Jim looks back to find Charles has moved right to the window, peeking directly through the blinds to watch him. Jim then tries to shoo the cameras off. HILARIOUS!

    Well done, sirs and madams. Very enjoyable episode.

  2. imattmypants on March 19th, 2009 10:54 pm

    It’s never felt so nice to feel so uncomfortable.

  3. Reina on March 19th, 2009 10:55 pm

    Great episode tonight! GMMR I love reading your reviews because we are always on the same page. I’m glad you heard Andy yell that out because if you weren’t paying attention you could have missed it.

    I hate what they’ve done with Angela too but I don’t think we can do much about it.

    I loved when he ordered the pizza and Michael got pissed about breakfast.

  4. Ryan on March 19th, 2009 11:06 pm

    Wow that ending caught me way off guard. I had to rewind a few times to make sure i heard Michael correctly.

    Very funny episode–classic office.

    I think Jim is going to get passed over for the Regional Manager position due to his tux prank gone very wrong. That will hopefully lead to Dwight’s ultimate dream coming true–managing DM-Scranton. It should be a fun ride.

    Side note, i knew it was coming, but seeing Stringer Bell on the office was really weird.

  5. JacksonPollocksPainting on March 20th, 2009 12:04 am

    LOVED LOVED LOVED tonight’s episode. It was so awkwardly perfect. I felt so bad for Jim tonight. I think they have to have called him out in front of Minor for a reason. I think he’s going to be passed over for a promotion or something because of it.

    Kelly running after Angela was the best.

  6. Angela on March 20th, 2009 12:05 am

    Definitely one of the best episodes of the season so far. Even other episodes I have liked have had moments where they were not enjoyable, but I loved this one from start to finish. I briefly wondered if the Assistant Regional Manager position could have been made up by Jan to entice Jim to come back to Scranton, but then I remembered Jim telling Dwight and Andy it came with a pay raise. I love it when Jim gets taken down a notch because I think he can be good at what he does, but he’d make a horrible manager and most people see that but him. And seeing Jim so uncomfortable and fumbling was as awkward as it was funny.

    Besides maybe Mindy, Lee and Gene have written some of the strongest episodes this season. (Does anyone else feel off not having any great Mike Schur episodes?)

  7. Philiana Ng on March 20th, 2009 1:16 am

    After turning off the TV, I found myself thinking over and over, “Did Michael Scott just QUIT?!” This was definitely “The Office” that won me over back in the salad days when awkwardness and subtle absurdities weren’t miscontrued as being just plain stupid. Some of the quotable lines that you included were spot-on. My next goal now is to say, “I will call you back ASAP as possible.” Priceless.

    The addition of Idris Elba as Charles Miner was fantastic and extremely good casting. They hit the nail right on the head; he is the epitome of what a corporate bigwig SHOULD be, and Scranton/Dunder-Mifflin needed it badly.

    Can’t wait for the next episode. I’m sure it’ll address the “WTF?” moment of the week with Michael Scott quitting.

  8. Frank on March 20th, 2009 4:26 am

    Two-Way petting zoo. Hahaha. “Where you pet the animals and they pet you back”

  9. Katherine on March 20th, 2009 7:29 am

    My brother would not stop staring at me in disbelief when Michael quit. It was kinda like “Wait?? Seriously?? Michael QUIT??!!”.

    And I thought the same thing about Jim and his tux. Maybe I don’t get the logisitcs of a tux, never really having seen one up close, but couldn’t he of at least taken the bow tie off? I could so go for some John Krasinski open-neck.

  10. Lisa (aka lmr) on March 20th, 2009 7:37 am

    I need help from my friends here…my series recording did not take I do not know why. I DVR and watch live but I record another program at the same time (which my DVR insists on going to first, scowl) and by the time I clicked over to NBC, the cold open was over. With no recording I couldn’t go back to watch it. Can someone tell me what happened? I saw the rest of the ep…I felt so badly for Michael he hasn’t had great bosses to learn from.

    I loved the ep.

  11. Emily on March 20th, 2009 8:00 am

    Man, did we watch the same episode?

    I hated it!

    I don’t mind Jim being taken down a peg. Okay, I say that but it probably bothers me more than it should. But why the heck did Jim just not take off his Jacket and Tie in the two seconds while Charles went to the breakroom?

    Since when is Jim’s ARM position made up? The one that’s official/Jan offered him?

    And Michael quitting AFTER Wallace offered him stuff – yeah, didn’t buy it.

    I don’t care if I never think of this episode again.

    And the fact that Gene and Lee – usually some of the good guy writers – wrote it, makes me even more upset.

  12. Give Me My Remote on March 20th, 2009 8:10 am

    Lisa – It’s on Hulu right now. Go check it out.

  13. Samantha on March 20th, 2009 9:08 am

    I couldn’t believe what happened last night. I also had my hands over my eyes not wanting to see that this was really happening. This whole seanson has been hard to watch, from when Micheal has his break-down with Pam when they were going around from branch to branch and he met Holly’s new boyfriend. I wish they would make up their mind on what they are going to do with them. To be honest, I thought I was going to wake up this morning and it was all just going to be a really bad nightmare. As for Angela, I think where it went wrong was when they showed her in her house with the cats. It was nice not know what she was like outside of the office.

    I can’t wait to see where they are going next. And remember, the season final is only a coulpe of weeks away, so they cliff-hanger will be unbarable to watch and then having to wait a whole summer for the new season.

  14. shanna[rie] on March 20th, 2009 9:12 am

    i didnt like the episode either. i felt way too uncomfortable during the whole thing. in not in that good way either.

    first off. the new VP.. i think they did him a little too over the top. when jim was saying how he was second in command.. and that guy said it was a make believe position .. just not right. David Wallace actually TOLD Jim he was to be right hand man for Michael since he was the only one to work with both offices. And him fighting with Michael every second. come on?!

    secondly Michael in this show was too childish until the end. (i know thats what we love about Michael but this show kinda took it too far in my opinion)
    I feel like we are on a roller coaster ride with Michaels character. Some shows he is more calmed down.. others they take it over the top. I like a happy median. I like thinking that this could be a real office. and sometimes the stuff Michael (and Dwight!) pull they should just be fired for. and i think ppl like the office cuz they can connect with it from real experience (like Office Space)

    Michael Quitting-
    When Wallace offered him the party and he said i quit. LOVED IT. i think it would be a good time for the writers to refresh Michaels character. Him being the same idiot every week makes you wonder how he stayed at Dunder Mufflin so long and why do they keep him around if he is just annoying the whole time. I loved the line he gave (cant remember word for word but) it was something like “you just dont know how high i can soar”– best line in the whole show.
    I also think it will connect the office workers with michael more (like in the valentines day episode). you dont know what you got till its gone. i also think it will make us love michael as a boss more. and for him to come back and settle down a little.

  15. Karen Nations on March 20th, 2009 9:17 am

    I have always watched The Office like a deer in the headlights. It brings back bad memories of my corporate days and all the unqualified bosses that I had. (Another reason why I can’t read the comic Dilbert.) It was good that they had that arc earlier this season when Michael went touring because his branch had the best numbers. Without that explanation I’ve just never been able to understand why a serious corporation would put up with him other than it makes good comedy. I guess they will leave Michael’s employment status in limbo for hiatus. Is Steve Carrell’s contract up for renewal?

  16. shanna[rie] on March 20th, 2009 9:58 am

    they wouldnt want to lose steve carrell.. thats like watching CSI without William Peterson. It just feels wrong. the chemistry of the show would be thrown off. and they would prolly lose a bulk of their viewers.

  17. Alison on March 20th, 2009 10:45 am

    I LOVED this episode. It was hilarious! I knew that the next episode name was 2 weeks notice so i figured Michael was going to quit. When he went to see David i was like “oh, no, he’s gonna quit, he’s gonna quit!” But of course Michael going to come back because 1) its not The Office without him and 2) Steve Carrell hasn’t been let out of his contract. EVERYBODYY would be all over that if he had been. I can’t wait to see Jim try to redeem himself. I was seriously squirming in my seat it was soo awkward!

  18. Samantha on March 20th, 2009 11:08 am

    I think its amazing how many people feel so strong about this show. My family thinks I’m crazy the way I get so wrapped into The Office. I’m glad I’m not the only person who had a tough time last night.

  19. Lisa (aka lmr) on March 20th, 2009 12:05 pm

    Just caught the cold open, GMMR, thanks! It and you are classy :-)

  20. P D Yerf on March 20th, 2009 4:31 pm

    It’s funny, because at first I thought Micheal had said “I acquit”, in classic Micheal-not-understanding-what-a-word-means to say “I accept these conditions”. But obviously not. I stared at my computer screen screeching “WHAT?!?!” repeatedly for about an entire minute.
    Poor, poor Jim. Every time he tried another go at Charles I found myself saying “Oh, Jim,” in a very sad pathetic voice. Apparently this was my verbal episode; I spoke a lot during it. Fortunately my roommate (who already thinks I’m nuts) was in class :P
    I did love the element of Charles being brought in. We all get so comfortable watching our friends in Scranton that we sort of forget how not-normal it really is; even David Wallace is somewhat off in his own way. But bringing in a real business manager, from another company altogether, and we’re reminded just how eccentric and bizarre Scranton really is. I think the season and really the show at this point needed that wake-up call. We were all getting a little too stuck in our Office rut; the shock of Micheal leaving does to the show what Dwight leaving did in season 3, though back then the show didn’t need that wake-up call quite as badly.
    And Angela…oh Angela. I can’t even talk about it. Though it is in character for her to be attracted to the authority figure who is in favor of order, her chasing after him is really really not. Every time they make this new Angela appear I die a little inside at the thought that our beloved stickler is never coming back.

  21. Karen (Kath's sis) on March 20th, 2009 7:16 pm

    I was pleasantly uncomfortable during this episode. Poor Jim but silly writers for not having Jim take off his jacket and bow tie…Jim is smarter than that! I also am ready for Angela to be Angela and Phyllis to be Phyllis.

  22. Teresa on March 20th, 2009 11:35 pm

    I loved the episode! I thought the writing was great, except for the whole Angela thing. I totally agree with you on that one. What happened to the old Angela? I can’t believe Michael quit. I can’t wait to see how that plays out. Also Jim in the tux was great. I’m not a fan of the new boss though. I mean his character, Idris Elba did a great job. I just don’t like him being so uptight. Overall definitely one of my favorites this season.

  23. Toast with JAM on March 21st, 2009 6:07 am

    I think there are valid reasons to either love OR hate this episode. You can appreciate the humor in having the new boss be such a meanie to the staff, but really it’s not realistic to see the new boss insult the staff basically at every turn.

    So they hire a new VP and he is the one who makes the announcement of a 3% cut? Well, why did they make a new hire if there is an across the board cut? They would have a hiring freeze. They’ve gotten along for this long without that position filled and David Wallace said himself that the Scranton branch is thriving.

    OK, I’m just pointing out stuff not to like. What you can love about this episode is that it has opened a bunch of doors for future episodes. A rivalry between Kelly and Angela. Michael “quitting” and will he be taken back? Jim not being Mr. Cool all the time (and now it happened in front of one of the bosses instead of just co-workers). A general unease when the boss is around (just like in real life!) instead of just a carnival atmosphere all the time.

    I have myself thought that if Jim is supposed to have a new title, then what does he do that is different? The only difference is that he’s in charge when Michael is gone. Loved that he was called out on that.

    I did like the episode. But I also had those thoughts about Jim taking off his jacket and the other general complaints. I still liked it! The couples talking head was so cute (even if it’s only 3 seconds). Go JAM!

    Liked the annoyed look that David gave when he saw the cameras right there in his face. I wonder if he’ll try to end the documentary? Is their contract almost up? Are they being compensated for it? Make an episode about the documentary being made! Is it counterproductive to the Scranton branch?

  24. Redding on March 22nd, 2009 3:28 am

    First of all, I thought this episode was classic awkward office and they used it extremely well. As for the “quitting” i feel like Michael actually said… “I acquit” i feel like this is something he would say. Anyways. just a thought, other than that i thought the episode was hilarious, but obviously there were a few quirks that didnt make a lot of sense.

  25. Kurt on March 23rd, 2009 10:44 pm

    Charles wasn’t mean to the whole staff. He was nice to everybody, or at least respectful in Michael’s case. Remember Michael’s ironic “Captain Jack has a problem with authority.” line from ages ago. This is in character for Michael to overreact when he finally gets a responsible boss. He’s gotten away with a lot just because of Ryan and Jan’s poor work and his relationships with then. And of course, when Michael gets flustered or upset, he doesn’t get angry as much as he gets childish.

    I think it’s great they brought in another minority character for Michael to interact with, especially an immediate superior. So much potential there.

    I felt bad for Jim. It wasn’t like he was incompetent or something, but Charles kept catching him at bad times. I love how funny Pam found everything though. Their relationship is great. Also Dwight’s little smile at how Jim’s prank got turned on him.

    “I’ve never been hang gliding.” Another improversation.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!