THE OFFICE's New 'Dream Team': 'The Michael Scott Paper Company' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE OFFICE’s New ‘Dream Team’: ‘The Michael Scott Paper Company’

April 10, 2009 by  

It’s Britney, bitch.”

Most of us learned the lesson “be careful what you wish for” last year when NBC overwhelmed us with too many one hour episodes of THE OFFICE.  Forced to think of future syndication, the writers had to construct an hour long episode that would work as individual 30 minute eps. While some of the one hour shows worked, most fell flat after the first thirty minutes.  But last night THE OFFICE offered up two half hour episodes that worked beautifully as individual eps, but would have worked equally as well as an hour long look into the life of Dunder Mifflin and the newly formed Michael Scott Paper Company.

Five seasons into the show and the writers have found a way to really stir the pot without ruining the meal. We’ve had characters come and go from Dunder Mifflin before.  The longest leave of absence was Jim’s transfer to Stamford back in Season 3.  And while his departure gave us the likes of Karen Filippelli and Andy Bernard (and of course the eventual emotional reunion of Jim and Pam), having Jim out of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office felt like there was a piece missing from the puzzle.  The same held true with Pam’s absence earlier this season.  So you can imagine how much I was dreading THE OFFICE without Pam and Michael. But I must say I was pleasantly surprised by just how well the show worked even with some of its main (and most beloved) characters working outside the office.

“Dream Job” and “The Michael Scott Paper Company” were a treat for those of us watching who are invested in the characters and not just the number of laughs.  Despite a few key moments, most noticeably the “Take Me Home, Country Roads” sing off with Andy and Dwight”, the show wasn’t all that funny.  But both episodes were so important to fur thing the story and the character arcs that I didn’t even care.

While I haven’t been all that supportive of the character development for some of the Dunder Mifflinites (ahem, Angela Martin), it was wonderful to see the transformation of others. The best thing that ever happened to Pam Beesly was Jim Halpert leaving her alone in Scranton. Yes, I said it (er, typed it). No one is happier than me that these two kids found their way back to each other, but the separation really allowed Pam to become all fancy and new.  The self confidence she found when Jim was gone allowed her to stand up and follow Michael Scott out of the office and into his new business venture.  Her enthusiasm for her new company was infectious. “Apple computers started in a garage, and we’re starting in a condo…so we already have a leg up on Apple!” I was ready to go out and buy me some paper…if only the CEO were dressed.

Pam had her moments of doubt within both episodes.  She went back to her comfort zone as she panicked about her rash choices. If Michael hadn’t talked her off the ledge (or in this case out of the car), I have no doubt that he would have see Pam’s hair back in a barrette and a soft pink cardigan around her shoulders by the end of the episode. But with Michael’s help she pulled herself together and realized that she can’t do what she’s always done.  She needs to move forward.  And I like the new Pam Beesly (hopefully soon to be Halpert). My only complaint was that she didn’t resort to physical violence when it came to dealing with Ryan.  Sorry kids, despite what your parents tell you, sometimes it is ok solve issues with your fists.

For every step forward Pam takes, it seems that Jim is taking one step back in his career.  Jim’s living in a very backwards world these days. His boss hates him.  Dwight is the one giving him a hard time. And of all people, Pam is spending her days with Ryan. As much as I hate what’s happening to Jim right now, there’s a small part of me that is glad that Charles Minor has come along.  Jim Halpert has needed a kick in the ass for a long time now.  He’s clearly the most compotent and capable in the Scranton branch, but he’s become a bit too comfortable in his surroundings.  He needs to take a cue from Pam and just make a dramatic change before its too late.

I hate Ryan Howard.  Sorry, B.J., but if I never saw Ryan on an episode again I would be fine with it.  Ryan has always been a bit of a douche, but now it’s on an entirely new level.  Michael is the one person that time and time again has given Ryan a chance.  And how does Ryan repay him?  By acting like a spoiled 13 year old brat. He was insulting to Michael and Pam and I’m over him.  I get it. I mean I know we’re not supposed to like Ryan right now, but I really hate him.  I have fantasies of Jim Halpert releasing a six-pack of whoop ass in the blonde boy’s direction.

Dwight and Andy’s new found friendship is spectacular.  They’ve been fighting a bromance from their early days.  But last night’s John Denver sing along was off the charts! Leave it to Toby to take all the fun out of the office.  I finally gets why Michael doesn’t like that guy.

Despite his obvious flaws, I want Michael to succeed. He’s made it this far and I would hate to have him turn back now.  Which leads to a working theory I have. I’ve been thinking about just how they were going to bring Pam and Michael back into the Dunder Mifflin mix.  I just can’t believe that the show would continue on with the separation for the long term. But how do you realistically bring back two people that have quit and started up a competing firm?  And after the steps Pam has taken how would the writers ever bring her back into the role of the receptionist?

My theory (and I’m prepared for you to laugh at me), is that all the employees will leave Dunder Mifflin and got work for The Michael Scott Paper Company.  The Scranton branch is made up of a rag tag bunch of underachievers.  They’ve become accustomed to how Michael Scott runs the branch and one by one they’ll take issue with Charles Minor and leave the company until it’s only Charles (and Angela) left at the branch.  Jim already has one foot out the door.  Maybe working for Michael Scott would be better than being constantly humiliated throughout the day. Plus, wouldn’t you love to see Jim and Ryan working together again? Oh the fireworks.

Clearly my theory has a lot of holes. So much so that perhaps it’s not really a theory as much as it is a daydream.  But I could see it happening.  If everyone leaves the branch, Dunder Mifflin Corporate might not have another option than to buy Michael Scott Paper Company and absorb them into the company as the Scranton branch. Far fetched? You bet. But a fun scenario? I think so.

Two episodes and so many really fantastic moments. Here’s a “rundown” of a few of my favorite.

  • Dwight goading Jim into playing soccer was awesome.  You know I love me some Halpert, but it was nice to see him have a nice little taste of his own medicine.
  • Loved the return of Vikram, but sad he didn’t stay around for much longer.
  • So sad that Nana Scott didn’t believe in her boy.
  • Kelly’s “Yes, Charles. You wanted me?” reminded be a bit of Jim’s Altoid training of Dwight. Loved it.
  • Dwight: “Oh no. The new boss does not find Jim adorable.”
  • Jim: If you really want to impress your boss you go in there and do mediocre work, halfheartedly.
  • I loved Pam’s list of tasks. She should have included ‘fire Ryan’ on there just to see if it would work.
  • Back to work, show bitch.
  • I hate Ryan.
  • Pam: I was just feeling impulsive. I should have gotten a tiny tattoo on my ankle!”
  • MIchael: I do my best work when people don’t believe in me.
  • What is a rundown? Does anyone know? Any why was Jim such an ass? He could have just asked. For someone who doesn’t like to kiss ass he sure kisses a lot of ass.
  • Toby: Have you been watching DAMAGES this year? It’s so good.
  • I hate Ryan.
  • Despite what I saw earlier about Halpert needed a kick in the ass, I’m 100% completely over the Charles/Jim storyline. We get it. Charles doesn’t like Jim.
  • As much as I hate Ryan, I love Creed.

Clearly much, much more to talk about than I covered here.  So chime in below with your thoughts on last night’s OFFICE double header.  But after you leave your comment it’s back to your corner!

Filed under #1 featured, The Office


19 Responses to “THE OFFICE’s New ‘Dream Team’: ‘The Michael Scott Paper Company’”

  1. Amy on April 10th, 2009 2:35 pm

    I completely agree with you about Jim. This storyline is about Michael and Pam, but maybe more importantly about Jim. I also never imagined I could like Dwight and Andy as friends more than enemies, but I do!! Bring on the Dwandy!

  2. Erik on April 10th, 2009 2:50 pm

    Nana’s rejection of Michael’s proposal, complete with the line, “It’s not a handout club. It’s an investment club!” was heartbreaking to watch, but so well played by Steve Carell. Though the context was far different, it reminded me of the scene from Take Your Daughter to Work Day, when the young Michael Scott said that he wanted to “get married and have 100 kids, so I can have 100 friends, and no one can say ‘no’ to being my friend.”

    Rejection in any form is jarring, and it can paralyze you if it comes from someone you love. Michael Scott’s fear of being rebuffed goes far beyond the realm of the romantic. Thank goodness Michael excels when no one believes in him!

  3. Forts on April 10th, 2009 2:54 pm

    I agree with you pretty much on everything about the episode(s)

    The good stuff and the bad.

    Except for Ryan. 🙂 I love Ryan BECAUSE he’s a douche. What kind of person would BJ be if he wrote himself in as a fabulous heroic character? Plus, I get Ryan. He’s very bratty but it’s because he’s supposed to be younger than the rest of the cast. I know people like him. So I get it. And it just makes me laugh.

    In short, I love to hate him. So I would be sad if he left the show. If they wanted to develop the character I would be okay because I already get it…

    Really they can do no wrong with his character in my mind unless they completely write him out. Everyone on the show can be a little douchey at times… except for Pam. But she’s Pam.

  4. amealea on April 10th, 2009 3:39 pm

    I’m probably the only crazy out there wondering about this…but what happened to Michael’s condo? The kitchen/dining room were totally different and it bugged me the entire time I was watching the scenes in the condo… did I miss something?! haha anyway, two great episodes!!!

  5. Kurt on April 10th, 2009 3:50 pm

    I think Jim didn’t ask Charles what a rundown is because he didn’t want to seem any more incompetent than Charles already sees him.

    Also, while Ryan is a jerk, he’s a good foil for Pam. It gives the MSPC a very interesting dynamic. Funny that Ryan and Michael both were talking about their coworkers on the phone while not doing much to hide who they were talking about.

    Love the new Dwight/Andy relationship. Its funny seeing them both not want to compete against each other for another girl, but competing anyway.

    Are Jim and Pam getting married anytime soon? We spent 2 seasons talking about Pam and Roy’s impending wedding, and Jim and Pam’s hasn’t really been mentioned at all.

  6. Angela on April 10th, 2009 4:00 pm

    Both episodes were great, but I probably laughed more during “Dream Team” than “The Michael Scott Paper Company.” Michael asking Pam what shape she wanted her french toast was priceless! I also love any chance to see Dwight get one over on Jim. His over-the-top excitement is so infectious. While there have been a lot of hit or miss episodes this season, I think pretty much all of the episodes after, and including, “Stress Relief” have been great.

    I agree with what Forts said about Ryan. Although I have never understood why B.J. is in the opening credits (no offense B.J.). I love to hate Ryan, probably because I know people like him. And I especially loved the role reversal of Michael having to be the “dad” and mediating between his two bickering “kids.” I also loved how Michael talked Pam out of the car, as it is usually Jim or Pam who need to talk Michael down from an emotional outburst.

    And I seriously wish Jenna Fischer would get more credit (ahem Emmy’s!) for what she has done and continues to do with Pam. I agree that Jim leaving is the best thing that ever happened to Pam. For me, Pam is the heart of the show and all of the different emotions she went through over the course of these two episodes were amazing to watch and brilliantly acted. Pam has had a few moments this season where she has really been able to to be funny, so I hope there is a greater chance that Jenna will get recognized this awards season for all she has done with Pam.

  7. SB on April 10th, 2009 4:12 pm

    Man, I really liked both and I also was thinking that everyone might jump ship and work for Michael.

    My favorite part was when everyone was discouraged and it was going horribly, and Michael started talking about his dream about the peanut butter and tuna sandwich, and how it was so delicious in his dream that when he woke up, he made one and it was disgusting, and right then, the phone rang and they made their first sale. As someone with their own business, that feeling of discouragement and “this isn’t how I thought I would go” followed by just enough to give you that little extra boost to keep going was just so real. I’m sure it applies to a lot of different endeavors that people do as well.

  8. CFO (not myinitials) on April 10th, 2009 4:20 pm

    My favorite moment was when Pam, dejected, upset, scared….
    throws the list out of the car window.
    hahaha! It was a brilliant reaction, and the same I would have to someone using my own pep talk against me!

  9. Kurt on April 10th, 2009 4:23 pm

    I think Ryan’s nickname was “shoe bitch”, not “show bitch” as well.

  10. Teresa on April 10th, 2009 11:02 pm

    That’s so strange! I had all the same feelings about these 2 episodes. And I didn’t think your theories were crazy, they were mine too! I mean, Michael and Pam can’t just come back and expect their positions to be given back in a heartbeat. For one thing, Pam already tried, and for another, Dunder Mifflin wasn’t too impressed with Michael when he left.

  11. Toast with JAM on April 11th, 2009 1:49 am

    “Hire Ryan is not on the list.”
    “Yes it is.”
    “When did you put that on the list?”

    Loved when Pam threw the list out the car window.

    Pam made her first sale!

  12. Tessa on April 11th, 2009 1:55 am

    I really liked both episodes, but as much as I agree that Jim needs a kick in the pants, I am already getting sick of his relationship to Charles. I get it, Charles doesn’t like Jim. It just is really frustrating to see Jim get treated so badly, when Dwight and Andy seem to be goofing off all day. (Even though it is hilarious) Basically, Charles’ dislike for Jim is annoying me. It was ok at first, but now I’m ready for Jim to either get his act together and impress his new boss, or Charles to realize how good of a salesman Jim actually is.

  13. Toast with JAM on April 11th, 2009 2:12 am

    I love that Ryan is sooooo over the top ridiculous and not just a typical mean ass. He’s just delusional thinking that anyone would believe the utter nonsense that he…utters. I think he is digressing each time we see him. Like dogs age 7 years, he just goes backward the same way. Who would actually believe that a bowling alley shoe bioch would make $60,000 or that his hair is sun-bleached? And listening to him talk on the phone like he’s trying to show off for the other 2 people in the “office” with him. It screams “just-got-my-license”.

    They wrote the Andy and Dwight relationship perfectly. I don’t want them to be actually good friends. They are frenemies, like the trampy girls on the shows I don’t watch (and tabloids I don’t read). But in their own, Scranton way!

    Jim gave Kelly some props. Nice.

    square shaped pancakes for lunch

    no business cards so Pam used a scrap of paper

    Kelly hates her middle name

    Stanley getting BUSTED for doing a crossword in the meeting! Yea!

    Jim getting busted for trying to shut down Dwight in the meeting…BOO

    Dwights reactions to Jim failing every day all day since Minor showed up…Priceless

  14. Ryan on April 11th, 2009 2:50 am

    I know Ryan Howard is king d-bag, but i loved his return and found his addition hilarious.

    I didn’t find the episodes overwhelmingly good, but they were solid.

  15. Amy on April 11th, 2009 5:16 pm

    I loved this episode. I agree that it’s good that Jim is finally being challenged. Maybe he’ll step up. I also think Charles is just proving to have really, really bad instincts about people (assigning Kevin to reception and Stanley to productivity and treating Jim badly even though Jim is –uncharacteristically– working pretty hard while Dwight and Andy are goofing off). Maybe his instincts will prove to be his downfall, or maybe he’ll fit right in. Dunder Mifflin does seem to bring out the worst in everyone.

    I thought by “rundown,” Charles meant that he wanted a list and description of Jim’s clients, possibly because he thinks Jim won’t last too much longer? I do think it was dumb of Jim to pretend he understood, but he has a lot to learn about professionalism (where would he have learned, working for Michael all those years?). Maybe he’ll learn a few things with Charles around and grow up a bit, just as Pam has. I love the dynamic between Michael, Pam and Ryan. If anyone is going to keep the Michael Scott Paper Company afloat for a while, it’s going to be Pam. Not sure why she hasn’t also put her artistic skills to good use in setting up the company?

  16. Teresa on April 11th, 2009 7:23 pm

    I’m still not sure if I really like the idea of the Michael Scott Paper Company. However, I do feel much better since it is still in the same building as Dunder Mifflin. I really like your “theory” of what could eventually end up happening. It will be very interesting to see how it ends up playing out.

  17. Becky on April 13th, 2009 10:36 am

    I liked the episodes. love pam. love everything they’re doing with Pam. But, I’m not loving what’s going on with Jim. To me, up until now, he has seemed like someone who’s smarter than his position requires. So, he can kinda coast along without putting real effort into it and still be considered an asset in his company. But, this makes that seem like it’s not the case. He’s coming across as a dumbass and the only reason why he seemed competent before is because compared to Michael Scott he was smart. I just find it annoying that they’re trying to take away my Jim. Why would’t he just ask what a rundown was? Or call pam and ask her to ask Michael if he knew? Why do something insane and then fax it to his dad? None of that made any sense. That’s not fun or playing. That’s just not doing your job. So, I’m a little tired of what they’re doing with Jim. I love Jim. I want to keep on loving Jim.

    Also, I agree on Angela. I’m not sure what they’re doing there. But her look when Dwight & Andy were being buddy buddy was priceless classic Angela. Loved that.

    Thank you for the recap

  18. JustCari on April 13th, 2009 1:02 pm

    I like your theory – but I have to share mine as well: I think The Michael Scott Paper Company is going to nab a huge client (or two) from Dunder Mufflin, forcing them to do something drastic to get it to shut down… like offering Michael his old job back (or a promotion?) with a huge pay hike, and Michael will only accept if they hire Pam as a sales person as well. In the midst of all of that, Charles Minor will be history – likely because he quits after disagreeing with David Wallace on re-hiring Michael.

    And I think that Jim is either going to get a promotion (at Corporate? Within Scranton? Not sure), or he’s going to quit and move on to bigger and better things. Or Charles will fire him before he gets the chance.

  19. Chancay on April 14th, 2009 1:24 am

    I loved Ryan’s phone conversation: “She’d be a 6 in NY, but a 7 here in Scranton” and Pam’s expression when she realized he was referring to her.