We’re several weeks into the new TV season. How do you think ‘The Office’ is doing without Steve Carrel? Does Ed Helms seem like an appropriate replacement, and is James Spader giving the aging show a shot in the arm?
I will admit it: I miss Michael Scott. But I do enjoy Andy as boss, and Robert California is oddly fascinating. Still, it feels like the show is missing a center.
‘Doomsday’ is a good example. After a client accidentally gets an order for free, Robert insists that Andy eliminate office mistakes. Andy desperately agrees to Dwight’s offer to use a new system to catch errors. The system is simple: Five strikes during a workday, and everyone gets a homerun. And that means they’re out. Yeah, doesn’t make much sense, but that’s Dwight.
The ultimate humiliation is that at the end of a five-strike workday, Robert California gets an email about it. Everyone tries desperately to get Dwight to turn the system off, or at least change his mind about emailing Robert. When five strikes are officially struck, a group even goes to Dwight’s house (where, charmingly, he is digging a horse grave).
Pam, Andy, Kevin and Erin help Dwight dig the grave (“If you hit another horse, you’ve gone too deep”), bring him an ugly hat as a present, and shoot the breeze with him in the kitchen. Pam follows her gut and insists they should not say anything about the office.
Jim, meanwhile, follows Robert to his health club to play a game of racquetball. (He’s either going to a club to eat squash or play squash, Erin says.) Jim is not often made to look like such a fool. He steals Robert’s phone, tosses it to him in the hopes it will break, hits himself in the nards with the game ball and clumsily takes nose dives. Not his finest hour.
In the end, though, Dwight is won over by his visitors and cancels the email to Robert. No one gets fired. At least not this week.
Oh, and Gabe's effort to ask out a new warehouse employee puts him over Creed on the creep-o-meter.
What do you think? Is the show finding its groove with Michael, or is it falling deeper into the horse grave?