A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I recognize musical themes when they come back later...
In the original British "Office," Tim once observed that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do with most of your friends and family, "but probably all you've got in common is the fact that you walk round on the same bit of carpet for eight hours a day." The American version started out with a similar view of things, but as it distanced itself from the British show, it began to embrace Michael Scott's belief that the bonds you form at work go deeper than carpet, and that if you work with people long enough they can feel like your family.
"Andy's Play," while not a laugh riot outside of a few small moments (Creed's role as drama critic, Michael's performance of an entire "Law & Order" episode), worked largely because it embraced that idea. The Scranton staff doesn't always get along, but they do enjoy each other's company more than most would admit. So they turn out for Andy's community theater production of "Sweeney Todd," and we see how talented Andy is when in an appropriate setting (and away from Broccoli Rob, Pubey Lewis & the News and the rest of Here Comes Treble), and everyone has a really good time. Erin proves a terrible babysitter, but Jim and Pam are ultimately amused by all that happened and get drunk together after Jim can't successfully get CC out of the car without waking her. (As the father of two kids who wouldn't transfer successfully, I laughed a lot at the "It's like 'The Hurt Locker'" line.) Angela's plan to turn Dwight's contractually-obligated sex with her into a rekindled romance worked (though, to be honest, I'd rather see Dwight with Pam's bridesmaid friend). And when it becomes clear that even the power of "Sweeney Todd" isn't enough to steal Erin away from Gabe, the staff cheers the Nard-Dog up by encouraging another performance, which quickly turns into a joyous group rendition of Macy Gray's "I Try."
Sometimes, "The Office" makes me laugh. Sometimes, it just makes me happy I spent an evening in the company of these goofballs. "Andy's Play" was the latter kind of episode, and that can be fine by me.
What did everybody else think?
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