Typical. The day I publish a piece about my disappointment with the post-Steve Carell version of "The Office" - along with a post-script about how I don't see a point to weekly reviews anymore - the show presents the episode I've enjoyed the most so far this season. A few quick thoughts on why coming up just as soon as I write something nasty on your Facebook wall...
It's not that "Pam's Replacement" was perfect (the teaser, for instance, made my Michael Scott Lite point for me by recycling a joke from a Carell episode). But it spent a lot of time on one of the show's most underrated combinations in Pam and Dwight - he always makes her funnier, and she always him more human - it told a Jim/Pam story that felt like it was about those two and not boring mirror universe versions of them, and if the band subplot was one long joke, it had that "I like hanging out with these characters" feel to it (and an excellent jam band version of "Midnight Rambler").
I wrote that column because most of this season's episodes have left me feeling sad at how tired the show seems. "Pam's Replacement" was far from a great episode, but by just being decent and having the characters all act in character (including Kevin not being retarded for once), it was a significant step up.
Again, I'll check in on episodes where I feel like I have something unique to say, but what did everybody else think of this one?