‘The Office’ Recap: What Happened to This Show?
I’m saying this because I care. I care because you’ve brought me so much happiness in the past, and I want to believe we have a future.
But in order for that to happen, you need to stop this self-destructive pattern of behavior. You’re tearing yourself apart.
During “Fundraiser,” I laughed a few times. The writing and the performances were improved over last week. You managed to find a few interesting and funny subplots, with some genuine moments.
But there’s something you just need to understand: Andy Bernard is not Michael Scott. I feel like I’ve said this before. I’ve tried to play it off like it wasn’t all that big a deal. I was hoping you’d get the hint. But in episode after episode, you continuously treat Andy like he and Michael Scott are interchangeable parts, and all you have to do is plug Andy into the Michael formula and hilarity will ensue.
So, you see, when Andy has a public nervous breakdown, just like Michael used to, it doesn’t work.
It doesn’t work. It’s never worked. Nobody is Michael Scott.
So, because Andy isn’t Michael Scott, it doesn’t make any sense for him to know David Wallace (Andy Buckley), the former Chief Financial Officer of Dunder-Mifflin, and writing a scene between him and Michael and then plugging Andy in doesn’t work. It just feels forced and artificial. Because it is.
And Nellie Bertram, she isn’t Michael, either. So having a subplot of her being awkward with Darryl, that’s not going to be funny to us. It just reminds us of back when Michael used to do that, except not quite as funny, mostly because it isn’t original.
You had one bright, sterling idea: Angela’s husband, the state senator, is gay and in the closet, and he hits on Oscar. Or does he? This story was introduced last season and has never been developed. This gives Oscar a central role for the first time in quite a while. It involves Jim, Pam, Phyllis, and Stanley. It’s like old times, but in a new way. It’s a new beginning for “The Office.” Sort of like, say, Robert California could have been.
So, when you ignore the only original idea in this episode, and instead focus on everything about it that is formulaic and lazy, you make me feel like you don’t care anymore. And that makes me wonder if I can keep doing this.