THE OFFICE “Counseling” Review

The Office (NBC) Counseling
After last week’s premiere of THE OFFICE, we were left with Michael’s Sophie’s Choice moment of selecting either termination or a set of 6 hour long counseling sessions with Toby. Since the name of the episode is entitled “Counseling” obviously our beloved Michael Scott is still with us.

I hesitate to say this in fear of jinxing the series, but this episode felt like the earlier seasons of The Office – and I AM THRILLED. There wasn’t forced humor, nothing made me cringe in my seat because of bad writing, and the awkward situations were written specifically TO be awkward.

Personally, I might try out Pam’s trick of creating a promotion for herself. If it works for her, hey, it might work for me! Aside from the overall attempt being EXTREMELY shady (and termination worthy), let’s be honest, Pam would be an amazing “Office Administrator”. I’d hire her.

I don’t have any criticism about the episode except for one thing: Erin and her disposable camera. How old is this girl supposed to be exactly? Not so young that she doesn’t know what a disposable camera is, am I right? My 17 year old brother knows what a disposable camera is and I KNOW Erin is older than 17. Regardless of that minor (and believe me when I say MINOR), the bit made me smile.

I feel that while “Counseling” was a decent episode, it didn’t blow me away or make me laugh out loud at any point. However to give credit where credit is due, it didn’t make me sigh at the end and think “…that was it?” like a lot of recent episodes have in the past.

The highlights for me included:

  • Dwight’s Sesame Avenue Daycare Center, and the scream that Jim let out when he saw Mose painting the room in the dark.
  • Jim and Andy’s My Fair Lady/Pretty Woman makeover on Dwight.
  • Pam’s rant about a commission based income.
  • Kelly’s “I’ve learned to tune myself out” moment.
  • Angela and Dwight’s punch card
  • Even though it didn’t wow me per say, I think The Office is headed back to its roots. I’ll welcome it back with open arms when I’m positive this trend is going to continue.

    What say you? What’d you think of The Office “Counseling”?

    • Andrew

      You’re nuts, man. That was one of the worst episodes in the show’s entire run. It’s nothing even remotely like the earlier seasons as, in addition to the writing sucking, all of the characters have been turned into caricatures of themselves. And how they managed to squander a potentially epic story between Toby and Michael is nothing short of mind-blowing. Not a single laugh to be had in the entire cartoon of an episode.

      • Kelly

        I agree the story between Toby and Michael could’ve been played out more, but I feel if that had been done, THEN the episode would’ve been cartoonish and too over the top.

        What are some of your favorite episodes? Maybe we just have different tastes!

    • Justin

      I agree with Andrew. This is a terrible review. I say this episode is right up there with Season 4 Premier “Fun Run” as being one of the worst episodes of the series.

      • Kelly

        I think that you and I have very different opinions of what episodes are funny…lol. Because “Fun Run” is one that made me laugh HARD. Like I asked Andrew, what are some of your favorite episodes? I’d be curious to know to see what’s making you dislike the others.

    • Kat

      I think this review was actually pretty dead on. It wasn’t my favorite episode ever but it was by no means terrible. I laughed out loud, hard, at Kelly’s “I’ve learned to tune myself out.” moment and, though I am mildly obsessed with Jim/Pam, it’s nice to see an episode where they’re not over the top. It’s great to see Pam doing her own thing and having that thing NOT be answering phones.

      And Andrew, Justin – let’s just remember that opinions are opinions and just because you don’t agree with the review doesn’t make it terrible. But then again, who am I? I loved the Fun Run episode!

      • Kelly

        Thanks! I think that “Fun Run” was great as well.

    • Brandon

      Any of you remember when the character of Dwight Schrute used to be funny? Those were good times.

      I didn’t think last night’s episode was very good at all, but I didn’t hate it. “Fun Run”, however, was awful, and you can almost trace the beginning of the show’s downhill descent to that exact episode. The entire show has been beyond silly ever since that one.

      I miss the days of this show having dramatic elements and characters that you cared for. Now they are all a bunch of self-centered cartoons who spend more time getting involved in half-baked, humorless plots than they do getting involved in the kind of work-centric stories that people used to be able to relate to. How this place stays in business, I will never know. Not sure I’m going to make it to the end of the series, though, as it just isn’t funny anymore. They shoe-horn in too many pop-culture references now and it’s become too self-aware for its own good. Think I’ll just break out my Season 2 DVDs instead.