THE OFFICE “Viewing Party” Review

The Office cast

THE OFFICE “Viewing Party” Season 7 Episode 8 – Since I’ve received quite a few comments from readers that I’m expecting too much from THE OFFICE, I decided to go into “Viewing Party” with a completely open mind, no agenda, and just watched the show for what it’s meant to be – a half an hour of comedy.

And I was pleasantly surprised. When you’re not comparing this (dismal) seventh season to the season that came before, The Office is still a vaguely funny show! While the entire episode didn’t have me rolling around my couch in fits of laughter, there were funny scenes, and even some of that well known Office awkwardness.

While the episode (minus approximately 4 -ish minutes) once again was not IN the office – unlike last week’s episode, “Viewing Party” seemed to work. And my thought into why it worked this week and not last is this (brace yourselves, I’m going to analyze): Michael.

I think we can all agree that Michael is the “hub”, if you will, of the show, and when Michael is uncomfortable, unhappy, or just flat out angry – it makes for funnier television. This week, when Michael’s dislike for Gabe was out in full force, we as an audience KNEW that something painfully hard to watch was coming – and it was just a matter as to when.

Instead of making us wait for the “big blowout” the entire episode was awkward. The tension as Michael tried to take control over EVERYTHING from Gabe was difficult to watch, and that feeling of tension, that moment when you don’t quite want to look at the screen, is exactly what has made The Office funny from its beginning.

Am I saying that this was one of the funniest episodes of The Office to date? Not even close. But pushing aside all pretenses and comparisons to other episodes in past seasons, “Viewing Party” was a funny half hour of television.

Kelly’s tangent about Glee was perfect, as well as her ENTIRE exchange with Phyllis during the screening. I’m sure some of the humor was lost on me since I’ve never seen an episode of Glee (sorry), but to have Kelly as the Glee guru was spot on.

The Dwight, Pam, and Jim story line had me giggling a few times as well; I think Dwight “degrading” Jim with the beer and pizza was something that Jim had coming for a LONG time… and I love Jim (I’m female, we all have to love Jim).

The only part of the episode that I didn’t quite get on board with was Michael and Erin. I understand that Erin is young, and grew up in foster homes (right? Or did I just pull that out of the air?), but to see Michael as her father? That seemed a little heavy for me for this particular show. But to be quite honest, Erin annoys me to no end, so I’m probably not cutting her as much slack as I would any other character in a semi-serious situation.

Over all, I really enjoyed “Viewing Party” and will try to watch each episode of The Office as it’s own instead of comparing it to other episodes in the past.

What did you think of “Viewing Party”?

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