Friday, April 15, 2011

The Office-"Training Day"

Will Ferrell guest stars on "The Office"
Credit: NBC

My thoughts on Will Ferrell's first episode of the Office are after the jump.

This was not a good episode of the Office. After a few episodes that really worked, this episode felt like it fit in best with season six or the beginning of this season. I had only one major issue with the episode, but it was a big one. This episode's Michael wasn't the Michael that I liked, I thought that version of Michael would be gone, especially after so much growth, but he wasn't. That was what kept me from enjoying this episode, the first part of Michael's final arc. It made for an unpromising start to the final batch of episodes for Scott and for Will Ferrell's arc.

I really disliked Michael in this episode. This was the version of him that was immature and attention seeking. This is the Michael that I just can't laugh at, because he's not funny. In this episode, he only came off as annoying and desperate for attention. There were many cases where I found myself cringing rather then laughing because of Michael's behavior. The most prominent example of this in my mind was the shaving scene, where he HAD to get shaved because Deangelo was being shaved. This wasn't funny and didn't work at all. This almost removed all of the good will I had grown towards the character, especially with the perfect proposal that occurred in the previous episode. I hope they change this within the next few episodes because I don't want my last feelings towards him to be annoyance.

One of my major worries was that Will Ferrell's character would be Michael Scott played by Will Ferrell.  It was refreshing to see that Deangelo Vickers is not a redux of Michael, he's just more of a dick. He's clearly more strict and set in his ways then Michael is, and he's more intent on doing actual work. But I strangely didn't mind this character. Will Ferrell is a funny actor, so he made the character pretty funny. I found him to be one of the stronger guest characters that the show has brought on in awhile. The only thing that I don't like is that I know he's not going to be around for the long term, so the time spent on him seems almost pointless. It's clearly stunt casting, but it's decently executed stunt casting that works on a fundamental for the comedy, Will Ferrell makes me laugh.

Even funnier then the character on his own was watching the members of the office try to suck up towards the new guy. Kelly dropping her papers and flirting with him was absolutely hysterical. (As was Deangelo's line about the "Native American Girl"). Darrell playing up his love of the southwest was very funny as well. (Darrell would be my pick from the current cast to replace Steve Carell). His talking head about this was great as well. I feel so bad for Andy, he's so desperate to be the office funnyman. Those moments had me laughing, but with the caveat of feeling incredibly bad for the character. And lastly, Jim and Pam trying to suck up to the boss with that damn cute baby was very funny, as was the tag with them showing the baby to him, and Deangelo saying that he doesn't care. I liked the office's reaction to everything going on more then Michael's, and with that opening that's saying something. (*)

(*) I really did love that opening. Carell and Ferrell work so well together that it worked to make a fantastic opening.

Overall, Michael brought down the episode to make a weak episode of the show.

What did everyone else think?

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