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Office Fodder

The Office: The Michael Scott Paper Company

Michael-Scott-Paper.jpgGo here for the recap of the first episode from tonight, as these two episodes are basically an hour-long show cut in half to help "Parks and Recreation" get a good lead-in audience. Am I right, NBC?

The Michael Scott Paper Company (check out their web site) gets its start at its new digs, the utility closet beside Vance Refrigeration. An inauspicious start, sure, but, as Pam mentioned last episode, Apple got its start in a garage. Of course, Apple was invented by a genius, and this company is run by a guy who can't download a song off the Internet. But I'm splitting hairs.

The opening credits are different, it should be noted. Whether it's just for this episode or for more, there are several new shots of Michael's company, with Pam and the now-blond Ryan working at the poker table inside the closet. That strikes of a long-term situation for these three. Or until Ryan gets arrested again.

Upstairs at Dunder Mifflin, Jim marvels at Kelly's continued attempts to convince her boss, Charles, to love her. The new secretary's name is Kelly, so every time Charles calls her, Kelly Kapoor comes running in, saying, "You wanted me?"

Charles rolls his eyes and decides to call the secretary by her middle name, Erin, instead. Kelly storms off, shouting how she hates her Indian middle name (I'd try to spell it, but it would end up looking like gibberish). If I were Kelly, I'd be more worried that the last hot young girl to come to the office, purse girl, ended up getting Academy Award nominations and movie roles. Keep your eyes on this Erin girl. She could be going places.

Michael, meanwhile, is hoping his pancake luncheon will attract new customers. He wants to get copies of a coupon for "unparalled customer service," but Pam refuses to, worried she'll just become the secretary all over again. Ryan refuses, too, because he's a tool.

Would you believe that Dwight and Andy are friends now? Dwight says he got over the love triangle with Andy and Angela, and decided he doesn't hate Andy after all.

Dwight: "I studied him to figure out why I hated him so much. But that blossomed into a very real friendship, as these things often do."

They talk about going on a hunting trip together, and all is well... until they both flirt with Erin in the kitchen. Oh, by flirt, I mean Dwight tells Erin the office is haunted, and Andy awkwardly dances with her/blocks her path. Erin thinks it's cute, I think. She must like the dorky kind. (I have a chance!)

Jim is in trouble with Charles, again. It's like Zack and Mr. Belding, or Cory and Mr. Feeney, or pick your 90s teen protagonist and their elder. Charles wants Jim to do a "rundown" of clients, asap. Jim has no idea what this means, but can't swallow his pride and ask. He spends the afternoon trying to trick Charles into telling him, to no avail. He eventually just comes up with some random stuff to hand in, but Charles tells him to fax it out to the client list. Jim doesn't even have that, so he faxes it to... his dad.

Back in the closet, Ryan is getting on Pam's nerves for using corporate speak and telling her she's better at doing secretarial work. Michael can't stand the bickering, and forces everyone to use a time-out corner to relax.

Andy and Dwight decide not to let a girl get in between them again. Well, for the time being, they decide this. Soon enough, they are in a guitar/banjo play-off in the kitchen, trying to impress Erin with their skills (Ed Helms plays a mean banjo). But they get so caught up in it, they end up ignoring her and singing together.

Pam tries to get her job back, but Charles says the position is taken. Pam waxes nostalgic about how nice the office is, probably because it's not a utility closet. She comes back to help Michael with the pancake luncheon, which looks like a failure (Michael made paper-shaped pancakes. Maybe the syrup was made of ink?)

But, somehow, they impress someone enough to call Pam and order 20 boxes of paper, which gets all three Michael Scott Paper Company employees jumping for joy. I'm not sure how they are going to procure this paper, as they haven't mentioned a supplier, but hey, who cares about details when you're selling paper.

Thoughts: I'm glad they are making Andy Bernard a more likeable character, and I'm not just saying that because we share a first name. He's hysterical when he breaks into song (he told Dwight at the end that any song is better when it's a capella). The dueling guitar/banjo thing was comedic genius, as they got more and more into it and less and less into Erin, played by an actress I haven't seen before.
The new paper company is started to come together, both financially and plot-wise. I can better envision how it'll wrap into the regular cast. You know it's headed for a big showdown between Charles and Michael when Michael's company tries to steal a major client or something. That sounds like a season finale to me.

Favorite moment: The closet has a vent to the men's bathroom for Dunder Mifflin, so Michael, Pam and Ryan hear Toby talking on his cell phone. They also have the toilet drain pipe going through their room.

Toby: "Hey, have you been watching "Damages" this year?..." (sound of urine going down drain)

Posted by Andy Shaw on April 9, 2009 11:38 PM
Permalink |

Well, Michael DID mention, in passing, that he'd been talking with suppliers, so presumably they sorted things out.

And I think Kelly's middle name is something like "Ragadagish."

-- Posted by: Dan at April 10, 2009 4:17 AM

Dan- You have to wonder what kind of supplier would deal with an upstart paper company with no financial standing, right?... I think your spelling of her name is a great attempt and better than mine would have been.

-- Posted by: Andy (Author) at April 10, 2009 10:25 AM

Jim was actually told to fax the 'run down' to the 'distribution list'. Made it even funnier to me since he had now idea who he should 'distribute' the information to.

The banjo/guitar scene was brilliant!

-- Posted by: Bob Weber at April 10, 2009 2:31 PM

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