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The Office review: 'Gossip'

Season six kicks off with Michael, Andy and Dwight trying to simulate a martial arts video they saw online, using some style called Parkour.

As Jim notes, the idea is to get from one place to the next as creatively as possible, like jumping desk to desk. We see the trio on top of a freight container, planning an elaborate, Jackie Chan-esque jump onto various objects.

What happens: Andy jumps off onto a big cardboard box... that turns out to be empty, and Andy falls in like an idiot. Hilarious. Ah, The Office is back.

It's almost the end of summer, so the office interns are about to leave. Pam says they haven't had interns in a while, "ever since Michael's Monica Lewinsky incident"-- he just made too many Lewinsky jokes and corporate decided it was safer to just cancel the intern program. Smart move.

Pam and Jim confess they haven't told anyone about her being pregnant, which was the big cliffhanger in the season five finale. Meanwhile, in other gossip-- if you haven't guessed by the episode title, that's the theme-- Michael is the last to know that intern Eric likes intern Megan.

Dwight already knows about it.

"I have a face people can trust. I think it's my low cheekbones."-- Dwight

Michael hates being left out (he always hates that- have you noticed?).

An intern finally gives Michael first-to-know gossip, that Stanley was out dancing at a club. Michael tells the rest of the office, but they say no way, since Stanley hates dancing and his wife was out of town.

But the interns tell him Stanley and the girl were making out. Michael loves it- "Stanley's having an affair" he tells everyone in the office, to his delight. Evidently, Michael lost what's left of his moral compass between seasons.

Jim tells Michael to stop. Michael hadn't been considering that he could be ruining Stanley's life, so he runs out to the parking lot to ask Stanley what's going on. Stanley says it's a ridiculous rumor. Oh, and by the way, Stanley drives a pimp car- Chrysler 300.

Then, Stanley starts saying he and Cynthia- the girl he was dancing with- actually have been hanging out a lot since his wife has been away.

"We used to go on these long walks on the treadmill" --Stanley

Wait, Stanley IS having an affair! He's heading out to break it off, and asks Michael to keep it quiet. Yeah, that'll work out well. Remember Michael keeping Jim's secret about having a crush on Pam?

Michael, worried about having already told everyone in the office about Stanley's affair, back when it was just "alleged," has decided he'll just cover it up by telling a bunch of false rumors:
-- Angela is a gold digger
-- Kelly has an eating disorder
-- Kanye West is a tool (oh, sorry, things that aren't true)
-- Erin is about to get fired
-- Andy is gay
-- Kevin is controlled by a little man inside him
-- Creed has asthma
-- Toby is a virgin
-- Jim is a J. Crew model
-- Dwight uses store-bought manure
-- Oscar is the voice of the Taco Bell dog
-- Pam is pregnant

Yeah, that last one is true. But Michael doesn't know that (that's what Shakespeare called "dramatic irony.") Meredith smirks at the news.

"She's going to hate being a mom."-- Meredith

Kevin teases Andy for being gay-- "Cause you like mens' butts"-- and Andy says it's not the first time he's been called gay. It's a strange coincidence, he says.

"Almost makes you wonder if it's not a coincidence at all... which it is, of course...(awkward pause)... but it makes you wonder."-- Andy

Then Andy digs himself a hole asking Oscar his opinion. Andy says he might not be able to resist Brad Pitt if Brad really was persistent about trying to kiss him. Kinda makes me think of Seinfeld about this whole gay scenario: "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

As the office holds a going-away party for the interns (Man, I wish I had that internship), the rumor mill hits reality. Andy commends Big Tuna (Jim) for Pam being pregnant, and Angela tells Pam "a baby conceived out of a wedlock is still a bastard." Pam and Jim have no idea how their secret got out.

Eventually, people figure out Michael has been spreading gossip. Michael confesses, saying there is only one true rumor... and that rumor is...

"Pam is pregnant," Jim interjects, knowing it's better to spill their secret than ruin Stanley's life. Very Jim-like.

Kevin says he knew it, because Pam's boobs were getting bigger. Very Kevin-like.

Michael thinks they are lying, so he says the real rumor is about Stanley. Pam whips out proof -- a sonogram. Michael can't believe it, noting the photo is "of the inside of your vagina." Very Michael-like.

Michael also majorly screwed up... Stanley's wife, Terry, returned his call, and Michael calls her Cynthia, the name of Stanley's lover. Then he calls her Cynthia again. Jim disconnects the call.

Well, as Michael notes, it turns out Terry already caught Stanley cheating. Stanley promised to stop, and he did. But Cynthia wouldn't stop calling, and she's also married... we get to see Stanley go Carrie Underwood on Michael's Chrysler Sebring in anger.

As premieres go for The Office, this was a good one. Lots of laugh out loud moments, from Erin telling Kelly she's glad she's eating again, to Creed talking about scuba diving, to Kevin commenting on Pam's growing boobs.

What I really liked was how each character got to shine at what they do best. Andy was quirky and self-doubting, but loveable. Oscar was wondering what in the world he's supposed to do with these people. Kevin was Kevin. Jim was looking for Michael, and then did his cute Pam stuff, like sticking the sonogram in his photo frame. If season six continues along this trend, I think we're in for a good season.

Also nice: No stuff about corporate, or Ryan, or Jan. Not sure about you, but I think I've had enough of those story lines for a bit.

Best quote:

"You're going to regret that when you come between a moose and her cubs at night"- Jim, on an intern losing out on getting Dwight's contact info.

Creed quote of the day:

"If I can't scuba, then what's this all been about? What have I been working toward?" Creed, after being scared of a false rumor getting out about him having asthma.

Posted by Andy Shaw on September 17, 2009 11:13 PM
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