Well, word must’ve gotten out, ’cause the sepia mutiny* over at NBC has swiftly been quashed, with My Name is Earl returning to the 8 spot, and Jonathan nowhere to be seen on 30 Rock. Still, even if our tryst with network destiny turned out to be just a one night fling, it was glorious, man. It was glorious.
Luckily, tonight’s Office and 30 Rock made up for the loss of our emasculated, secretarial brown brother, with two solid offerings: in “Heavy Competition” the Michael Scott Paper Company started to chip away at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton monopoly, and in “Jackie Jorm-Jomp,” Liz Lemon, after a brief flirtation with the Housewives of the Upper West Side, is back to her normal schtick at Rockefeller Plaza. Parks & Recreation, unfortunately, still hasn’t found its stride, and Knope still feels like a mashup of Michael Scott and Poehler’s Hillary. It did dawn on me tonight that one thing that P & R has that Office doesn’t is a town; and a specific town, Pawnee, full of incensed and lazy denizens (including one sex offender), who, for some completely ridiculous reasons, prefer a construction pit to a park. I’m willing to bite on that improbable plot, as long as the writers start to expand the characters of the town; Pawnee is a promising little setting, manageable enough to fill up with the sort of characters that made a place like, say, Cicely memorable two decades ago. Curious how they play it.
I’m calling The Office FTW. Even if Stringer Bell hasn’t done much since knocking Phyllis’ teeth out a few episodes ago, at least Michael’s fallout has brought a little life and a little bit of drama into the show. Only one more episode with String though, and it’s a shame that Idris Elba, after five episodes, doesn’t seem any funnier now than he did on The Wire. Any hardass could’ve filled in for Elba’s role if all he has to do is get angry at Michael and attract the adoration of Dunder Mifflin’s finest.
*By the way, I forgot to mention the leader of the revolt, Vikram (Ranjit Chowdhry) from telemarketing, on The Office last week.