“The Office” Season Premiere Review: New Guys

Grade: B+

“Not bad for a day in the life of a dog food company” –Creed

It’s the beginning of the end for “The Office,” and with all of the hype surrounding its “farewell season,” it’s a good thing that the premiere kicked it off with a solid start.

The cold opening began with the usual recap of everyone’s summer vacations, which delivered a number of quirky anecdotes. Dwight (unfortunately) found out he was not the father of Angela’s baby, Kevin tried to save an already dead turtle, Kelly got engaged and left Dunder Mifflin heading to Miami, Ohio (my state!), and Ryan went after her. The two people that really had no story to tell were Jim and Pam, but this is actually where I think a new arc for them has begun. We got to see interaction between the couple and the cameramen, which I absolutely loved! When Pam said “Nothing interesting is going to happen to us for a long, long time” I knew that it had to be a lead-in to a big change in their lives.

The episode’s title (and main plot) came from the two new employees, Clark and Pete, who now work at Dunder Mifflin Scranton. They are also known as Dwight Jr. and New Jim, though Pete could not be more different than actual Jim. It was, however, quite amusing to watch Dwight’s insecurities play out when the newbie seemed to have unique skills. The scene that stood out to me the most was when Dwight designed a ridiculous bicycle contraption to be ridden on a flimsy rope above the parking lot and then wanted Pam to act as counterweight. It was absoultely perfect simply because it was a showcase of typical Dwight stunts.

In a sub-plot, Andy spent his entire return to the office attempting to humiliate Nellie. While this was not the most creative storyline, I was pleased that Nellie is no longer manager. I also found that Andy’s character was not annoying me in this episode, which is always a plus.

Meanwhile, Angela was searching for someone to adopt her husband’s favorite cat and much to my surprise, that person turned out to be Oscar. I can honestly say I was stunned when it was revealed that Oscar’s motive was driven by the fact that he appears to be engaging in a secret affair with the senator. What a unique twist!

Finally, the lives of Jim and Pam are about to get a significant shake-up. It was revealed that Jim was offered a new job in Philadelphia and he decided to take it, but Pam has no clue. Bring on the drama! I could not be happier that these two characters finally will be experiencing a new change.

Other notable moments:

* Meredith’s one and only line in the episode that was directed to Pete, “Hey new Jim, come sit on my face.”

* Dwight’s disgusting invention of a beet juice powerdrink.

*Clark’s “Is this code for gay stuff?”when Dwight was attempting to bond with him.

*Jim teasing Dwight about Clark, particularly with the new guy’s supposed skills in karate.

Overall, I am quite pleased with how the final season began and very optimistic on what’s yet to come!

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