Five seasons in, and the American version of The Office is still finding new ways to make everyone feel awkward. The sitcom is NBC’s cash cow, the place it turned this year when so many shows in its fall lineup were a bust. Most shows film 22 episodes a year; The Office just completed its 17th episode in three months.
This season, the ladies of Dunder Mifflin aren’t getting as much screen time as I’d like — is there even such a thing as too much Kelly Kapoor? — but their hijinks are sure to grab more screen time in coming episodes now that Pam is back from New York.
The highlight so far this season was the five-episode story arc with Amy Ryan, who played adorkable HR representative Holly Flax. She found herself awesomely and inexplicably in love with Michael, and the shenanigans that followed were some of the best Office material ever.
Last week’s episode, “The Surplus,” featured one of my favorite Pam storylines of any season. After discovering a budget surplus, the boys’ club tries to convince Michael to buy a new copier, while Pam uses her femininity to try to get herself a new chair. “I mean, seriously,” she says to the camera guy. “How is it possible in five years that I’ve had two engagement rings and one chair?”
Aside from falling victim to skeezy Ryan again, Kelly’s major story this season dealt with her giving Jim and Dwight bad customer reviews because she was angry at them for not coming to her America’s Got Talent party.
One reason Kelly has seen limited screen time this season is that Mindy Kaling is pulling triple duty as actress, writer and executive producer. The way The Office is whipping out episodes, I’m surprised she has time to sleep.
This Thursday is the last Office episode until the new year, and it’s going to be a doozy. Phylis and Angela finally face off over the party planning committee. When Phylis crams Angela’s nativity scene into her desk, Angela says, “I am not going to judge Phylis for desecrating Christmas. There is one person who will, though. And Phylis just stuffed him into a drawer.” (Angela, honey: glass houses and rocks. C’mon.)
Who’s your favorite woman from The Office? What’s your favorite storyline so far this season? And what would you like to see happen over the rest of the season?