Quick review: The Office, Season 9, Episode 2

The first episode this season was surprisingly good. Tonight, that momentum died instantly.

The Office is falling into the old sitcom cliche of a married couple running into trouble over some sort of misunderstanding. It’s a betrayal of the Jim and Pam characters.

Jim and Pam are supposed to our sane window into this crazy world. But we’ve gone back and forth after the past few seasons. First, Pam’s incompetent and hapless. Now that Pam is on top of things, as beautifully shown in the first episode’s rooftop scene with Dwight, Jim is a complete idiot. And a little creepy. Who starts a new company and keeps it secret from his spouse?

(Also: Could they be any more stereotypical, getting all bent of shape about failing to surprise each other? And that’s supposed to be stirred up by Roy’s surprising success? Roy’s still a scumbag, so who cares?)

Next week, apparently, Nellie exploits the mistrust to make Pam think Jim is having an affair. We have to hope Jim is forced to fess up so this story arc can die.

The best part of a bad story line: Oscar’s spit take when Angela says her husband can still surprise her.

The Dwight-Nellie story wasn’t bad, but they couldn’t figure out a way to end it. Darryl’s diversion worked, but it ended with “Am not/Are too”? Really?

New Jim, whose name I don’t recall, redeemed the Andy-Erin storyline.

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