The Office: California’s Better Half

Enough! Robert California is the worst thing to happen to The Office. Full stop. Cruel and crudely drawn, the sure-spoken CEO is an inciting incident in a sport jacket, a nine-week-long red light keeping Regional Manager Andy Bernard from becoming the leader the show deserves.

This week, Robert delivers another neatly packaged premise. His wife, Susan (guest star Maura Tierney), is job searching and Andy must, under no circumstances, hire her. At least that’s what he says behind her back. When Susan appears, Robert strong-arms Andy into finding something, ANYTHING for the Mrs. to do.

Cue the Andy Bernard sweat act: A plot in which Robert California relentlessly punishes Andy Bernard for his kindness and honesty, and Andy scrambles to save his rear. The conflict is never so much between Robert and Andy but Andy and his glands. Robert’s pleas to just hire Susan already pour out in dull, thumping whines that call to mind Chinese water torture. And of course, Andy — stewing in his jacket turned crockpot — cracks and hires Susan on the spot. Robert flashes a glare that says, "Bad dog!" Read More...


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