The Office Recap: Florida Facts

Last week was filled with lots of plot development for The Office, both in-text and real world. Compared to Dwight possibly becoming a father and Jim possibly growing as a character, the main story line in last night’s episode — Andy and Dwight fighting over who got to go on special assignment in Florida — felt like wheel spinning, but there were also story elements being put in to place that should pay off later. Also, it was pretty funny, which always helps.

The writing staff of The Office loves to take their time with story lines (it took Jim and Pam three years to get together, Holly was absent from the show for more than a year, etc.), and one would assume they hate burning through an overarching plotline too quickly and having to struggle to fill space. (It’s happened more than once. But let’s not talk about the Café Disco or Dwight’s Gym.) All worthwhile shows need to find a balance between long-term storytelling that makes the audience invested in the emotional development of the characters and episodic intrigue, but The Office especially suffers when there’s a sense that it isn’t going anywhere. (A fine subtext for a program about the banality of the modern work experience and a terrible feeling to have when you’re actually watching.) As such, it was both frustrating and deeply out of character that last week’s revelation about Dwight’s baby/"the collective Dunder Mifflin family baby" was confined to a few one-liners, as there’s no way that that Dwight, never known to observe social niceties or be timid when everything else is going perfectenschlag, wouldn’t have already stolen some of Philip’s DNA for a paternity test. Clearly, we have to wait until later in the season when Angela brings the kid in for that. (I’ll bet a Sabre printer he steals a diaper.) Read More...


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