The Office Recap: Not Bad for a Heart Map

As the seasons have worn on, The Office has largely sanded away the melancholic strains it inherited from its U.K. version. But you can’t completely subtract the looming sense of crushing defeat from this show’s DNA, and touches of palpable sadness still pop up at unexpected times. Like last night’s cold open, one of the most unusual they’ve done in a while. (In general, this show has been on its cold open game for the past few months.) Pam calls us all in to watch a balloon, which has been floating around the warehouse since time immemorial, finally come down to Earth. Pam admits that it’s not that cool, really, but sometimes bored people pick mundane things–poetic symbols to entertain themselves because that’s all that’s around.

Then everyone begins to reminisce about how things were different when they first saw that balloon, back when Dunder Mifflin probably seemed like a stepping stone. Jim was just a paper salesman. Darryl was going to go back to school. Meredith’s kid didn’t have a face tattoo. Everyone then decides to deal with the weight of life’s merciless forward march in the only sensible fashion: Using the bailer to smash the balloon and all it represents. Go fuck yourself, unrelenting passage of time. Read More...


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