The Office Recap: I Do Think That I Could Surprise You

A live action version of The Simpsons would be a terrible idea. Just terrible. But if Hollywood demands it be so, then Brian Baumgartner is the clear choice to play Homer Simpson. Like Homer, Baumgartner's character Kevin Malone vacillates between a bit slow on the uptake to close enough to mentally handicapped that even Holly Flax was fooled. This inconsistency seems like a lazy way for the writers to always make sure there's a joke handy, but Baumgartner is so committed to the wide-eyed simpleton that he can almost always score a laugh.

Office showrunner and former Simpsons writer Greg Daniels recently pitched a pilot to ABC that will star Baumgartner, and damned if this episode didn't seem designed to demonstrate his range. Now, he didn't get to use his real voice or imply that his character could speak more than 50 words or whatever, but Baumgartner did get to hit notes of sweetness, frustration, and emotional confusion that normally get written for the topliners. That this was the single funniest episode of the show since Steve Carell left is proof of how underutilized The Office’sdeep bench has been recently. Read More...


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