The Office Season 7

The Office Season 7

What do you do when a season premiere starts with such great promise then lays an egg? And what would you do if that premiere is starting a critical season for a long-running show that's losing its lead at the end of the it?

What you is let out a huge sigh and pray that Steve Carell's last season on 'The Office' isn't going to be a huge disappointment.

The lip dub opening -- using the tune 'Nobody But Me' by the Human Beinz -- was such a great way to smash into season 7, wasn't it? It reminded me of all the lip synch openings Drew Carey used to do on his show, but without all the choreography or panache. From Kelly and Ryan arguing over Ryan promoting his Wouhf social network, to Stanley going to Toby the cameraman "You'd better catch up," to Creed playing the guitar while fielding calls, to Michael's inability to lip-synch and do lame magic at the same time, it was 'The Office' at it's near finest. It was so good, I'll attach it to the bottom of this review.

My love of the cold open made me hopeful. The rest of the episode got me depressed.

It's not even that I'm disappointed that the story threads left hanging last season weren't addressed, except for the fact that Dwight bought the building (more on that in a bit). Those threads will be addressed at some point. So, even though Michael was left with the hope that Jo Bennett would somehow bring Holly Flax back to the Scranton office, it was fun to hear about his adventures with West Nile and peeing on his foot over the summer.

But the only other summer story that stuck out was Darryl's, mainly because he started talking about his softball injury and watching a lot of CNN and how we should get out of Afghanistan... then veers to how bad the new assistant is.

Which is when we devolved into yet another story where Michael acts strange in order to service the episode's comedy. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he'd hire his nephew, especially if he needed to reconnect with him. After all, he did leave Luke in the forest 15 years ago (point of reference: 'Ace Ventura II'), so he owed the kid one.

But even in his dumbest moments, Michael wouldn't put up with the kid's insubordinate behavior for very long. Or he would have already told people who the kid was so they could treat him differently from the start. There's no way he would keep the detail that the two of them were related a secret for as long as he did. Sure, he'd equate giving Luke a job to God employing his son Jesus. But that's the type of thing that Michael Scott can do in his sleep.

So we get the spanking. That felt so odd and inappropriate, almost as odd and inappropriate as Michael and Dwight kidnapping the pizza delivery kid a few years back, which was a creative low point for the show. Is Michael that spineless that he couldn't just say, "You're fired!"? In what world does he think that spanking a 20-year old kid that he barley knows is appropriate just because he's related to him? Again, Michael is capable of a lot, but here it felt like the writers needed to make him creepy, too, just to serve the plot.

It doesn't matter if Kevin thought it was "awesome" or that Andy (I think) praised Michael for his "Texas justice." It just felt icky to me. Even if it does set up those potentially explosive counseling sessions between Michael and Toby, the ends didn't justify the means there.

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