What Did You Think of The Office Last Night?

So, what did you think about The Office last night? Brilliant spin on the kind of stylized episodes that have been kicking butt on Community every week? Or laugh-free experimental disaster? I hate to say this, as I’m a lifelong Office loyalist, but I’m leaning pretty heavily towards the latter. Dare I say, this might be the Worst. Office. Ever? (Pause to lick Dorito dust off fingers.)

The episode, attributed to B.J. Novak (who also plays Ryan the Intern, but you knew that), revisits Michael’s passion project, an action movie called Threat-Level Midnight whose script was discovered by Pam back in Season Two. They staged a reading of it, it was funny, and that’s really all we needed to see of Threat-Level Midnight for the rest of The Office’s existence, as far as I was concerned. But no, it’s back, apparently, and fully produced, after “three years of writing, one year of shooting, four years of re-shooting and two years of editing.” So the staff gather in the conference room for a premiere screening.

There are multiple hurdles to overcome with this premise. The first, and most crucial, is a stylistic one. In other words, to make this truly funny, then we need to buy the fact that the movie was made by Michael. But from the moment the title card spins into place, you can tell they’ve gotten the tone all wrong. The graphics are too slick, the video is too uniformly high-definition for a decade-old home movie, the cast all looks exactly the way they do now, etc. So what we have is a fake bad homemade movie that looks as if it was made by a crew of pros who failed to approximate what a truly bad homemade movie would look like.

The next hurdle is to not fall into the trap of making Michael seem too cutesy-pathetic -- but the setup did exactly that. Everyone giggles and patronizes him (Jim and Pam, so cute playing drunk last week, are seriously insufferable here), and Michael comes off just so adowwwable playing an action star (just like a grownup!) and delivering cheesy movie lines. The guy is an adult. He’s funny when he’s being completely inappropriate, not when he’s behaving like a creative, 12-year-old self-starter. That’s just weird.

The final hurdle is that the bad movie needs to be, well, good. But the scenes, as written, just kind of crashed and burned. Again, it seems like a premise that’s built to fail, since Michael is so limited creatively that he couldn’t possibly write a good bad movie. (Or is he? Remember the episode where he entered a contest to create a Dunder-Mifflin TV commercial? His entry was really good!) Fine, so he’s a dolt who quotes cliche movie lines and tells terrible jokes. At least his movie didn’t need to be boring and uninspired. And couldn’t they have done more with the premise that this was a movie ten years in the making? Yes, there were cameos from some familiar former girlfriends (and one from Rashida Jones), but wasn’t this a missed opportunity to reward loyal Office fans with some truly obscure Office callbacks?

Oh well. They can’t all be winners. To be honest, when the delivery guy walked into Michael’s office during the cold open and started shooting, I thought they were really going dark with Steve Carell’s exit from the series -- and it excited me. (I’m still holding out a glimmer of hope that Michael is the Scranton Strangler.) But no, it was just a bad movie, in a bad episode. It all just felt like a giant step backwards, in the worst possible way.

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Yeh, I loved it! Admittedly, the graphics were too slick and the characters look like they didn't age at all in the 6 years of filming which definitely displayed a lack of consistency but it was still all really hilarious! I think it's one of my favourite Office episodes actually, really picking up after the bad episodes of late. There were so many running gags in it, from Dwight acting like Scarn's servant (obviously.), Toby's head exploding ('most expensive scene but totally worth it') and Oscar's gay suit which really reflected the dynamics of the cast. The only thing I didn't like was the Holly-Michael parts but I'm like Erin, I never liked Holly so. -shrugs-
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Oh, come on! I thought it was pretty funny. It played on the idea that Michael is a complete idiot, and that is the character that Carell plays to the highest degree. I'd like to see a feature length video so I could be prepared with an adult diaper so I wouldn't6 pee my pants.
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Seth could not be more accurate in his assessment. I came to this site just to see if I was the only one thinking this, and he has captured my thoughts about the episode EXACTLY. Thank you, Seth, for confirming my fears: the show just jumped the proverbial shark.
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It was funny. I laughed out loud more than once... that makes it a good episode.
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Seth Abramovitch is entitled to his own opinion no matter how idiotic it is.
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I didn't really stop to think about how unrealistic it was because I WAS TOO BUSY LAUGHING! Definitely the funniest episode in a while.
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@torontogirl98
i know right! everything about "art" is opinion, to insult someone with namecalling or to go down to nasty level because someone doesn't agree with your own is pretty childish. people need to learn their opinion isn't the end all be all and the only one that matters.
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cmon, comparing this ep. to one of the worst??! ok it wasnt the best or close to the best, but it was pretty funny, and not so usual as others. It was interesting to watch and had its laughs. And also my opinion is - after some bad episodes for office etc. This seasons last ones are really great in my opinion, interesting to watch!
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Anyone who didn't find this episode hilarious is just completely miserable. I'm all for personal opinion, but come on...just shut up.
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I agree with you Seth. This episode was not very believable within the world the writers initially created for The Office.The production quality was too high for a homemade movie. How likely is it that Michael would have been able to obtain all those props for the presidential office? And are we to believe that everyone in the office has been participating in the movie this whole time and the camera crews have documented none of it? Would the warehouse workers who have never really liked Michael have participated? Probably not. And let's be serious, the dance sequence was over the top. For those who argue that Seth isn't a fan of the show, that's ridiculous. Just because you like something doesn't mean you have to agree with it every single step of the way and follow it blindly. It seems as though the writers are running out ideas, and the show is not as tightly written as it used to be. It has become inconsistent, having some good moments in overall shaky plot lines and dialogue. Last week's Valentine's episode was a huge improvement for the season, but this week's Threat Level Midnight was a great disappointment for me, someone who has stuck with the show from the beginning.
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I really liked it. I thought it was funny and i didn't obsess over the details such as the age of the characters or the movie being high-def.
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It was such a corny episode.
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It was not the funniest episode of The Office (not even a funny one to be exact), but this episode is one for the fans. We all know that Steve Carell will be leaving after this season. So this is a throwback episode to show the characters who have gone from the show. Though if you think about it, discovering that Michael finished the movie and not show it to us must have been a cruel but great last episode from Steve Carell.
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Wow everyone posting on here is very very angry, its okay to disagree but just because you do doesn't mean you have to call them an idiot. And in my opinion it was okay, nice to see some old favs but nothing that gut wrenchingly funny
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I kind of agree with Seth. I don't know about worst ep ever but I was mostly bored. I actually think I may need to rewatch it because I was so bored I concentrated more on the spider on my wall than what was going on on tv. ZZZZ.
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CBS Executive 1: The latest Office episode is getting a lot of praise online. Everyone loved it. What should we do?

CBS Executive 2: Send in the a**hole. Smear the s*** out of it.
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Just try to compare Micheal's movie with the movie that guys from It' always sunny in Philadelphia and you will see how bad this week episode was
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Worst Office ever??? Holding out hope for Michael being the Scranton Strangler??? Seth if this entire article isn't some elaborate parody of itself you are truly the most imbecilic writer TV.com is currently employing.
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Are you stupid? It was funny
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hey man, just quit your job, nobody wants you around anymore
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You obviously don't know a good episode of The Office if it came and hit you in the face. Enough with the Community crap on what seems like a weekly basis. Maybe it wasn't the best episode of The Office ever but it was defiantly really good. You honestly get paid to write this crappy of a review on a good episode of a great show?
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Seth you are obviously not a fan, if you didn't like this episode I seriously doubt you have ever liked the office. Using a loose thread like Threat Level Midnight that has been around for such a long time was a really clever and thankfully well executed. Hey Seth how does one get paid to critique shows you don't like?
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I thought it was a fun episode. One of my favorites of this season. Your review is puzzling, at best..
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Man... you're an idiot hahaha...

the episode had really good jokes... period.
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Wow, really? Worst Office ever? Screw you Seth and you idiotic articles. If Community had done the exact same thing you'd be praising the hell out of it, but since all you guys love to hate on The Office, you call this episode the worst, shame on you. Enough with the Community ass kissing, and make some real and unbiased articles.
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The jokes themselves were funny, and the movie was over the top ridiculous. but the fact that the movie didn't look 1 day old, and was way to good (stylistically) to be done by Michael Scott was apparent from the get-go...
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awesome ep what the hell you on about ?
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I disagree
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Disagreeing with Seth here. Loved the episode.
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Thought it was the best in a long time. Seth, you should return last months salary for that rubbish.
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terrible
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Long live CBS who is paying your salaries for writing such awful articles about their rival shows! This site should be renamed TV.CBS.com ! Shame on you !
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it was a great episode! ..interesting-wanna-be article.......
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sorry but completely disagree!!
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That was one of my favorite episodes. I was laughing the whole way through. It didn't matter to me that it didn't look like a real home movie. It was just fun! The website for the movie is also great.
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Are you kidding?? Wow I completely disagree with this article. For the first time this season (and frankly the first time in the last few seasons) I couldnt stop laughing through the entire episode. Who cares if the characters look the same as they do now?? (which I think they didnt really), you're missing the point and focusing on stuff that really doesnt matter. Toby getting his head blown off was the funniest thing I've seen out of the office in years. Jim and Pam's semi-flirting in the movie was nostalgic, and honestly the entire episode was just really really funny. Kudos to B.J. Novak, Keep em coming! And Seth- try not taking things so seriously, the show is supposed to be fun, not completely realistic and accurate.
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since the movie didn't have erin in it and she has become one of my favorite characters i found myself a bit disappointed.. but the skarn dance had me cracking up and i always love when michael hates toby so much "he was wanted for animal rape" haha. so all in all it was ok.
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The episode was grand. I feel too many of you expect far far far too much from the show at this point. The fact that it essentially did a "jump the shark" episode, on purpose, was a great way to differentiate from the standard Office story lines.



As far as I'm concerned, the Christmas episode was the best of this season, but Thread-Level Midnight was a close second. Many of you just seem far too stingy on what you figure is funny or not. Sure, it's all opinion and perspective, but my god, dump the sand out of your pants already and stop nit picking the most benign things you can conjure up.



So far, I've read 6 paragraphs (in said review) that all stated the same basic thing; that the episode didn't work, or that the scenes didn't work, etc etc. Apparently the reviewer and the people who agree (at least from what I've read thus far) can't/won't actually give real detail/perception as to WHY they think it was bad (saying "it didnt work" does not count).
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When I learned the premise, I supposed that I'll be enchanted to the screen. But actually, I was kinda bored. A lot.
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I have to disagree with you totally. I don't understand how you are grasping your whole opinion of the fact that the home made movie is not home made enough and judging the comedy material by the professional technicalities of Michael's movie. It's even laughable. So what if the film is HD? -.- This is one of the greatest episodes of The Office for this season. The best part of the episode is to see each and everyone of the office staff come back and play roles in Michael's film. This is how the show has been able to work its magic. It's just hilarious to see Jenn opening the car and acknowledging the fact that Michael has completed his film. The characters and relation ties in to the plot very subtly but that makes even more so funny. It all just felt like a giant step FORWARD, in every positive way.
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Yeah I hate it when a show tries something different instead of using the same formula for each and every episode in its seventh season.
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It was an okay episode. Maybe even weak. Suddenly we are all supposed to believe everyone spent a few of their weekends helping Michael out with his movie over the course of a few years? Yeah right. It was pretty much The Office rips off MacGruber episode.
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I must disagree completely...the movie itself was hilarious, though it could have been a bit better. It just required a suspension of disbelief as far as production value and characters' appearances, which I will gladly do for Thursday night NBC comedies. I thought it was a fresh idea to actually create the movie and almost a reward to loyal Office fans. Very funny episode overall w/ lots of laughs in my opinion One of the better episodes of a very rejuvenated Office this season. "You should enter it in festivals. Or carnivals!"
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I agree, I didn't care much for this episode. Considering the premise, I actually thought it'd give me quite a lot of laughs, but I may have only giggled... once? Not sure about worst Office episode ever though -- I just don't remember most of the episodes before this season.
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Hilarious episode. I especially liked the ending, where Michael finally admits to himself it's a terrible movie. I think Holly is good for him.
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I don't know. I wanted to like it but it had "shark jump" written all over it for all the reasons you mentioned in the middle paragraphs. Plus Goldenface was so lame. The one thing I actually thought was awesome about this episode, the one thing, was that Michael FINALLY started to laugh at himself and not take himself so seriously. I just wish it had been during a better episode.
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horrible episode and wildly overrated.
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worst episode ever. amusingly enough, parks and recreation yesterday was the BEST episode ever.
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I thought it was terrible. Can't wait till Carell is gone.
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I thought it was a pretty good episode.
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