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The Office

The Office is a comedy set in a paper sales company Dunder Mifflin. Shot in a mockumentary style the show follows the exploits of regional manager Michael Scott whose excruciating behaviour can make life difficult for his fellow employees. NBC 2005-???


Episode 4 - Crime Aid

29 March 2012

Synopsis: Michael and Holly go on their third date and forget to lock the office. It gets robbed and Michael arranges “Crime Aid” to try and raise money to replace people’s personal items. He draws a crowd by pretending to have Bruce Springsteen tickets. Dwight asks Phyllis for help with how to win Angela back. Jim meets Roy at the bar. David Wallace arrives and discovers that Michael and Holly are dating.

The Good: Michael and Holly do a very good job of acting like a couple. It was difficult to imagine a woman who would be perfect for Michael but Holly fits the mould astonishingly well. The scene where she stops Michael from ruining their mutual joke is a lovely touch to show how she understands him. Their affection seems so natural and leads to several enjoyable jokes. The best of which is Michael explaining how to turn down the sound on the microphones when in fact he is turning them up. So simple and a clever use of the documentary format.

Dwight too shows some much needed humanity in this episode. His decision to bid on Phyllis’ hug is a nice acknowledgment that he can occasionally be a decent person. Phyllis’ explanation of why Angela has chosen Andy (that he isn’t a risk) is a sensible explanation of a relationship which has seemed anything but plausible. It’s also really nice to see Angela happy at Andy’s suggestion that they move to Disney Celebration Village one day. Again, we need reasons to believe that they could be a couple. Finally Jim and Roy’s interaction seems very believable. Roy’s reaction to news that Pam was out partying was of jealousy and possession. It’s typically clever writing by the writers to show that Jim doesn’t want to become like that.

The auction is a typically amusing set piece comedy scene. Michael provides some basic fun jokes with his thermometer (with a million dollars at the top), his auctioning style (swing batter batter) and his lack of Bruce Springsteen knowledge.

David Wallace’s appearance is another nice touch. He enhances his reputation as a nice boss by showing up to support his employees. And it makes logical sense for him to cause problems for Holly and Michael because their romance would cause a conflict of interest and potential lawsuit for the company.

I give the whole show a lot of credit for the fact that this development makes me feel sad. It seems like Michael and Holly won’t stay happy together and the fact that I can be invested in a relationship involving the silly Michael Scott character says a lot about how good this show can be.

The Bad: There is no mention of insurance at all. Surely Dunder Mifflin would be covered in the case of burglary. There are many possible explanations for why insurance couldn’t cover them but to not mention it is a bad gap in logic.

Comic Highlight: There are loads of little jokes to enjoy here, nothing stands out as the obvious highlight. I thought a subtle dig at Dunder Mifflin was Dwight saying (after the burglary) “motives: financial or vintage HP computer collectors.” But slightly funnier I felt was Michael asking Holly if they were going to have sex after dinner. Once she says yes we cut back to a concerned looking Michael at his desk saying “probably get soup or something light.”

That’s what I said: The insurance issue notwithstanding, this is a superb episode of relationship and character based comedy. The show has worked hard to make these silly characters seem more believable and I think they are rewarded with a story which will keep viewers invested and interested.



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