TV Article

Love Fools

On ''The Office,'' Jim and Pam catch up on the phone; meanwhile, Dwight puts Ryan through an unorthodox training, while Michael and Stanley go nuts on Pretzel Day

Jenna Fischer, The Office | CALL OF THE MILD Many things went unsaid during Pam's phone conversation with Jim
CALL OF THE MILD Many things went unsaid during Pam's phone conversation with Jim

''The Office'': Jim and Pam catch up

So, ''It'' finally happened. With an accidental phone call at the end of a workday, the big Pam-and-Jim reunion got going. Yes, my heart skipped a beat as the words ''Oh my God'' escaped from Pam. Yes, any opportunity to hear Jim's voice go all gravelly into the phone as he's being charming and funny is a good thing. But you know what, people? I was kind of underwhelmed.

Was the buildup just too much? Had I forgotten that the beauty of their relationship was in its mundaneness? Have I begun to invest in the budding Karen/Jim relationship? Maybe. Whatever the reason, regardless of the as-always spot-on writing (28 Days vs. 28 Days Later anyone?) and great acting, I just wasn't feeling it.

Let's talk about my new favorite couple on the show for a little while — Dwight and Ryan. What a freak Dwight is! (You're a freak!) It's no surprise that he ego-trips on getting to take Ryan out for his first sales call. It is a surprise that it took Ryan so long to stop humoring Dwight with those insane challenges out on his beet farm. (Read all about those amazing beets here.)

The best exchange of the night: ''...just as I am going to plant my seed in you,'' says Dwight. ''I don't think you know what you're saying,'' says Ryan.

And both Michael and Dwight did that thing again where their idiot savant-like salesmanship salvages an otherwise irredeemable situation. Despite his imbecilic hazing of Ryan, in the end Dwight had sound advice for him. Despite spending the day doing Cosby impressions and standing in line for a sweet soft pretzel with the works (and then riding a sugar high to its inevitable crash), Michael made a big sale that could very well have helped save his job.

Tell me you didn't enjoy (and get slightly weirded-out by) the sheer joy on Stanley's face at the mention of Pretzel Day. But as he explained why he enjoyed it so, couldn't you relate just a little? With all the obligations and indignities of any given workday, aren't there small perks that can brighten it up or give you something to look forward to? Stanley is our Everyman! An Everyman with killer delivery, that is.

One of the many things I love about the show is how current it is. I love the pop-culture references, like Lost's Dharma Initiative, Deal or No Deal, and that soon-to-be classic SNL/''Chronicles of Narnia'' sketch. (Just yesterday a colleague turned me on to a shot-for-shot remake of it. ) I may not have a lot of things in common with Dwight, but I love Lost too. Maybe I'll care just a little bit more about his freaky self (because freaky-deakies need love too. Sorry, had to shout out 30 Rock).

BTW: Creed-Creep-O-Meter: 0

And just because I want to share the pain that I will have for the next day or so, I leave you with this:
Love me, love me
Say that you love me
Leave me, leave me
Just say that you need me
I can't care 'bout anything but you...

Am I hating on Pam and Jim? Should I just drink the Kool-Aid again and think everything they do together is great? With Michael and Dwight's great salesmanship, why was the branch ever in trouble?

Originally posted Oct 20, 2006