Space Ramblings

The Office 4×01 Fun Run season 4 premiere review

Well The Office’s fourth season is here. This season The Office is carrying much of the weight for NBC’s inability to find a sitcom and as a result NBC has ordered a whole lot of hour long Office episodes but as The Office Fun Run demonstrates there’s a serious difference between an Office episode created by restoring deleted scenes and one created as an hour long from scratch. Or there should be.

But like some of the later third season’s hour longs, Fun Run felt awkward and poorly structured, like a collection of weak ideas thrown together into a generally unfocused mess. Fun Run drags out two ideas with potential, Michael hitting Meredith and Michael trying to raise money for charity with an office fun run into one long drawn out awkward episode that goes nowhere. At their best episodes of The Office feel like snapshots of people’s lives and make the dull and the everyday somehow worthwhile. At their average, they’re filled with jokes involving wacky characters. At their worst they fall back on random jokes while taking every character’s behavior to the extreme.

A large portion of the Fun Run audience no doubt turned in to see where Jim and Pam are going and as it turns out they’re pretty much going where we thought they would, despite a weak attempt at a surprise. But Fun Run is dominated by desperate attempts to fill 40 minutes with random shenanigans by Michael, overshadowing the genuinely funny stuff like Dwight’s idea of pet care. Oddly Pam is wildly out of character buying a sex tape at the beginning, commenting on seeing Michael naked to Michael while Jan has degenerated into a character too painful to watch, which for a show with Michael Scott in it… is really saying a lot.

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