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The Office 5×01 Weight Loss

The Office returns for a fifth season opener that plays out a lot like the fourth season finale that should have been but never was. It’s almost as if The Office writers understood what a mess Goodbye Toby and much of the fourth season of The Office was and tried to avoid repeating it by getting back to the show’s roots.

It’s not that The Office 5×01 Weight Loss is a triumph by any means, but the concept of a season opener stretching across the summer months is a nice idea and provides some breathing room and the episode scales back some of the insanity of the fourth season to ground everyone’s behavior in the more real life emotions and human interactions that made the show work in the first place. Let’s face it The Office is on the average not all that funny compared to the top sitcoms of the past. What made it work was emotional realism coupled with absurdity and Weight Loss gets back to delivering some of that.

Some of the old jokes are still being hammered into the ground and Michael’s relationship triangle with Jan and Holly reminds you of everything that’s wrong with the show in the first place, but most of the episode from Ryan and Toby’s returns to the proposal to the weight loss preoccupation are more of a throwback to the way The Office used to be. Of course you can’t have a 40 minute plus Office without Michael donning a wacky costume and being politically incorrect, but it’s a short interlude that reminds us that Weight Loss isn’t Fun Run. It’s actually a pretty decent and funny start to a hopefully better season.

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