The Office Season Two
Starring: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak
Series Creators: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, developed by Greg Daniels
You remember a couple weeks ago when I reviewed season one and said it was a pretty good show? Well, it was a pretty good show, but with season two, it became a GREAT show. The first season is a nice intro to the series, but it's the next 22 episodes when it ascended to one of the best things on TV.
I don't know if I've fallen this hard this quickly for a show before. Well, I probably have, but let me tell you, I LOVE this show. LOVE IT. It's damn near my favourite show on television now, and I only started watching it in August. It's laugh-out-loud funny, funnier than it was in its first season and more comfortable in its own skin (undoubtedly because it distanced itself from its predecessor and did its own thing). Steve Carell has managed to craft out his own identity for Michael Scott, toning down on some of the more awkward humour from the first season without losing any of the edge that made the character funny in the first place.
Given more episodes and security in its second season, the show was able to expand its stories and better feature its ensemble cast. It was less the Michael Scott show, and more about the employees of Dunder-Mifflin as a whole. Beyond the main cast, the series filled out the supporting cast, defining each character in the office and the part they play in the madness. The supporting cast play their roles to perfection, be it the harsh Angela (Angela Kinsey), the chatty Kelly (Mindy Kaling, a writer on the show), the simple Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), the gruff Stanley (Leslie David Baker), the drunk Meredith (Kate Flannery), the frumpy Phillis (Phyllis Smith), the fussy Oscar (Oscar Nunez), the creepy Creed (Creed Bratton), or the sad Toby (Paul Lieberstein, also a writer on the show). I love them all, and they all make me laugh.
The secret of the show is the blend between the outrageous humour of Michael and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) mixed with the subtle humour of the rest of the ensemble (including Ryan the Temp, played by B.J. Novak, another writer on the show). Too much of Michael and Dwight would get annoying, but too much of the dry humour of the others would get dull. Also, beyond the horrible things the show has Michael and Dwight do (and the horrible things that are done to them, mostly by Jim and Pam), the show has a lot of heart that draws you in as a viewer. It even makes sure to humanise Michael, revealing that beneath his obnoxious exterior is really a pathetic guy who doesn't understand how to interact with people.
But the biggest reason why I fell in love with this show is the relationship of Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer). In the first season, the series did a good job laying down the groundwork and showing them having an office flirtation with smaller moments that revealed deeper feelings. In the second season, the show went all out with the relationship, revealing that they weren't just two people slightly attracted to each other, flirting the day away to pass time. Nope, these two characters are total soul-mates, and every second of it feels geniune and real. It may be the best developed relationship I can remember seeing on TV (certainly for a sitcom), and they make the cutest couple since... well... me and my wife (seriously, we're adorable. You should see us).
The quiet moments between the two, when one would realise something then quickly suppress it, or when they'd be perfectly in synch with one another, then get embarrassed when someone noticed, were priceless. As their relationship matured (without resolution, of course, as Pam is still engaged to Roy from the warehouse [David Denman]), the show gave us other romances to fill the burgeoning office romance role that Jim and Pam once filled. Which were fun, giving the show more layers to build upon. But it was the Jim and Pam relationship that made us keep pushing next to blow through the discs, putting off sleep when necessary (leaving me tired for my real office life, which became far less important than watching this one), culminating in a finale moment so awesome that if made my wife leap out of her seat and shout in a celebratory fashion generally reserved for seeing your favourite team score an OT goal in the Stanley Cup finals.
Which pretty much sums up my feelings towards the season as a whole. Smart, funny, subtle, addictive, and crowd pleasing, it's pretty much the perfect show. SCORE!!!
40-Year-Old Virgin, The (2005)
The Office - Season One
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)