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The Office Review: Guitar Hero

by at . Comments

Through the first six episodes of The Office's eighth season, I have been right on board with the popular critique that the series has lost its focus.*

(*"Garden Party" is the exception to that rule.)

But "Pam's Replacement" helped sideline the show's recent problems with a multitude of laughs and an improvement to its most glaring problems lately: the misuse of Ed Helms and James Spader.

Play It, Kevin!

After being thrust into the lead of the show, with a similar role and similar character to that of Steve Carrell, it seemed as if the Andy as branch manager project had failed. By giving him a smaller piece of the pie here, though, and fortunately creating a tasty flavor of pie, both Helms and The Office were much more enjoyable.

And how tasty was that pie? Andy, Kevin, and Darryl were great in their showcase of the rise and fall of Kevin and the Zits. And while Robert California didn't do anything all that overtly funny, quietly bringing in new great musicians to slowly hijack Andy's band was some of the best stuff from the Sabre CEO since last year's finale.

On the other side of "Pam's Replacement" was the story dealing with the titular character, and mostly how attractive she was. Pam, being nine months pregnant, finds it hard to deal with the fact that her replacement is smoking hot, and has a bigger issue with the idea that Jim won't admit it.

Dwight offering to help Pam get to the bottom of it all created most of the hilarious highlights of the episode, which included him shooting Pam straight on the lifespan of her hot-ness, grabbing Jim's crotch, making fun of an old man at the blood pressure station, and thinking that Jim was lying about every question on his fake polygraph... including his name.

There was a lot of sweetness in that plot, too as Pam and Jim were as cute as ever together, ending in the all-too-serious realization that Jim might have high blood pressure. It made Pam's worries about the replacement moot as they left the store hand in hand.

This was a nice little episode for The Office, and here are some other highlights from "Pam's Replacement."

  • Erin taking Andy's phone call plan WAY too far.
  • Andy writes down his scatting like they are lyrics.
  • Dwight calls the old man without a heart Tin Man.
  • Andy playing the drums on his chest.
  • Jim telling the camera that he had feelings for a co-worker today, only to follow that up with the reveal that he was talking about Dwight.

As always, here are some of our favorite quotes this week.  Don't forget to visit The Office Quotes page for all the best one-liners.

Toby: You know what would be the hottest thing ever? A pregnant Helen Mirren. | permalink
Val: Not bad fellas. You're better than you look.
Kevin: Hey screw you! | permalink
Andy: When you're in a rock n roll band with somebody, you're bonded for life.
Darryl: Usually their life is short and tragic. | permalink
Jim: Stop shoving me.
Dwight: Aww, stop shoving me. Stop grabbing my penis. Grow up. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Oops. Sorry, I thought you were the original poster whom I replied to. Though the question for you remains. What on earth did I type that in any way mentioned or referenced homosexuality, nevermind voicing an opinion on the phenomena?

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OK, I`ll bite. How, in any way, did you find my comments to be `homophobic`? I`m dying to know how you got that from what I said. I simply implied you and your hubby were relatively unintelligent, if that was the sort of thing you that makes you `laugh out loud`, nothing more. You exemplified my point perfectly when you just wrote that you thought homophobia is something that doesn`t exist any more. Ever heard of Prop. 8? I`ve been called plenty of things in my life, but this is a first for `homophobic`.

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@ David K, 1 question? HOW OLD R U?!!!! who says something like that to a stranger? only a total douche bag! and u totally made yourself look like a homophobic person which i thought ppl were too educated to be anymore. I loved this episode! Especially the crotch grabbing, i couldn't believe dwight grabbed jim's crotch like 5 times!

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Who's the chick who plays the guitar?

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Aya: So you and your husband were just rolling on the floor by the slapstick portrayal of Dwight grabbing at Jim's crotch, eh? I believe that says all that needs to be said about the two of you. Don't get me wrong, I harbour no ill-feelings towards the you... the world needs janitors. But for the sake of the rest of us, just please promise you won't reproduce. Judging by the viewership of Two and a Half Men, we'll have no shortage of janitors in thirty years.

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This episode was hilarious. My husband and I both laughed out loud at the Dwight "falling" moment. This was a really funny episode. Loved "the band." Poor guys. Who gets kicked out of their own band? ha! It was great!

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I can't believe I'm doing this. Personally, I find "Reviews" of individual episodes in a series to be silly. The way I see it, if you like a show, you're going to watch it, and enjoy it. You'll take the good with the bad. If it becomes something you don't enjoy, you stop watching... simple as that. This episode was the exception to the rule. I've watched and enjoyed every episode of the office since Gervais first gifted us with his brainchild. Some have been better than others, of course. Yet no matter how outlandish the plots, or 'crazy' the situations, it has always felt 'right;... it's always felt like 'The Office'. I won't say this episode was 'poorly written', just 'written differently'. It was as though the characters from the office suddenly transported themselves into a 'typical' sitcom; perhaps something written Chuck Lorre, missing only the laugh track. Each and every character was so 'off', in their behaivours and dialogue, I find it hard to believe that the writer (Allison Silverman, I've been forced to find out) had never viewed a single episode of the show before picking up her pen. If this were a sign of things to come, I'd say the show had surely 'jumped the shark'. Only I can't for a second believe that it is. I see that Ms. Silverman was the executive producer of the Colbert Report until recently. I can only imagine that the producers of the show were forced, through vehimous objections, to let her write an episode of the show, and film it without edit. In my mental justifying, I'm imagining scores of conversations from the actors and producers between shots: "Can you believe she wrote that?"; "My character would NEVER say that?"; "Who do you think she slept with to get this gig?" I can only hope and pray that this will be the only 'blip' on an otherwise stellar television show, and the ONLY episode I'll skip when I rewatch it in 20 and 40 years from now. My god... that was awful.

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Even more farce this week, with Dwight and Pam's "antics." How about some cleverly written character moments for Pam, when confronted with genuine concern about a new girl and her own sexuality? How about OTHER office characters' reaction to this new girl? No, just poor dialogue, out-of-character behavior and Dwight grabbing Jim's crotch. And even with the poorly-written break room scene, it felt like like half the office was missing from the episode entirely. The band subplot was also somewhat poorly-written, but at least still managed to be funny, and do something (slightly) different with Robert California's character. Instead of business intimidation -- musical intimidation. Hmm, I guess that isn't very different after all. 2nd worst ep of the season so far, after "Doomsday".

Fortyseven

Some funny parts but still middling.

The Office Season 8 Episode 7 Quotes

You know what would be the hottest thing ever? A pregnant Helen Mirren.

Toby

Pam: And I make sounds much worse than this?
Dwight: Oh we know.