The Office continued its lackluster eighth season with an episode that was filled with a few good one-off jokes, but failed to come together as a funny half-hour.
"Mrs. California" introduced us to Robert's wife. Now that the CEO has turned out to be much less crazy than we originally thought, this could have been a perfect opportunity to bring in another insane character, but that, of course, did not happen.
Aside from wanting to date Andy, Susan was as normal as they come. More importantly, Maura Tierney's character was good for zero laughs.
The first of the two main stories this week was hilarious in theory, but was very bland for almost the entirety of its run. Robert going overboard with his plan to make his wife happy, while making sure she didn't work at the office, was a funny concept, sure.
James Spader just failed to make it actually humorous in any way for the first 15 minutes. The joke can work. In fact, it did work for The Office two episodes ago when Erin went overboard with Andy's fake phone call. The difference was that Ellie Kemper completely nailed it.
The bit went on along enough though that it finally made me laugh. Sometimes, the longer you run a joke, the funnier it gets. That theory turned out to be true in this case, got me when Andy told the truth to Susan and Robert replied with "You lying son of a bitch!"
While the main action of the story didn't succeed, there were a couple of one-offs that were brilliant: Kevin giving Susan the business, Jim climbing up the fire escape and Creed seeing and invisible man behind Jim on the roof.
The main idea in the "B" story didn't work all that well, either, probably because Darryl is never really funny. Again, the idea of Dwight being crazy about a gym in the office is great, but there was no execution.
Similarly to the main plot, there were a few one-offs to make up for the boring nature of the secondary plot. Oscar's gym drama, Gabe recognizing the quality of Dwight's pelvic bowl,and Dwight thinking Darryl was working out to look good for Val Kilmer definitely had me laughing.
That last part was pure gold at least: "I'm gonna make you the buffest dude Val Kilmer has ever seen" almost made up for the entire episode.
What did you all think? Was "Mrs. California" a step in the right direction? Or was this the same old The Office season eight has been giving us? Don't forget to check out all our favorite one-liners in The Office quotes page.
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.