The Office Review: There's Magic Out There

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It had been almost a month since the last episode of The Office aired, and its return confirmed the sad truth: this show has become a mediocre comedy this season.

"Welcome Party" was filled with a few heartwarming moments, and a couple of laugh out loud scenes here and there, but every new installment seems to make it more and more obvious that The Office is a shell of what it used to be.

Catherine Tate as Nellie

Catherine Tate was pretty polarizing in her first few performances, but at least she was giving audiences an opinion. Here, her Nellie Bertram was neither hilarious nor detestable, and instead was used as a sympathetic character taking on the mean-spirited words of her coworkers. Whether Nellie deserved the hate from the office, or the love from Jim's defense, it didn't have much of an effect on our viewing pleasure.

The fake party for Nellie did bring about two of the funniest moments from the episode, though. There was this classic "Kevin is fat" hilarity...

Kevin: You think this is a great party? This cake has vegetables in it. | permalink

... and there was the even better "Ryan is a doucher" comedy. Honestly, if it wasn't funny enough that Oscar jumped on Darryl's code name for Ryan as "douche bag" with the fact that everyone would know who was being talked about, Ryan calmly agreeing had me completely losing it.

While this fake party was going on back in Scranton, Andy and Erin made their way back from Florida. Unfortunately, they had to stop in Southern Penn to break up with Jessica. Other than the fact that everyone at the bachelorette party believed Andy when he said he was gay, there weren't many laughs coming from this plot.

They continue to throw this relationship between Andy and Erin at us, and it still isn't working. They're not a couple that I can get behind, and I'm not sure why. Is it how annoying Andy has become? Is it that Erin's shtick has worn off? Or is it simply that they don't have the chemistry I tend to need in order to back a TV couple wholeheartedly?

There were a couple other nice moments from the episode worth mentioning:

  • Erin thinking that you can get tired by looking at a turkey.
  • Creed's original songs are not only bad, but 30 minutes long.
  • Dwight jumping in on the Pam hate, even though he had no idea what was going on.
  • Dwight needs a Tweeter account!

Check out all the best lines from the episode in our The Office Quotes section, and then head to the comments below and let us know what you thought of "Welcome Party."


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

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


Nellie is a virus. She's horrible! Get her off the show or it will tank even worse than it already has this season.


Episode was nice, Story writer should understand the how Nellie’s presence impact on show’s TRP. Folks don’t like to see Nellie in The Office. Andy is much better than her.


Episode started out poorly, got better as it progressed. Most poignant part of the episode to me - the staff asking "why is she (Nellie) here??" then the scene cutting immediately to Andy. Yep, that's why she's here! Andy's failure in the role of boss. I wonder if this juxtaposition was intentional. Like they're admitting they KNOW their character Andy failed to rise to the occasion as boss. Even the above 2-star review, which isn't too complimentary toward Nellie, still points out how annoying Andy has become. For the many vocal fans who won't even give Nellie a chance, agree on an alternative. Otherwise just shut your venomous holes. Nellie was a mixed bag in this one, but definitely great once she was actually humanized, during and after the breakdown scene. Looking forward to more of that. Catherine shows here that she obviously has the skills to pull off a lot of depth for her character, given the right material. Let's hope the writers actually manage to use it.


Creed is AWESOME. End of discussion


When is Creed being removed from this show? Everything he says and does is incredibly annoying to me. Am I the only one that feels this? It feels like it's in his contract to at least say one line every show. It's always unnatural and not even remotely funny.


Nellie is super funny. I loved it!!!


I thought it was funny and entertaining. I was bored with Nellie in Florida but she's great in Scranton. Andy/Erin was a drag.


I didn't think it was that bad! But then I love Andy and Erin together. I think they make a perfect couple. I liked the way Jim messed up the magician's performance and then Pam caught on and together they drove the guy out. Nellie has been awful all along and she was awful when she arrived. It's not unusual to become more sympathetic to a difficult person when you find out more about them. So the whole thing made sense to me. She did appreciate what Jim and Pam did, and hopefully that will warm her up. She's funny, but so annoying.


Awful. no laughs only indifference. the show is phoning it in. The British women is a failure,
don't care for the character or the actress.

C f ohara

Dan nice title to your review. Love The River reference.

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The Office Season 8 Episode 20 Quotes

Excuse me, the tone here is getting quite hostile. I would appreciate it if you would keep that stuff on the basketball court.


Neither of those looks like any person that has ever existed or been dreamt of in the history of human insanity.