The Paper Chase

The New Yorker’s Tad Friend offers a fascinating, if not somewhat ponderous analysis of The Office, both versions.

A few excerpts:

Steve Carell does wonderful work with his voice, going from strangled and squeaky when he’s wounded to orotund when he’s feeling statesmanlike, an effect routinely shattered by his penchant for cackling and blurting out “Fo’ shizzle!” or “What’s the dealio?” All the conversational lint that tumbles around the airwaves gets trapped on the blank mesh of his brain.

… Andy, a new guy from Stamford (Ed Helms, in a scene-stealing turn as a smarmy frat-boy type), tells us he’ll have the second-in-command job within six weeks, through “name repetition” and “personality mirroring.” Michael falls for the manipulation, of course, and his credulousness made us feel the sort of sadness we feel when a computer outplays Garry Kasparov.

Get out your big dictionary for this one.

Read The Paper Chase.


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