Tori’s Review: Safety Training

After watching Thursday’s The Office for the first time, I didn’t really like it, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Was it because there wasn’t much Jim and Pam? No, I don’t mind less Jim and Pam. The Injury is JAM light, and it is my favorite episode of the series.

Was it because suicide jokes aren’t funny? No, suicide jokes are very funny.

So, I watched it again.

I still didn’t like it. But, I think I’ve figured out why.

It felt supersized — but it was only 22 minutes long.

First, was the return of “Drew,” the dumbass formerly known as Andy. I was actually happy to see Andy (I’m not calling him Drew either), and interested to see how he would fit back into the office after his meltdown. We got a couple of quick scenes at the beginning of the episode — but that was it. He didn’t have much of a storyline except for a few “un-shun, re-shun” jokes from Dwight. (I did enjoy those.)

Ed Helms is the only added cast member this season who has been made a regular. If Andy is sticking around, I think the audience needs to get to know him post-meltdown. As of now, he is just another Dwight with fewer quirks and more aggression. Oh, I’m sorry — grumpies.

The safety training part of Safety Training started out funny, but didn’t really go anywhere interesting. I can usually tolerate an impressive amount of Michael in mania mode, but this week it took so many long conversations between Dwight and Michael to even get to the rooftop performance. By that point, I wanted Michael to jump just to see something happen.

I will admit, the betting storyline was very funny. I loved Kelly’s lesson on Netflix, the jellybeans, Creed’s applotato, and the fact that John Mellencamp has the power to make Kevin a very rich man. But, again, it didn’t really tell a story. It felt like a bunch of deleted scenes strung together. The only thing we learned is Karen doesn’t fit in with the rest of the office. We already knew that. By the way, Karen, Jim still loves Pam. I’m sorry it had to come from me, but you’re better off this way.

Okay, I’m sorry. I take it back. I didn’t really want Michael to jump.

One of my favorite things about The Office is that when it comes down to it, these people who sometimes can’t stand each other really do care about one another. It was nice to see Pam, Jim and Darryl save Michael from certain death.

Of course, Pam could have saved everyone (including us) a lot of time by just offering to open her shirt for 30 seconds if Michael came back downstairs. She cares about him — but not that much.

So, we had a rough week Office; you hurt me, I hurt you, but we will bounce back.

Indubidibly …

Tori Weber is a Web Producer and writer for a television news station in Orlando, FL. Writing keeps her sane, and ice cream makes her happy. Dogs are good too. Visit her here.

72 comments

  1. I agree. I can think of tons of ways this could have been a lot funnier, the ending was pretty boring :(

  2. I enjoyed the review Tori.

    I agree, while the episode wasn’t terrible or anything, I think it combined the worst elements of ‘The Convict’ and ‘Phyllis’ Wedding’ with some of the better elements of ‘Office Olympics’. Still, at least ‘Office Olympics’ had some beginning and end to the group activity.

    Also, nothing against B.J. Novak, because I’m a fan of his Season 1 and Season 2 episodes, but this and ‘Initiation’ both featured a way too over-the-top A plotline. Also, its a little curious that whenever he writes an episode he seems to featured prominently in it, with the exception of ‘Diversity Day’.
    That is all.

  3. I thought this episode was hilarious and BJ is a great writer. My only complaint is that this episode seemed short, but only because it followed a super-sized one.

    The Office needs to be an hour long.

  4. I kind of enjoy the occasional episode that doesn’t have any really interesting plot development. It’s supposed to be a documentary, and it’s supposed to (at least, in Ricky Gervais’s original design for the show) illustrate the drudgery of a white-collar workplace.

    Episodes like this seem to really get at that heart of the series – this is an office, and most days go by without anything really interesting happening. It’s especially fun to see the office staff trying to make the most of their repetitive, thankless jobs – last night’s betting games, the “Office Olympics,” or the reading of “Threat Level: Midnight.”

  5. I agree with everything you’ve said, Tori. Sorry I’m not adding much – just wanted you to know there are more of us out here who felt the same about the ep.

  6. I thought it was a fantastic episode.. it started out a bit slow but once it got cooking it was classic.

    Also? Best episode closer yet.

    Get over the Karen thing for God’s sake.

  7. I completely agree about the deleted scenes thing, I actually really did not like this episode. It had good moments, but it didn’t tell a good story like the negotiation did. It was kind of a boring episode overall in my opinion, and I think that people will agree that this was not as good as last week’s.

  8. If we’d gotten nothing other than the betting pool on Kelly’s spiel, it would have been totally worth the evening for me. Personally, I was happy to see something light and frothy after the heavy angst last week. No one tried to hit anyone else. No one broke anyone’s heart. No one put a fist through a wall or broke a brain. A few laughs, a little cringing, that’s all I need in 22 minutes. Reminded me of Season 1, in a totally good way. I agree with Tori that Michael’s speeches were too long; I’d have been happy to see the deleted scene between Kevin and Andy edited in. But I can live with what we got.

  9. Evan – you said it exactly right. There doesn’t need to be a story every week. Just give me funny,which it did.

  10. After re-watchingt the episode via iTunes, I have decided it is my favorite episode of the season so far. Watching the characters in th background is the best!

    Very well-written review, as always, though!

  11. I have to disagree with you. I think this was a really great episode. It is an episode that gets us back to what this so really is. So many of the fans are only in it for the Jam and the show really isn’t all that. Its a funny show thats supposed to feel like a documentary. Its a humorous spin on drudgery with some plot there as well. The Jam story line is wonderful and I love to see it progress, but in my opinion we had a lot of Jam in this episode. I also disagree with the comment someone made about Ryan being more prominent in this episode. I didn’t think we saw any more of him than normal.
    My only wish is that the office were an hour long. There is so much more story to tell.

  12. If you thought the ending was boring, then you just didn’t [i]get[/i] the ending. That was hilarious! This was a great episode.

  13. This episode was definitely not the best and I agree it was because there were way to many things going on:

    1. Andy (Drew) comes back
    2. Dwight shun/unshun
    3. Darryl’s safety training
    4. The Betting and all that entailed
    5. Michael’s “depression”

    I think they may be trying to overcompensate for the fact that Jim and Pam are not getting it on right now. But that really isn’t necessary.

    Anyway I still love my show and even a not so great episode is better than anything else on t.v.

  14. Tori…I am definitely with you on this one. The Office is usually so expertly written with a wonderful mix of humor woven within a story. This one delivered on the funny, but lacked a solid storyline.

  15. It was a 40 minute plot in a 21 minute episode, so it was frenetic and had no room to breath — other than that it was pretty good, though not the classic of The Negotiation.

  16. Wow, look at all your comments already, missy! I finally caught the episode on iTunes- have my laptop with me on business-and I have to agree with you. Not my favorite episode at all. And you said it perfectly when you pointed out that it had nothing to do with the JAM-less quality of it. The Injury is probably my all-time favorite episode too, which proves there is more to our love of the show than just that storyline. But everything in this episode just felt a little messy and cobbled together. Hopefully they bounce back in true form next week. Thank you for taking over review duties for me while I’m away dealing with work stuff- you wrote it better than I could have and I owe ya one. :-)

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