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. :-)

  17. Great review Tori! I too, in addition, feel that same way about the episode. The betting was funny, but it was more like a webisode stretched out. Like they were trying to be the season 3 Office Olympics. The Negotiation could have been 22 minutes and this one super sized. Well, they should all be supersized.

  18. I totally agree with Alyssa, the ending was really bad (anti-climactic). This was one of the very few that I thought was hilarious while I was watching it, but I have no interest in watching it again, which was what made The Office special for me – it was the only show I actually wanted to watch the reruns during the original season. The whole Dwight/Drew thing was hilarious, and the betting storyline, but the rest was useless. I don’t need to see the warehouse employees at all, and Michael needs a bit less time.

  19. I agree Tori. I thought it had it’s funny parts, but for once didn’t seem like it was too short like other episodes seem to feel like at the end.
    Thanks for another great review!

  20. I disagree. I think this week’s episode (Safety Training) was far better than last week’s (The Negotiation). I laughed out loud again! With regard to it lacking a story line, I think that Safety Training was a segue to future episodes. For example, what is going on with Michael and Jan’s relationship? He said that their sex life wasn’t good anymore . . . is this a foreshadowing?

  21. “By the way, Karen, Jim still loves Pam. I’m sorry it had to come from me, but you’re better off this way.”

    Ha ha…Tori, thank you for being the one to finally tell her. We’ve been tip toeing around it for weeks, and we needed someone to just come out and say it.

    Fab review as always!!

  22. This wasn’t my favorite episode, either. Of course, it still had many funny moments, but the reason why it wasn’t good…I have my theory:

    The episode just had a certain feeling to it. A familiar feel to it. I turned to my wife midway through the show and asked, “Did B.J. write this episode?” Bingo. Yes, he did. He’s the only one of the show’s writers where I can pinpoint who wrote a specific episode just by watching it. Why is that? I believe B.J. doesn’t do a good job capturing the essence of the characters. He’s more about the situations and the gags…and there are generally too many “out of character” moments….moments where you feel that a character wouldn’t really say that or do that. Like Michael telling Phyllis he had a boner in “Sexual Harrassment.” Or Jim playing “Who would you do?” in “The Fire” (he’s generally not one to get quite that personal).

    B.J.’s good at creating funny and odd situations, but he’s just not good at giving the usual and expected depth to the characters. He’s good at creativity and wit. Not so good at developing the characters and moving their story forward.

  23. Great review, my friend! However, this week I disagree. Last week was one of those “can’t put my finger on it” episodes where I laughed (or chuckled) a couple of times, but overall felt kind of “meh”. This week, however, I was laughing again and it felt really solid.

  24. I have to disagree, sorry, about the BJ writing. I find myself loving all his episodes. I was laughing so hard during the Initiation that tears were falling down my cheeks. Maybe I’m wrong, but considering Jim early season 2, “Who Would You Do” seemed like something he’d. Because it was all in good fun. I miss that Jim. Please come back.
    Anyway, I loved this episode. Even on first viewing. And I think we need to have more more more Kelly and Ryan. More Ryan in general.

  25. I definitely did not think this episode was as off as the review suggests. It did still leave me feeling a little strange though. For me, I think it was Darryl. He seemed quite out of character at the start of the episode. Normally he is portrayed in a lighter, more cheerful manner and with him constantly yelling at,and berating Michael, the episode got off on the wrong foot. I understand that he should be pissed at Michael. Michael is the cause of his broken foot but his yelling did not seem very much in character. He returns to his normal character at the end when he is talking Michael down from the roof. I liked most everything else in the episode, but like others have said, it seemed like a 40 minute episode shrunk.
    Later

  26. I beg to differ, I thought it was one of the best episodes of the entire series.

    It left me feeling weird, but in much the same way that the BBC series made me feel.

  27. The Office is by far one of my favorite shows, and I was honestly bummed when it had such a long hiatus after “Cocktails.” Since it has returned, the episodes dont flow with the previous episodes. It was going at a great pace, really solid, things were happening…now the storylines are just sorta random. The two newest episodes havent focused on the characters, they’re definitely more about a situational theme. Hope it bounces back…regardless, great show!

  28. I’m new to The Office so I don’t know what constitutes a “filler” episode for The Office, but that’s what it felt like. It didn’t seem to move anything forward. It was funny and I laughed but I just didn’t see the point of this ep I guess.

  29. This episode did seem super short. During the breaks I actually started to get anxious because the commercials kept going on and on and on.

    But I really enjoyed what I saw for the short time I got to see it.

  30. Interesting review. I certainly laughed a lot; the script was very clever – the betting, Creed (he pulled off that apple/potato bit so seamlessly, and I loved his little squeal when he said hello to Pam), Darryl & Lonnie, the Madge bit, all funny, great satire.
    Dwight was in his element this episode! – anyone else think so? This was my favorite Dwight episode, aside from The Speech.
    But I agree that in general the episode left me feeling kind of lonely for something….because, as others mention, it did consist of a zillion funny bits crammed into 22 minutes; my feeling is that there were none of those lingering small moments that really define the show, Jim/Pam or otherwise. But I would like to have seen some stronger Jim/Pam team work/connection when they realize Michael intended to jump, I guess.
    And I agree wholeheartedly with Tori’s assessment of Karen. Furthermore, I cannot abide the actress; the Valley Girl delivery, the weirdly plucked eyebrows…I already have second thoughts about investing in a season 3 DVD for this reason alone.

  31. I definitely agree with post 33 about Darryl; between his abrasive beratement of Michael (I know the guy broke his foot, but still…) and the 8 minutes or so that it took to get the story set for Michael to be on the roof, it was a stilted episode. BUT once he got up there and the betting started, I thought it was on par with all the greatness of s2. I think the previous post made a good point about BJ’s handling on the characters; I also thought the boner line in “sexual harassment” was a bit off for Michael.
    I really liked this episode a lot. I agree that it should have been supersized and not “The Negotiation,” but I thought “Cocktails,” “Phyllis’ Wedding,” “Gay Witch Hunt,” and several others should have been longer, too. I think the office is a unique comedy in that it really CAN’T be neatly fit into 20 minutes all of the time. NBC should seriously consider longer episodes to preserve the quality of the show (which is not lacking but would skyrocket with some more longer episodes).
    I’ve said way too much. Eff.

  32. You summarized my feelings perfectly. There were lots of hilarious moments, but I think they failed to bring home the “A” plot. Michael has a childish obliviousness to the consequences of his actions, which led to him actually putting his life in danger when he thought he only “performing.” (The trampoline from the toy store and the bouncy castle nicely symbolized his childlike approach, BTW.) Pam offering him a present to come down was in keeping with this theme. But then having Michael get bummed about his relationship with Jan, and Darryl underscoring how hard it is to be the trainwreck that is Michael Scott, kind of derailed the theme and made it more of an SNL-ish parody of a cliched suicide scenario, and less of a character-driven one. I would have liked to see Michael stay clueless until the end.

  33. RE: #38 Rachel (2)
    Your Karen/Rashida assessment made me laugh.
    People are very polarized about her. Either she’s a cool goddess or an annoying character/marginal actress.

  34. I thought the episode was very funny in a lot of ways, but I kind of agree that it did seem a little disjointed. But Rachel (2), to say that this or the the speech episode was Dwight’s funniest, you must not have seen The Injury. Not only is it a Dwight masterpiece, but it is my favorite Office episode ever. But the speech and this one were very funny Dwight-style.

  35. I totally agree with the review. I loved the betting storyline. But Michael and Dwight kind of dragged out a bit. At one point I actually stopped paying attention. (Although it was only for a moment.) But for me its a big deal just because I pretty much schedule all my Thursday activities just so I can be in my jammies and in front of the tv in time for the show. I do agree that we need to know more about Andy soon before I stop feeling pity for him, and start disliking him again.

  36. (In regards to the betting storyline) “The only thing we learned is Karen doesn’t fit in with the rest of the office. We already knew that.”…

    Yes, we already knew that, but Karen did NOT. I think this is the first time really see Karen actually feeling like she doesn’t belong, even though we’ve known it since the day she came to Scranton. I think it will be a very important development with her character and where that takes her relationship with Jim.

  37. Why does it feel like everyone hated this episode?

    I thought it was one of the best of the season. I felt like I was watching, (dare say it) as season two episode, like on the Jim and Pam drama, and a whole lot of ensemble storylines.

  38. I thought it seemed like an episode with not much happening, but that didn’t bother me too much. I can see both views, though. I work in an office, albeit of a different sort, and some of the best stories I have are from days when little consequential happened.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing Karen doesn’t fit in with this crowd. They aren’t exactly all normal.

  39. I read some of the comments that said they were disappointed that Jim and Pam didn’t “save” Michael. But really, Michael needed Darryl to be the one to talk him off the roof. His whole point of going up there was to show the warehouse people that it was “dangerous” to work in an office.
    Personally, I loved the episode. It was a great break from the monotony of the JAM storyline. I’m rootin’ for those two kids (although I really like Karen), but there are plenty more people who work in Dunder Mifflin-Scranton that I want to see. While the interaction wasn’t there, this was a good JAM episode because there wasn’t that friction.

  40. Wow! Thank you all for leaving a comment!

    I, of course, don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and it has been really interesting reading what you like and didn’t like in this episode.

    It was hard for me to write this review. This was really the first episode I haven’t liked. Sure, there are some I love more than others, but never have I just not liked one. I guess it bound to happen at some point.

    I still think The Office is the best show on television and I am already looking forward to next week!

  41. I have to say that I disagree; I thought it was one of the best episodes of the season. “The Negotiation,” while funny, was too heavy on the drama for me. I don’t mind Jim/Pam drama every once in awhile, but I much prefer episodes like this one. I was laughing the entire time and it felt more like Season 2 to me.

  42. 48 | Ignorant Slut: I have to disagree with you. I think they have shown Karen realizing she doesn’t fit in with this bunch before:

    The Merger, she insults Phyllis’ perfume.

    A Benihana Christmas, she gets kicked out of the party planning committee.

    Traveling Salesman, Phyllis shows her how sales are “done up” Scranton style.

    The Return, she doesn’t go along with a prank only to see Pam and Jim pull one later.

    I think Karen is constantly fighting against the feeling she is not one of the pack.

    BTW – I am not a Karen hater. I actually really like her character and wish she could stick around even if she isn’t dating Jim. I think if Jim wasn’t involved in the scenario, Karen and Pam would be friends. Even with Jim involved, they kind of are friends. They got along great in Ben Franklin, and Pam stuck up for her during the jelly bean bet. Pam needs a girl in the office to talk to who isn’t crazy.

  43. Excellent re-cap, as always, Tori. I did, however, love this episode. It was funny as heck and I enjoyed having an angst free episode. Because Michael’s “suicide” attempt was definitely not angst filled. It was funny. As was the Kelly/Netflix and Creed/Applotato bits.

  44. I hate to say it, but I agree with tori one hundred percent. I will add, though, that the episode is much better on a second viewing…great lines, though, “Shun/Unshun,” “This day isn’t about thinking, it’s about doing,” which if you really think about is what Michael does everyday. A funny episode, but not a great story to tell in 22 min. Tori is right, they tried to tell too much story in too little time. I kept waiting for Michael to jump…because I thought the results would be hilarious!

  45. I’m going to have to disagree with Tori about Karen already knowing that she doesn’t fit in. Almost every “Karen not fitting in the rest” example you used were completely understandable, as they were all firsts for Karen.

    -The Phyllis perfume comment was on Karen’s first day at Scranton! Of course she’s not going to know what’s up!

    -Benihana Christmas was her first time in the party planning committee, and she was still a recent transfer (remember, she tried to give ideas on how the new Stamford people can feel more welcome)

    -Traveling Salesman was probably her first sales call with Scranton, and even if it wasn’t, it was clearly her first one with Phyllis…otherwise she would’ve known about the makeover. Jim seemed surprised at the makeover too, even though he knows Phyllis well and ought to know that her partner would get a makeover, right?

    -Karen doesn’t go along with the prank in the Return only because she is swamped with Dwight’s work, not because she doesn’t know how to fit in.

    That being said, I can see how none of those situations would make Karen self-aware of her outsider status. Most of those times she was still pretty darn new at Scranton. And during that time she made friends with Pam, befriended Phyllis through the sales call, and probably felt like part of the group when everyone went to “her” Christmas party instead of Angela’s. But through the betting in this episode, Karen is confronted with the fact that she really doesn’t know the Scranton people that well, or at least as well as she thought she did…especially now that she’s been there a while. Everything in the past can be excused or explained away, but this time it’s right in front of her face. That’s the difference.

    I have to disagree about the episode too, although I can understand your viewpoint. I think that the timing of the episode doesn’t work in it’s favor,being hot on the heels of a super-sized, super-hyped turning-point episode last week. But I thought Safety Training was hilarious and went back to a “spoof of stuff that happens in a real office” (i.e. Diversity Day, Sexual Harassment, Health Care, etc.) theme that has been kind of lacking this season.

  46. Hey Tori – great review! Thanks for your always honest opinion. I can see why some folks didn’t like it. I agree with Evan and others, though, about the normalness and subtlety of the episode and that’s why I really liked it. Two words – character development!

    It was awesome to see Darryl and the warehouse crew in their element, and to see Darryl go from pissed off at Michael to ultimately “saving” him. That is grace, if you believe in that sort of thing, and I thought it was a great storyline for both characters. And the way Michael tries to save face at the end by making it look like he was in control, when he is actually very depressed.

    One of my favorite parts was when Jim and Pam both realized Michael was going to jump. They reacted in the same way – mild panic and springing into action – and it showed a depth of understanding of and caring about Michael that can only come from having worked with him for so long. I think it also shows that their connection is so strong that they can be friends after all they’ve been through. Great JAM moment without being a JAM moment.

    Kelly and Ryan were ADORABLE. How cute was it that Ryan kissed her on the forehead? Anyhoo, apologies for the long post. Can’t wait for the rest of the season!

  47. I was in Monterey for a mini-vacation and rushed back to my hotel to watch “Safety Training” Thursday night. I must say that I think it was the weakest “Office” episode to date. It just wasn’t very funny, and the plot line was almost non-existent.

    I was eager to get back to OT and see if my opinion was shared. This review is right-on with my take on the episode.

    I love the show, but I certainly hope they step it up. Let’s hope the quality of “Safety Training” is a fluke and not an indication of future scripts.

  48. The “Ignorant Slut” part was truly hilarious. Other than that, this episode didn’t have lots of laughs like the wonderful “Negotiation”.

  49. I kinda think this is the worst review I have read on this website.

    “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.
    ” What? What show are you watching? Why would Pam ever open her shirt for someone? Where does this comment fit into your review? A lot of your comments just seemed out of place this week.

    And please, just because it doesnt have any Jam in it doesnt make it a bad episode. I hate that it always comes down to that.

    I love this website but I can never read any of the viewers comments afterwards because they are always so negative it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  50. Exactly. I was waiting and waiting for the punchline to the betting storyline…and it was really weak. The Mellencamp joke was hilarious but still.

    It just felt…epic. Maybe we’ll see a bunch of long deleted scenes later? I just don’t think it meshed very well with last week’s. But it’s still the best show on television…

    Great review!

  51. I have to disagree. I feel like a lot of this season has been very dramatic and while I understand it is necessary for plot development and continuation, this episode was a welcome change of pace. I agree with someone else’s comment that it felt more like season two, which in my opinion was overall a better season.

    I liked having moments like Jim and Pam being the ones to realize what Michael was up to because they have so often in the past. I think the betting plotline was bringing back the idea of the workday being terribly mundane, and so you have to entertain yourself, even while your boss is plotting his own accidental suicide.

    While I agree that some of the Dwight/Michael scenes were drawn out, I think it was a really funny episode and I laughed out loud more during this one on the first viewing than the rest of the season’s episodes.

    I’m just sick of repeats.

  52. 61 | Kristen: That was just a joke. Of course Pam would never really open her shirt for Michael, but we all know that would have gotten him off the roof faster than a speeding bullet.

    She also wasn’t really going to give him a Expo female robot only available in Japan.

  53. At least I wasn’t the only one thinking Pam was going to flash Michael the sweater puppies to get him off the roof. I think they missed a great opportunity for hilarity. Just imagine Jim’s reaction shot to the camera guy on that one, and maybe even a quick-thinking nod to the camera man for him to actually point the camera at Pam so he could see the footage later. haha And then a worried glance around to see if Karen was looking. And of course, Michael would have to call Jan afterwards to tell her that he was “with” another woman. haha HILARITY I tell you.

  54. While I do like the drama that this show has to offer, “Safety Training” was a much needed dose of laugh out loud silliness that made me love this show. I don’t think it was anything like a bunch of deleted scenes put together but it was a bit jarring at times. But lets be real… this show really is a comedy with a good subplot drama underneath. I’m glad they put the subplot away for one week just to enjoy the absurdity and hilarity of the show.

  55. Awesome episode.
    I think it was one of the best this season!!!

    P.S. Don’t jump on the bouncy castle.

  56. Eh, didn’t like this review. Suicide jokes aren’t that funny. Nevertheless I thought the episode was hysterical. I watched it twice in a row and I laughed my butt off both times. It was brilliant. The storylines were cute, especially the betting. I thought it flowed beautifully. It has that power. I hate that so many of you are so critical of a TV show that’s outdoing everything else on Television right now. Enjoy it… it’s only TV, and it’s doing better than you.

  57. re: comment 61, Kristin…

    I agree 100%. So many people who say they love this show are outrageously critical for no good reason except that they just want to talk.

  58. I agree with “hey bailey” that the episode really was much better on second viewing. I watched it from Seattle later and laughed a lot more. The episode was kind of jumpy – short scenes strung together – and once you already know what is going to happen, it’s easier to enjoy the moments. Actually, I’m sitting at my desk laughing right now thinking about the look on Stanley’s face when he comes out at the end and sees his car…

  59. There’s no denying that “The Office” has set the bar very high for itself in terms of what its fans expect from it. If you believe that any criticism of the show stems only from people wanting to hear themselves “talk”, I think you ignore the fact that anyone obsessed enough with “The Office” to spend hours on this site is not here because they want to bash it.
    Blind faith and a prohibition on dissenting opinion shouldn’t be requirements for participation on Office Tally, I don’t think.
    Having said that, “Safety Training” was better upon repeat viewing. There are a number of small things that really stand out as quite funny: Creed “discovering” the bouncy house in the bushes while zipping up his pants, the bets (especially the Kelly bet), Dwight discussing being shunned as an Amish child, Darryl’s difficulty in namimg reasons for Michael to want to live. And the trunk full of watermelons.
    Still, this episode is probably my least favorite of Season 3, but far better than any other show on network TV, and certainly better than repeats!

  60. I, myself am an avid OfficeTally lurker, and I STILL don’t criticize The Office – even if I don’t particularly love the newest episode. I think criticism stems from anticipation for a new episode, and being somewhat “let down”.

    Anyway, the things you, Hot Dog Fingers, mentioned that you loved about the episode was basically the entire episode… so I can’t say I have anything to technically disagree with

    I’m brazen enough to say that this episode might have been my favorite of the season – not in any way kidding whatsoever.

  61. Anonymous-
    I’d like to think that we can all discuss the quality of epsodes, albeit subjectively, and agree or disagree knowing that we all love this show.
    I don’t agree that a few elements of the episode equal the sum of its plot or overall story.
    There are episodes that have blown me away, or tickled me pink. “Safety Training” did neither, despite its bright moments.
    I don’t want to be labelled as an “Office” naysayer just because I think this episode came in a little light. I really do love “The Office” and I think the PTB are holding back for a big season finale.
    As I said before, a second viewing revealed more subtle bright spots, but “Safety Training” wasn’t on par with, say, “Cocktails” or almost any other episode from this season.
    I expect that, when we all get Season 3 on DVD, it will stand out as the fluff episode of the series.
    That’s okay…. I still expect excellence from the remaining stories.
    “The Office” rarely disappoints.
    Ray

  62. Great review Tori! I have to say that I agreed with you at first. When I first watched this episode I couldn’t help but feel like I was waiting for something that never happened. And I tossed it aside as just being a “filler” episode until the season finale. It is, especially in regard to jam. But then I watched it again, knowing full well that whatever I was waiting for was not actually going to happen, and found myself able to enjoy all the subtle humor that I missed in my first viewing. Like when Michael is telling dwight “you know what our biggest killer is?” and dwight looks at him knowingly and says “wolves.” Highest of comedy. Or “quiz, mike, should you drive the forklift?” And dwight fist pumping at the machine and Andy trying to follow suit. At the end I found myself thinking that this was one the funniest episodes of the season, second for me only to A benihana christmas, if only they had made it a two part episode as well.

    I also agree with previous posts that BJ might have bitten off more than he could chew and was a little ambitious with how much he wanted to incorporate into this episode. But honestly, I can’t blame him. There are too many interesting characters and story lines to just ignore episode after episode. We only get glimpses of them here and there. I’ve always loved episodes of the warehouse, and this had some of that, and I loved office olympics, and this had some of that, as well as a great amount of Dwight and Michael time which is all gold. But unfortunately too much isn’t always a good thing, and it did come off as a little disorganized. If only the writers always had a full hour to work with…

  63. I think it might just be a matter of opinion. Me, my boyfriend, my parents and all of my (3) siblings thought this episode was one of the best this season – and those are just the people I’ve talked to about it so far! Just because it had no deep plotline doesn’t mean it isn’t up to par with the rest of the episodes from this season. Because technically, season 2 was more fluff than anything – espeically at the beginning… And some of those episodes are the best episodes ever. I doubt I’m the only one to think so!

  64. I seem to be agreeing with everyone for some reason that this was the BEST and WORST of the season. How is that possible you ask? I don’t know. All I know is that when they DO put in continuing story lines with Jam and Jam still aren’t together I end up a little sad afterwards (still loving the show, of course).

    ‘Safety Training’ was kind of a relief from all that Jam angst and I ended up satisfied and smiling when it was all over. We need a little fluff sometimes to keep it light and forget the drama. And actually, I think there was a lot of Jam in this episode, but it was subtle. They were back to their old shenanigans and pulled together to save Michael just like old times (well, sort of). Plus, I noticed a lot of sweet smiles coming from Jim as he and Pam were in the parking lot together and THAT is always nice; especially when Karen isn’t around (not that I hate Karen. I like her; just not with Jim). Oh and I LOVED the betting. Too funny.

    The downside was that it dragged a bit in the beginning for me and that it didn’t go anywhere. It’s kind of a double edged sword, though, isn’t it?…because we need the fluff episodes to keep things light and fun, but then you’re slightly disappointed that story lines didn’t progress much. I don’t know. I’m conflicted here, but I DID enjoy the show; especially the second time around. Dwight’s “wolves” line was great and I liked that Andy seemed a little shy. That was cute.

    How will I make it two whole weeks without my fix?

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