The Office
Local Ad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | Grade It Now!
Local Ad

A thirty-minute sitcom episode? If you say so, NBC.

Michael's in mid-presentation as we open the episode, which is historically never good for anyone, but he seems to have some degree of control right now as he leads a brainstorming session for their very first TV ad. Phyllis suggests dancing babies, which I'm sure Angela finds deeply offensive (or else totally adorable, it's hard to tell). Andy throws in his opinion that the best ad ever was...and then he starts singing: "Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that..." He totally blanks on the name of the product that finishes that lyric (Kit-Kat Bar), and the show pointedly refuses to acknowledge The Singing Bee by making a Joey Fatone joke. As Andy grasps for the right words, Jim yelps, "Nobody tell him!" He tells Andy he's so close, he doesn't want anyone else to ruin it for him. Andy knows it's three syllables, and thus he begins his episode-long quest to fill in those syllables with product names: "Ap-ple-sauce!" "Chrys-ler-Car!" "Foot-ball-Cream!" Michael finally shushes him and brings it back to the ad. Pam announces that she's taking a computer animation class, so she's going to make a logo. Michael is condescendingly proud of her.

Cut to later, as Michael's meeting with the professional ad guys Corporate has sent to make the commercial. He introduces them to the various office employees -- you know, "the talent" -- including Andy Bernard, who Michael on-the-spot dubs "The 'Nard Dog." Andy gives great back rubs and also "aromatherapy," which he demonstrates by making a fart noise with his mouth and then yelling "You just got 'Nard-Dogged!" I got 'Nard-Dogged once and had to get an injection for it. Michael introduces Stanley as their key to the urban market (Stanley, as always, doesn't know what Michael's talking about), Phyllis as a "Mrs. Butterworth" type, and the accounting department as made up of three people of various sizes. Jim interviews that it's great they're doing a commercial, because maybe now people will know what he does for a living. As it stands now, when people hear "Dunder Mifflin," they think "mufflers" or "muffins" or "mittens." Wow, I just got an idea for my specialty bodega; thanks, Jim!

After the credits, we look in on Dwight, who is at his desk, immersed in Second Life. Jim asks if he's playing his "game" again, but Dwight stresses that Second Life is a "multi-user virtual environment" that doesn't have things like points or scores or winners and losers. Jim: "Oh, it has losers." Maybe it's just me, but ever since Dwight's post-Angela meltdowns and Jim and Pam's subsequent feeling sorry for him, it's been harder to transition back into Jim-mocks-Dwight mode without sensing more mean-spiritedness than I recall in previous episodes. Anyway, Dwight interviews that he signed up for Second Life a year ago, because his life was so great that he literally wanted a second one. His SL character is like him in every way -- paper salesman, bad haircut, named Dwight -- except for the fact that Second Life Dwight can fly. We catch a glimpse of flying Dwight, and we see he's captioned in the game as "Asst to Regional Mgr Dwight Shelford." Okay, 1) He's still "assistant to the regional manager" even in Second Life, and 2) "Shelford"? That one I don't get.

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The Office




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