The Office

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Meet the New Boss

Kelly, Meredith, and Angela are quietly debating Charles's attractiveness when Jim comes up to him and introduces himself, offering to help out if there's anything he needs. Charles looks him up and down, and we see how humorless this dude really is when he fails to make a crack about Jim being a maitre d' or something. Instead, he simply asks, "Why are you wearing a tuxedo?" Jim, wisely or unwisely, tells the truth about Dwight's memo, completely failing to amuse Charles. But Jim just keeps babbling until Pam all but drags him away. Then they do a joint TH in which Pam is hugely amused, and Jim is hugely not. "Thought it would be funny," he whispers, red-faced. It's not that it isn't; it's just not that funny.

Michael starts by introducing the accounting department with way too much TMI, which is not as redundant as it sounds. Charles cuts off Michael's outline of Oscar's and Angela's respective sexual histories (and Kevin's alleged lack of one) to just say hi to everyone. He makes some references to the tough economy. Stanley raises a hand to ask about layoffs, which Michael tries to deny outright, but Charles says they'll do their best to avoid them. Oscar asks for specifics, which apparently Michael was supposed to tell them about last week, and of course didn't, because it's Michael. Charles tells them about some new measures: no more 401(k) matching, overtime only when approved by Corporate, and a freeze on discretionary spending. Which means no parties. "What about your party?" Dwight whispers to Michael, and gets blown off. Michael thinks Charles is done and tries to give him a little send-off, but apparently Charles is staying for the day. In a lying-head shot from his office, Michael says, "I am thrilled that the new boss has taken such an active interest in all the responsibilities that I'm supposed to have. Thrilled."

After the ads, Michael is already so disillusioned with Charles that he's on the speakerphone with Wallace, trying to make a case for just leaving the regional VP job open. "I think I thrive under a lack of accountability," he claims. Wallace tells Michael to give Charles a chance, and from a spot creepily close to Michael's shoulder, Dwight suddenly appears to remind Michael to ask about the party. Michael asks Wallace if he's coming, and Wallace pretends he'll try. "No, the other thing," Dwight corrects. Michael asks, "If we hire Cirque du Soleil as salaried employees, will that help us with the year-end tax stuff?" There's such a long pause that they think Wallace hung up, but finally he sighs, "No." Wow, they could have sold another commercial in that pause right there.

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The Office

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