Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review - The Office Season 7 Episode 10 China

It's hard to believe exactly how ignorant Michael is. He discovers how powerful China is after reading Newsweek, and makes a big deal about it, including going on the internet to find additional facts. We're supposed to believe that this is the first time Michael has ever come across information about China undercutting US hegemony, which is ridiculous. It's the one big point the audience has to overlook.

The good thing is that the episode doesn't turn into a ridiculous display of Michael going overboard and doing something stupid like gathering the employees host an anti-China rally. Instead, the China issue sparks an opportunity to explore the office dynamic. Oscar, the guy who always corrects everyone else, gets bested by Michael on one issue and the entire office kind of jumps on Oscar's back. At the end of the day, everyone knows Oscar is smarter, but what he doesn't have is Michael's lofty dreams and irrational logic; basically, he's talking like a politician.

Meanwhile, Pam, the self-appointed office manager, battles Dwight over the conditions of the building which Dwight bought last season. Again, we have to assume that no one in the office knows about OSHA or labor laws. Pam uses a bit of trickery, faking the existence of a better building, to force Dwight's hand, until he discovers the ruse.

"China" is an episode which could have spiraled out of control into the madness we've seen before. By showing restraint, the writers crafted a quieter episode which was pretty enjoyable.

Score: 8.7/10
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