Friday, October 24, 2008

Should Holly get the boot from corporate?

Thaaat's what he said

Is it just me, or has "The Office" screwed up by introducing Michael's new gal pal Holly? Not that there haven't been a few laughs, but I don't see where this relationship can possibly lead.

Sure, technically she's not quite as clueless as he is, but a little of the new HR rep with a blind spot for the World's Greatest Boss goes a long way. At least for me. And it's territory already well covered by Micheal Scott himself.

As I see it, sitcoms are a delicate balance of characters pulling strategically against each other for just the right amount of tension and comedy. There's only room for one Jim Ignatowski in "Taxi," one barstool at "Cheers" that fits Cliff Clavin's keister just right. Just look at the overnight train wreck that "News Radio" became after Phil Hartman died and was replaced by Jon Lovitz, who essentially arrived as a second Andy Dick.

It looked like "The Office" had a similar problem brewing when Andy arrived from Stamford, but the show managed to shade his differences just enough to compliment, not clash with Dwight's mojo. That's going to be tougher to do with Holly. Already things feel a might forced -- not to mention how double-the-dorkiness draws too much attention to the, let's face it, impossible existence of a guy like Michael Scott in a position of authority in the politically correct realm of corporate America. And if he represents the show's realty-piercing punchline, her character commits the cardinal sin of comedy by taking us past the punchline.

Maybe nothing to worry about. I read somewhere Amy Ryan was initially booked for only half a dozen episodes. Last night's complication is perfectly timed to make just such a deadline. Either way, I have faith in Greg Daniels to make it all better. Sure hope so. I'd hate to have to start buying my paper from Staples again.

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