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The Office – “Todd Packer”

Well, they can’t all be winners. This week’s Office focused on Michael’s oldest friend, Todd Packer. Packer, you might remember, is a huge jerk who makes everyone uncomfortable with his mean sense of humor. The character has been consistently used as someone whom everyone hates, which means he’s pretty hard for the audience to like. You’d think with an episode like they, the show would endeavor to humanize Packer in some way. It kind of did, but it failed.

So Packer wants a job in the office. He’s tired of being on the road and maybe wants to get to know his daughter better. Of course Michael is fine with him returning, fast-tracking his return with Holly’s help. Holly has never met Packer and doesn’t realize the full extant of what she has done. Some bad hump-related humor later, and everyone is desperate to get rid of Packer. Dwight and Jim team up to prank him out of there, but Michael finds out about their scheme. Then Packer makes the mistake of insulting Holly to Michael’s face, so Michael let’s him go.

Frankly, the “this guy’s a jerk” humor just doesn’t work for me. I thought the show could do a lot better, since it is pretty much the master of uncomfortable situations. Instead, Packer just comes off as an unbelievable asshole, and it’s pretty hard to believe Michael still doesn’t realize it (especially since he has realized it before). Jim and Dwight’s scheme didn’t even seem that clever, I guess Packer just realize is that stupid.

In other news, Pam gave Erin a fancy new computer. Andy is jealous, so he convinces Pam to let him destroy his computer so that she can buy him a new one. Once again, this could have worked in a more interesting way, but Andy comes off looking like a selfish jerk. Which he is, actually. But there was some potential to this episode, it just never quite got there.


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