The Emmy Awarding winning television series took off with its sixth season of fantastically awkward white-collar humor last Thursday, Sept. 17. Though NBC’s mock documentary comedy has long strayed from the equally brilliant BBC original and has developed its own style of humor, the new season pilot, “Gossip,” demonstrated a promising start to Dunder Mifflin fans everywhere for the upcoming episodes.
“Gossip,” centered on regional manager Michael Scott’s (Steve Carell) ingenious plan to cover up a fellow employee’s extramarital affairs with other absurd and ridiculous rumors, led off the season effectively by introducing elements that are both familiar to old fans and comfortable to new audiences. From the illogical, childish behaviors of Michael Scott and the inappropriate Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) to the wits and charms of the ever so lovable Jim and Pam (“Jam”) to each of the individual supporting characters, every bit of personality within the show was somehow connected by the rumors circulating the office. Not only was this a great way to introduce all the characters of the series to the new viewers, it also allowed old fans to quickly reunite with their old on-screen favorites.
, for those who have not experienced it, is a form of classy entertainment as it is neither extremely dark nor dominated by strong language and explicit material.
The jokes in the show are both witty and in good taste. Though sensitive subjects such as race or sex often come up, they are executed in such a manner that the audience in no way feels uncomfortable. This is mainly due to the fact that the humor is expressed so bluntly that the audience cannot possibly take it seriously.
For example, although both homosexuality and marital infidelity played a heavy part in season six episode “Gossip,” the entire thirty minutes felt like a picnic at the beach, full of happiness and laughter.
However, this does have its drawbacks of sometimes giving off the impression that takes most controversial and important matters lightly. Quite the contrary, the show radiates powerful political statements by mocking the characters instead. By showing the ignorance of characters such as Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute and Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), the show mocks the simplicity with which people act in regards to race, sex or human rights. creates humor which is apparent throughout the latest season.
The unique blend of different, flawed, personalities and their interactions within a mundane working environment makes it hard for anyone to not be able to find at least one character that intriguing. Plus, the often outright ridiculous and unimaginable stories and comments provided by these people are what make the show so addictive.
Over the past few years, the show has had its share of downtimes. Sometimes an entire episode will be tasteless humor elaborated by Scott’s childish acts. Sometimes the show gets so caught up in the five minutes that defined the relationship between Jim and Pam that it “forgot” to make the rest of the twenty-five minutes entertaining. Other times, episodes go on with no entertainment values at all.
If last Thursday proved anything, it was that the new season of found a new balance between sharing characters and still providing witticism. It is exciting to see that it has the potential to once again dominate Thursday night television. So for those who are simply looking for a feel-good comedy, this is it.