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The Office: New Year Revolutions

Michael Scott is entering his home stretch, and even though The Office has lagged in recent years, I’ve been happy with this season. I laughed so much during last night’s episode that I didn’t even take any notes. The show was too funny to be bothered to stop and write.

First, let’s talk about Michael’s preparations for Holly’s post-ultimatum return to the office. He knew she was delivering an ultimatum to A.J. over the holidays and would either come back single or engaged. So what does one do in such a situation? Well, if you’re Michael Scott, you have the secretary help you prepare a happy box and a sad box, as well as two videos meant to talk yourself down from either insane happiness or total despair.

Holly came back without a ring, so Michael celebrated. There was silly string. He blasted “My Life Would Suck Without You”. He had a dance-off with himself, in the video he’d created. He sprayed Erin with champagne. It was brilliant. Then, of course, he found out that Holly had neither broken up or gotten engaged with A.J. Everything was the same as before. Probably because two minutes after walking out of the office she realized one should never take advice from Kelly Kapoor.

Michael used Pam’s new “New Year Resolutions” board as a way to criticize Holly for not following through with the ultimatum. Pam had gotten the idea from the office manager at Vance Refrigeration, who was extremely…enthusiastic. She had everyone put their resolution on the board, which ranged from the sad (Andy’s “Learn to cook for one”) to the hilarious (Kelly’s “Get more attention by any means possible”) to the gross (Dwight’s “Meet a loose woman”). Angela had also pledged to make more time for romance with the (state) senator, Pam promised to cut down on caffeine and Kevin said he’d eat more vegetables. Which was easy, since he’d had zero the previous year.

In the first meeting Michael freaked out and bullied Creed for not following through on the cartwheel he’d promised, and then force-fed Kevin some broccoli, which he ate from the stem up. It was obvious what he was doing, and Holly left in tears. Then he called Kevin and Creed into a meeting (with Holly present as the HR rep) and delivered a very heartfelt apology that was meant for Holly. It was the sweet side of Michael that we only see once in a while (like when he went to Pam’s art show) and it worked – Holly told A.J. she thinks they should go on a break until she returns to Nashua.

The sub-plot was just as funny. Since Darryl’s resolution was to read more, he fed Dwight and Andy a story about how easy it is to meet girls in bookstores so that he could score a free ride. Word on the street is that one of this three will be the new Michael. I was hoping for a new character, but Darryl is so funny that of the three I’m rooting for them. Dwight’s too mean to be in charge, and Andy’s practically Michael’s clone. The guys thought about hitting up a strip club after the bookstore, but instead they went to the roller rink across the street. I love when I know Andy will be awesome at something and it turns out to be even funnier than I expected. They wrapped up their visit by dancing around in socks after the kid running the place offered to put on “the strobe”. My life needs more dancing Darryl in it.

What did you think of the episode? Will Michael and Holly end up together? Are you excited for Ricky Gervais to appear?

Here’s some of the funnier lines and moments from “Ultimatum”:

  • Dwight’s reaction when Jim accidentally crashed his vigilante meeting. 
  • “Wow, did your baby draw that?” – Dwight, when Pam showed them the Resolutions Board
  • Erin: “Gummy bears and gummy worms?”
    Michael: “Bears sad, worms happy… come on, Erin.”
  •  “I’m really excited for Michael either way, because if Holly chooses to be with him, he will be so, so happy. And if not, he’ll be avoiding the biggest mistake of his life.” – Erin (her hatred of Holly is my favorite)
  • Kevin giving Holly the finger when she shows him her naked ring fingers.
  • Tension between Erin and Gabe! Is there hope for her and Andy after all?
  • “2011 is coming up all Darryl.” – Darryl
  • Darryl buying a Kindle, which holds ten thousand rather than ten books and is “So light, like a croissant.”
  • “My goal was to learn a new word every day, and I must say that it is going immensely.” – Erin
  • Kevin turning Ryan’s “Live life like an art project” resolution into “fart project”; Pam dumping the whole board into the trash.

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