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The Office Review: "Training Day" (Episode 7.20)

April 15, 2011  |  3:43pm
<em>The Office</em> Review: "Training Day" (Episode 7.20)

The last time we saw the Dunder Mifflin gang, they were leaving us all misty-eyed after Michael’s adorable proposal to Holly. How quickly things shift: this week, The Office traded sentimentality for belly-laughs as Will Ferrell began his run as regional manager.

Ferrell appears as D’Angelo Vickers, Michael’s successor. The pair hit it off instantly in the bar of a hotel, unaware that they’re supposed to be meeting each other. While Dwight sulks over not being considered for the position, the rest of the office attempts to win over D’Angelo however they can — whether it be endlessly talking about their baby (Jim and Pam), talking about the Southwest (Darryl) or painfully becoming the butt of every joke (Andy).

Steve Carell and Ferrell played off of each other to hilarious effect. Anyone who’s seen Anchorman probably won’t expect anything less from the duo, and so far, they haven’t disappointed. Their back-and-forth in the bar often felt improvised, and the scenes they shared were far and away the funniest of the episode. There were several hints at underlying conflict (Dwight realizing Michael never recommended him as his replacement, Michael reluctantly handing over the reigns to D’Angelo), but for the most part, this week was about offbeat humor.

It was a nice change of pace after a few weeks of personal growth and emotional moments. The Office so often relies on a blend of drama and humor, but sometimes, a comedy is at its best when it’s simply making you laugh, and that was the case with “Training Day.”

Stray observations
-D’Angelo referring to the conference room as the “multipurpose room” was a nice touch that hinted at the many ways in which he’s different than Michael.
-”Do not tell my fiancee that I’m drinking on a Wednesday.” “I won’t. I don’t know her.”
-Why you should never, ever ski: “I don’t want to end up like Sonny Bobo.” “Everyone I know who skis is dead.”
-Darryl’s casual conversation: “I love the desert. It’s one of my favorite ecosystems.”
-Be careful with those PB&Js: “You’ll get nut particles all in the air!”

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