February 25, 2010

Season 1, Episode 3: The Quiz

This episode made me sad. It was almost like watching “Lars and the Real Girl” again. Birthday episodes in general are downers, but in classic Office fashion we go past normal TV to uncomfortably close to home. The opening scene sets the tone of the episode, Tim alone in the office talking about the gift his mum got him. The aging loner alone on his birthday in the cold unforgiving world, it’s not as sad as “Rambo” Tim can still speak English, but still sad.

Dawn gives the episode a real edge, she is his only friend in the office and the only friend we know of period. That is all she is though, as much as Tim would like to change that, she is the forbidden fruit. Her card “What do your money and your penis have in common? I can find a lot of women to blow your money” was a knife wound. But having her boyfriend bring him his present, a giant inflatable penis, was twisting it home.

The Quiz was the ultimate reality check. The office goes out for drinks for Tim’s birthday, but that doesn’t last long. After a quick happy birthday he is all but forgotten, Dawn’s cheer for a speech is squelched and the focus is back to the quiz. Tim’s birthday is completely marginalized by everyone even Tim, now all that matters is beating Finchie. Finally it is down to Tim’s team against David and Finchi’s for a winner takes all sudden death round, and who takes the stage for Tim’s team not the birthday boy but his teammate. Then the glory they win so pop the champagne rite? Wrong, their win is disputed, and how to decide? Not with the birthday man-boy, with his shoes.

This sad reality gets a 5


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