April 8, 2010

Season 2 Episode 5 Charity

My feelings about this show had very convoluted evolution. More specifically, I went from thinking David Brent was basically a caricature of “The Boss Man” on “reality” TV, too Oh! Well I guess he’s somewhat of a pitiful man-boy who can’t quite fit in; too Awww that’s sad he lost his job, too WOW David Brent is real and his name is Ricky Gervias and man is he an asshole! Maybe he’s also a man-boy who never quite fit in and now he’s got himself his very own TV show.

Let me explain, today was the first day I went back to work after taking off for the holidays. So naturally I had a crapload of work sitting on my desk and naturally instead of actually doing my work I started to browse the internet. Like I do every day I check out The AV Club and I found that Zack Handlen had just done a piece on The Office UK. So convincing myself that I’m not being lazy and actually doing work I read the article. After reading what Zack had to say I was convinced, for a short period of time, that my previous understanding of David, as the boss in the Dilbert comic strip on ego-steroids, was a little flawed and in fact David was actually what happens to that shy kid in your class that wasn’t a nerd or a jock just kind of so so at everything and no one remembers his name at the five year school reunion (Oh Joe right we were in home room right, Trig? and you sat next to me? Really? Oh, oh yah). So I kind of started to feel for the guy, instead of why is he making an ass of himself I started to feel like maybe we should give him a break, he tries so hard come on laugh at his joke just once it’s like charity (and you’ll feed children in Africa).

After this brainwashing I actually sat down to watch the episode and I liked it again! I still take umbrage at the whole pointless Tim and Dawn bit, the episode is about firing David stop confusing me with Tim playing with Dawn’s heart and his feelings for Rachel or is it his understanding of what he’s doing to Dawn that he’s showing with his charity kisses? I don’t know, but quite frankly I couldn’t care less. Tim Hiding all of Gareth’s things while he hops around is enough, leave the character development and story arc and all that mumbo jumbo that critics like to talk about to the real point of the episode, we all know it’s coming, so stick to what works. Even with this side show going on I still loved the episode. My new understanding of David and the perfect platform to watch his antics, culminating in David being fired in a weird chicken suit, it was the perfect tragedy. When he walks in to the office to explain that he’s been fired and the Chicken suit makes him look like the little man-boy he is playing dress up I was sure that somewhere William Shakespeare was smiling.

Unfortunately, for my relationship with David Brent, my search for the true David Brent didn’t end there. I was curious to know what was going on at the filming of the show so I decided to watch some of the extras to see if they could help me out. They couldn’t. I did get to see Ricky or at least what Ricky wanted me to see of the real man behind the mask and I think my original feelings and Zack Handlen’s are both correct. I no longer think of David as a contrived character embodying the boss from hell, but I don’t think Zack’s awkward boy all grown up in to awkward boy-man is right either. I think David Brent is Ricky Gervias, that’s not to say Ricky is a cubicle dwelling nimrod, but he does come off as a prick of the highest order. He’s also a man-boy who might have just been that awkward kid who grew up to believe he was only awkward because no one could understand his genius and now he’s gona show us. I guess he did. He got to make out with Jennifer Garner didn’t he.

I give the episode a solid 4 (and Ricky Gervias a 3.5)


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