Maybe I’m losing my mind, but I could have sworn “The Office” was supposed to be a comedy. Yet, week after week, I find myself struggling to find something to laugh about as I watch. And last night’s episode was the least funny yet.
The writers tried to do yet another humorous riff on Michael’s awkward inability to interact with women, but they ended up with something that could be the center of a real-world office anti-sexual-harassment training program.
The plot revolves around Donna, a woman Michael met at a happy hour awhile back, and an attempt to sell her some printers. When she walks in, Michael exclaims, “Did somebody order a hooker in here?”
That alone is grossly inappropriate and enough to get anyone sued, but Michael goes on and on.
He busts in on Jim and Pam’s sales presentation to offer Donna a stack of Victoria’s Secret catalogs. Then he brings in a slide show with a series of pictures of him, Tom Selleck and others, which ends with the quick — but very visible — flash of the word “sex.” After that, he tries to kiss Donna. Later, he offers her a mint and then licks it off of her hand. Finally, he ends the meeting by giving her a long hug and walking her out the door and into a corner where he tries to kiss her again.
Donna is just about as bad. When she realizes Michael likes her, she flirts and shows skin in an attempt to get a better price on a printer.
The writers try to make the whole thing OK by having them engage in a mutual kiss at the end, but it doesn’t take away from the icky, creepy nature of the rest of the show.
I think there are a couple of lessons to take from this:
- Sometimes, something that seems funny in theory really isn’t.
- It’s important to remember that sexual harassment doesn’t just happen between co-workers; it can involve clients and vendors. When that happens, it’s equally unacceptable.
Image credit, NBC