The Office Review: The Hard Dog

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There's something about an underdog that really inspires the unexceptional. | permalink

Robert California's words rang true as "The Incentive" may have proved that in his own backward way, Andy Bernard can get this group of misfits to work hard.

Unfortunately, allowing this Nard Dog to be the lead character of The Office is not off to a strong start. Other than Kevin screaming "Nooooooo!" when Dwight poured a bunch of walnuts into the brownie mix, the episode was hurting for laughs.

The New Manager

Andy works in bits and pieces, and even in that sense his comic stylings have waned over the past few years. To compound the problem, Dwight has seemingly taken more of backseat than normal over the first two episodes of the season.

Everyone loved the Jim/Dwight prank dynamic of the first three years or so. When they brought it back in full force last season, it was a shot in the arm for the series.  Why not allow those two to step up into bigger roles? Jim has seemingly remained in a similar standing in terms of camera time, but Dwight had maybe three or four lines of dialogue tonight? That's silly.

All of this is not to say that "The Incentive" didn't have its moments. It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but there was a good amount of tenderness from the point Jim got Andy to agree to his ass tattoo and onward. The entire group at the tattoo parlor, and then Andy revealing that it was actually a Nard Dog, definitely put a smile to my face.

Is The Office going to be as funny as it once was with Steve Carrell in tow?  Probably not, but watching Jim Halpert help his co-workers succeed is a nice silver medal. Now if they can only add in more Jim/Dwight ridiculous behavior, they might be able to keep this thing alive.

Sound off on what you thought of tonight's episode, and try to guess what Robert California's favorite ice cream flavor is. You'll never get it in a million billion years. As always, check out all of the best one-liners at our The Office quotes page.  

Dwight (to Oscar): Your friend Neil Patrick Harris really made me laugh the other night. | permalink
Andy: I guess you could say I'm in one of those ass tattoo incentive situations. | permalink
Andy: Let's ink my stink! | permalink
Andy: Ow, ow!
Tattoo Artist: That was just the cotton swab.
Andy: Invest in softer cotton, sir. | permalink

The Incentive Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Office Season 8 Episode 2 Quotes

Andy: You think it has anything to do with the incentive program?
Jim: Oh absolutely. People wanna see you tattoo your ass.

Your friend Neil Patrick Harris really made me laugh the other night.

Dwight (to Oscar)