‘Nobody But Me:’ The Office defines comedy

By Kate MacDonald

The seventh season of the critically acclaimed comedy, “The Office,” kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 24. With the first episode titled “Nepotism,” director Jeffrey Blitz began the season with a bang – literally.

The viewers were first reacquainted with their favorite characters in a lip dub opening, to the sounds of “Nobody but Me” by The Human Beinz. In a hilarious two-minute lip synching sketch, fans saw Creed rocking out on the guitar, Michael (Steve Carrell) making fireballs explode in his hand (surprisingly successfully) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) pulling an Ozzy Osbourne and biting the head off of a stuffed animal while doing a weird dance number.

A great way to start the seventh season, the director caught the attention of viewers and accurately showed off all the quirks that make “The Office” such a successful show.

The characters go on to a familiar elementary school technique of telling what they did with their summer.

They consist of pretty funny accounts including someone contracting West Nile Virus, watching CNN all summer and taking business classes, something that would seemingly greatly help Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin.

Two big changes to the Scranton office have occurred over the summer. First, the building has fallen under new ownership. This is sure to provide multiple plot lines and customary pranks during the coming season.

Secondly, Dunder Mifflin has acquired a new intern. Luke, played by Evan Peters (a small screen pro, known for bit roles on “House” and “Criminal Minds”), is Michael’s nephew, hence the episode title. Luke is a nefarious 10-something, despised by the whole office. He provides an interesting foil for, well, just about any of the well-meaning characters.

As Luke’s pranks and screw-ups become more and more bothersome, Michael Scott devises a quick way to punish him. Probably the funniest moment in the season starter comes when Stanley (Leslie David Baker) deems Michael’s inappropriate action as “Texas justice.”

Unfortunately, many of the side stories of season seven’s first episode are played out. Andy (“The Hangover’s” Ed Helms) is always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to relationships, Toby (Paul Lieberstein) is constantly being put down by Michael and Creed (Creed Bratton) likes to pretend he’s younger.

Luckily, though, Creed’s deadpan quips haven’t left the show, and often save some of the more boring scenes. Another problem diehard fans may have with this particular episode is that many of the plotlines left open at the end of season six weren’t addressed.

“Office” fans can look forward to what will probably be a legendary season. Season seven will be Steve Carell’s last season on the program, hoping to branch out in his career after this year.

While the premiere of “The Office” was pretty decent and rather amusing, it was not a standout episode by any means. Hopefully the writers can come up with something to tie up the loose ends and keep the attention of viewers. At the very least, viewers can count on ridiculous statements from Dwight, Jim’s (John Krasinski) pranks and Andy’s obliviousness to carry the rest of the season, if all else fails.

Kate MacDonald can be reached at [email protected]