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“The Office”: Good to see the gang again


I’m five days late but I finally caught up with the season preem of The Office.”

Gawd, I’ve missed the gang. Amy Ryan is a fantastic addition to the ensemble as Holly, HR replacement for Paul Lieberstein’s Toby and a “major dork,” in Jim Halpert’s estimation. Is there anything Ryan can’t do as an actress? I ran into Craig “Darryl” Robinson on the red carpet at the Emmys, and he told me Ryan was “his favorite” and brought a great energy to the set.

This season’s opening seg, “Weight Loss,” written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and helmed by Paul Feig, was full of great “Office” moments, including the return of B.J. Novak’s Ryan as a temp receptionist after his fall from corporate grace. As Ryan made the rounds apologizing to the Scranton branch-ers who he treated badly during his tenure as a veep, the LOL moment for me was one of the excuses he gave to his ex-flame, Mindy Kaling’s Kelly, along the lines of “I hadn’t really processed 9/11.” Such a Ryan thing to say.

The furtive warehouse lust going on between Angela Kinsey’s Angela and Rainn Wilson’s Dwight ought to make for meaty plot points in the episodes ahead, as Angela braces for her nuptials to Ed Helms’ hapless Andy.

At no extra charge, we got a fun when-TV-worlds-collide moment with brief guest shot from Rich Sommer, better known to “Mad Men” fanatics as Harry “I want to leave at 5 o’clock” Crane. Wonder if he’ll be back to flirt with Jenna Fischer’s Pam some more?

And whaddya know, Toby really did head down to Costa Rica after all. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of him, in or out of traction.