Monday, July 19, 2010

Toby, Ryan and Kelly

I will have you know that I usually try not to live my life vicariously through characters on television. I am really perturbed by people who talk about Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Angela Landsbury or other famous persons as if they are best friends. (Just kidding about Angela Landsbury! Yeah for Murder She Wrote on at 5:00 on Vision TV! I've trained my kids to like it but I digress. Anyway, I write about this television show (The Office) just because, because well I don't know, it just cracks me up (like in Parks and Recreation when Leslie Nope calls the bathroom the "whiz palace" when she is nervous- ha). If you have any thoughts that might enlighten my own, please feel free to comment. Oh yeah, today more exercise, more weeding, more work for school, more blogging, less excitement!

So where was I? Toby Flenderson. Micheal's nemesis. Perhaps nemesis is not quite the correct word but anyway could any boss hate an employee quite so much just for existing. Granted, Toby's name, like Jim and Pam, depict his non-committal, pansy character, and like other characters Toby's whiney characters is written and portrayed to the wimpy limit. Part of me feels sorry for the poor guy and the other part of me is disgusted that he doesn't just "take the bull by the horns" and assert himself. Does every office have a person like Toby? See, this is the thing with the characters, they portray normal, yet stereotyped office characters so that watchers can identify with the work place to some extent but still laugh because the extra-ordinary characters are usually above and beyond the norm.

This brings me to Ryan, the temp, who seems relatively normal. He is the young, assertive, aggressive office worker striving to climb the corporate ladder. Michael realizes this, perhaps to some extent, because he presents himself as a "mentor" for Ryan. Any "Office" connoisseur must recall the episode where Michael visits Ryan's business class, playing a Robin Williams, Dead Poet's Society role, ripping pages out of (expensive!) books and telling the students that they will learn more from life lessons than from books. My favourite part is when he "pumps up the jam" with his "boom box" as he walks down the classroom aisle. Needless to say Ryan is unastounded by Michael and unaccepting of his help with proves intelligent as he climbs up the corporate ladder. But as most characters, Ryan is exaggerated in his character who does not hold onto his position because of a small addiction to drugs and success. Equating success with sales he logs in all sales twice, spiralling him back down the ladder back into Michael's accepting office. Now, Ryan is mystifying me with his new nerd persona; I'm no really sure what this is about.

If anyone is reading this, do you notice that I use the word "really" quite often?

How could I mention Ryan without Kelly, his on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again girlfriend. Honestly, she treats the office like a grade eight classroom with all the drama and no offense to grade eighters, immature make-out sessions that come with the territory. Besides treating fashion magazines like her bible, Kelly is a notable character because of Michael's attitude toward her Indian heritage. He frequently brings up religion, instead of avoiding it like the plague as most offices do. Michael singles out people because of their religion.

In fact, Michael likes to single people out because of their race, religion, sexual preference, thinking that he is creating an inclusive office. On television, this is funny but in reality, he would not longer be the boss. Remember when the new office workers came over from Stamford and Michael made a rather large gentlemen climb onto a chair on top of a table. Michael was trying to make them all equals. He ignores the person who points out that he is raising the new workers on a pedestal.

I feel like all these paragraphs are filled with nothing but mindless chatter. Really, I am getting to something. These characters are realistic yet unrealistic, except for Jim and Pam, a calm reality and normality in the centre of a storm of unreality around them. Tomorrow, I continue.

Goodbye and goodnight! Okay, not goodnight yet but goodbye.

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