The Office: Season 5

Rated 3.0

The most recent seasons of the NBC sitcoms The Office and 30 Rock offer two different examples of how good shows can go mediocre. Steve Carell’s pitifully asshole-ish boss Michael Scott is still a live wire of elementary-school emotions and social ineptitude, but The Office has been flailing ever since Pam and Jim consummated their love. Call it the Moonlighting syndrome: Once the crackling leads who can’t possibly fuck actually fuck, the show is over. Instead of replacing Jenna Fischer with Kirstie Alley, The Office has turned its leads into nauseating, insufferable lovey-doveys. Meanwhile, the once-sparkling 30 Rock has fallen off by ignoring its strong ensemble and focusing on a rote series of inane star cameos, including Steve Martin, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Aniston and a six-episode string by Salma Hayek’s breasts.