The Link, February 13, 2009: The Sad State of “The Office”

1. You should check out Stephen Witmer’s church blog.  Stephen is a bright, godly pastor in Pepperell, MA who has a PhD from Cambridge and training under John Piper.  As a fellow New Englander, I am really excited to see what the Lord does through the ministry of his church in coming days.  He just started blogging, but has already written a number of very thoughtful posts.

2. Can I say something about “The Office?” The show, which started as promisingly as any other and continued on that promising vein for two seasons, has tanked.  Why is it that Michael Scott, who used to be uproariously needlesome, now cries for 10 minutes every episode?  And why do the writers expect us to feel so deeply about a relationship that lasted for about three weeks?

Furthermore, why have Dwight and Jim lost all their zip?  And why did they select Karen in season three as Jim’s new squeeze?  That generated absolutely no heat.  The writers squandered a great opportunity to give Pam a real competitor for Jim’s affections.  The Angela-Andy thing went absolutely nowhere.  The writers also let Pam and Roy’s relationship, with all the tension built in, fizzle out with barely a mention. The Jim-Pam relationship is a dead fish these days; they make eyes at each other, but they have very little spark.  If you don’t believe me, watch season one, where they had explosive chemistry and the drama was amazing.

In short, the show is embarrassingly bad these days and often gross and sometimes inappropriate.  It’s still good compared to most of what’s on tv, but it pales in comparison to what it used to be, when the Jim-Pam-Roy love triangle generated a lot of heat, when Michael wasn’t a wimpy, weeping, anesthetized version of his hilarious, overbearing, awkward self, and when the writers didn’t rely on ridiculous low-brow humor like cats in heat.  Give me a break.  As one who has loved this show and talked it up to lots of poor, unsuspecting people, it pains me to say: writers and producers, please, just end it all.  Your show is a shadow of what it used to be.

3. John Piper has publicly pointed out that Yale is offering the Works of Jonathan Edwards online for free.  I have been using this resource for months now in my work on a five-volume series on Edwards that I’m writing with Doug Sweeney, and I can tell you I was astonished when I stumbled on this offering by accident some months ago.  It’s way too good to be true.  But there’s no catch.  It’s all there, it’s easily searchable, and it’s free.  Incredible resource, and one that pastors and thoughtful Christians should consult extensively.

4. Less than two weeks until Union University’s conference on “Making Men Moral” in honor of conservative scholar Robbie George.  I can’t wait.  See if you can join us for a high-level event featuring several of the best conservative minds around.

–Have a great and spiritually rich weekend, all.


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