The Office Review: The Chump
Men can often change dramatically when the right kind of woman enters their lives. And by the right kind of woman, I usually mean the kind of woman who somehow sees past all of the man’s crazy flaws and horrible, insufferable, unbearable eccentricities, and as a result manages to offer him the love or respect or attention that is required to change him into a better human being. Oh, and I forgot to mention that when I said “men,” I meant Michael Scott.
This week’s episode of The Office was called “The Chump,” and it revolves primarily around Michael’s moral crisis concerning his discovery that the woman in question (still Donna the bar manager), is in fact cheating on her husband with him.
Everyone in the office chastises him, admonishes him, and basically turns their noses up at his decision to simply ignore the fact that he might be destroying a perfectly decent fellow man’s marriage. Chief of these is Andy, having once been the victim of a cheating significant other himself. Andy leads a ridiculous campaign to introduce Michael to the man whose life he’s in theory ruining, and brings him down to a high school baseball game where Donna’s husband is a coach.
Michael meets the exacerbated guilt he feels as a result of this encounter with a re-doubled effort to combat it, keeping his eyes on the prize that is Donna, and basically telling everyone to go screw themselves. For the remainder of the episode he becomes a changed man entirely, boldly doing and saying whatever he wants without worrying about the consequences. Some hate him even more for this, but others (i.e. Ryan) admire and want to emulate him. It made me wonder how I actually feel when I encounter people like that in life: we really do both hate and love those people, who truly, truly don’t seem to give a shit about anything anyone may think of them.
Season 6, Episode 24: The Chump (originally aired May 13, 2010)
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Photograph courtesy of NBC Universal and Byron Cohen.