Friday, November 17, 2006


'The Office' had one of the most blatant product placements within the script of an episode since the trivection oven made its debut in the season premiere of '30 Rock'. (That wasn't so surprising since both are good little soldiers in the GE Army.)

Kevin was practically salivating as he demonstrated the marvels of the Staples shredder. It was handled pretty well; it was even subversively funny. And had that been the end of it, I would have grudgingly been okay with it. (I much prefer fictional products in Toobworld.)

But nooooooo! The scene was practically shoved out of the way to make way for an actual blipvert for the damn shredder. And that always leaves a bad aftertaste. Happened with the oven on '30 Rock'; happened with the car on 'Monk'.

But like I said, the writers for 'The Office' were a bit subversive in presenting the shredder within their script. (And I would not be surprised if they were forced to include it - everybody knows NBC needs the cash.)

At the end of the episode, they showed Kevin using the shredder to make a salad, using the disposal basket as his salad bowl. At least he gave credit where it was due - when asked where he got the salad, he said, "Staples".

Of course, the writers laid the groundwork for anti-Staples sentiment in the audience the week before. Josh bolted the Dunder-Mifflin Stamford branch, using his new job position to trade up to a better job - at Staples.

Jim made it clear that a decent person wouldn't do that; and by implicaton, he was suggesting that Staples was the enemy camp.

Not sure hardcore 'Office' fanatics will want to shop at Staples after that....


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