Is it Time for B.J. Novak to Give His Office Opening Credit to Ed Helms?
Thanksgiving is something of a dead zone for primetime TV, and so it was that I found myself watching a repeat of The Office's one-hour Jim-and-Pam wedding and wondering, more than ever, what B.J. Novak is doing in the opening credits.
I wondered about it in the first season, when it seemed like Novak's new temp Ryan would be the audience surrogate experiencing the office through fresh eyes (a conceit that appeared to be abandoned in roughly ten seconds). I wondered about it in Season Two, when Ryan's formerly anonymous coworkers were suddenly granted about as much screen time as Novak usually has, and in Season Three, when Angela Kinsey clearly overtook him. Now, though, it's clearer than ever that the show has no intention of ever doing all that much with Ryan, yet producers protect Novak's opening credit like it was Dumbo's magic feather.
I've got nothing against Novak -- hell, when the show premiered, I kinda thought he was the hot one. (I've got that in common with Michael Scott, I suppose.) Certainly, I can understand how Novak would want the publicity and pay grade that comes with being one of five billed regulars in that opening title sequence, but ever since the show added Ed Helms and began to write more and more for him, Novak's opening title credit seems like a running joke.
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