This is the 7th installment of my “viewing club” series. Each week, whatever rerun NBC airs, I will suggest 2 or 3 episodes with the same “theme” and post some discussion questions.
This week’s rerun: Initiation
The theme: Ryan’s descent into Dunder Mifflin madness.
Ryan Howard came to Dunder Mifflin as a temp, and frankly liked it that way. He didn’t want to get too involved with activities, wasn’t too “eager to please” his boss, and was determined to never be known as “The Something Guy” around the office. But two years, a girlfriend, and a couple promotions later, Ryan is in deep and it’s starting to look like there’s no way out.
The Viewing List
The Fire (2.04): We learn a little bit about Ryan’s aspirations, and he earns a dreaded nickname from his coworkers.
Valentine’s Day (2.16): Ryan stupidly hooks up with Kelly the day before Valentine’s Day, and is already trying to get out.
Initiation (3.05): Dwight takes Ryan out on his first sales call, but there’s a short detour to the Schrute farm as Dwight expects Ryan to perform a series of bizarre tasks.
Business School (3.17): Michael thinks he’s going to Ryan’s business class as an honored guest, when in reality Ryan’s using Michael as an example of poor business practices. Michael finds out, and punishes Ryan accordingly.
Branch Closing (3.07): Ryan thinks he’s finally found a way out of Dunder Mifflin and his relationship with Kelly, but is happier than one may expect when it’s revealed the Scranton branch isn’t closing.
1. Why is Ryan such a poor salesman? What do you think he could learn from Michael in that regard?
2. What kept Ryan in his relationship with Kelly for so long?
3. Ryan seems to ride Jim’s coat tails a bit; wanting Katy’s number, making a play for Karen, and getting Jim’s old job and desk. Why does he do that?
4. Now that Ryan (presumably) has Jan’s old job, what do you think will be his first action as Michael’s boss?
Wow, I posted nice and early today, so you guys have plenty of time to fire up your DVDs and iTunes episodes and participate!
I welcome suggestions for what the theme of next week’s viewing club should be. I’m going out of town next Thursday, so I need to write the viewing club entry early if I do it at all. NBC keeps changing it, but right now they’re saying next week is reruns of “Back from Vacation” and “Michael’s Birthday”.