The sixth season of The Office has been the weakest of all the seasons thus far. There have been storylines that have been started that did not continue until many episodes later, and other storylines that should have gone for much longer but did not. A lot of the problems lie in the writing, which led to the characterization gone wrong.
In the absence of a conflict between Dwight and Jim, another conflict took place, that was very reminiscent of the every man versus the workplace goofball. Unlike Jim, Darryl is much more spontaneous with his pranking, and Andy, unlike Dwight, was not out to cause any trouble. Darryl just happened to remember an incident from two years ago, and he was exacting his revenge on Andy.
When Pam set Michael up on a blind date with her landlady, it ended in a disaster. When Michael ended up dating Pam's mother, it too became a disaster. In Happy Hour, it comes off as ironic, that Pam would dare to set Michael up another time. As predicted, Michael made himself look like a fool, especially with his obnoxious clothing and behaviours.
The leadership of Sabre has brought on more changes to the Scranton branch, not just in procedures and policies, but also in workplace attitude. As the sales staff have been given a greater importance in the company, they have also displayed it in their attitude towards everybody else.
Michael has a history of being the polar opposite to every person that has managed him. In the case of Jo, she finds Michael's lackadaisical and unprofessional behaviours to be inappropriate, and counterproductive. As Jo has set the example of working hard and doing overtime, Michael has little reason to not mirror her work ethic.
Much of the appeal of The Office is a result of combining diverse characters in an office environment, with plots that are driven by workplace related themes and the interactions that ensue. The Delivery, is unlike most episodes of The Office. Instead, it relies on slapstick, and the characters acting very much over the top.
Manager and Salesman has got to be the most disappointing episode of The Office in a very long time. There was minimal characterization, a predictable plot, and a love story that's going nowhere. And where there is characterization, there is nothing memorable.
After a near-two month wait, The Office returns with a new full length episode. This episode is deliberately meant to create a different feel, which succeeds, especially when contrasted with the clipshow from 2 weeks ago. The major change which everybody encounters is the acquisition by Sabre.
For the first time, Jim was able to look like the saner of the two co-managers. It didn't take much on Jim's part, as he was only being himself. This is easy, when Michael was entwined in perceived authority, sexism, and jealousy. His own personal insecurities and entitlement have led to him believing that he has the right to not only be Santa Claus, but to also take it away from Phyllis.
There are times when Michael has been able to take a situation from an inevitable doom, and turn it into a miraculous victory. These times are rare, and are dependent on Michael's invincible cluelessness, coupled with an antagonist that is all too grounded in reality.