TVLine's Performer of the Week: Rainn Wilson

The Office - Season 9A new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Rainn Wilson

THE SHOW | The Office (NBC)

THE EPISODE | “The Target”

THE AIRDATE | November 29, 2012

RELATED | Office Video: John Krasinski Looks Back on a Painfully Memorable Jim/Dwight Prank

THE PERFORMANCE | “If I’m not in your panties, I don’t go vigilantes.” “The target is Oscar, isn’t it? He and the Senator are ‘gaying’ each other!” “I’m trying to save those precious knees you’re always bragging about.” This is just a brief sampling of epic one-liners from Dunder Mifflin doof Dwight Schrute, as delivered this week with equal parts hilarity and sincerity by Wilson. Showing an uncanny amount of restraint, the actor moved seamlessly from doing nude jumping jacks in the warehouse to skulking about the stairwell. What’s more, he managed to stand out opposite guest-star Chris Gethard (our Performer of the Week runner-up, FYI), who nearly stole the show as Dwight’s oddball hitman pal Trevor. Overall, Wilson conquered the ample amount of material he was given, which, in turn, ended up showcasing one of his greatest strengths: off-kilter but heartfelt comedy.

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week?

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26 Comments
  1. John says:

    Okay. No. Disagree there. This episode & Rainn Wilson in particular made me drop The Office from my weekly TV roundup. I won’t be watching another episode of The Office.

    • Josh says:

      What about it made you feel that way? It didn’t seem to me that either the show nor Rainn Wilson did anything that terrible with this episode.

      • John says:

        I wanted to drop The Office from my viewing list since last season, but after finding out this was going to be the last one I figured I’d stick around considering I’ve already watched 8 seasons. What’s 20+ more episodes at 20 minutes each? The latest episode was the last nail in the coffin, so to speak. I couldn’t even finish the episode. Turned it off about 7 minutes in. To me, The plot was just worse than Jaws IV.

  2. Hannah says:

    Great choice! I thought it was wonderful seeing Dwight act somewhat human for once. Also, the end with Toby answering Dwight and Angela’s questions about gay sex was hilarious.

  3. joel says:

    Steven yuen. (Glenn from walking dead) deserved this award for the week.

  4. Joe says:

    Wow what a terrible choice! And I’ve agreed with you SO MUCH every week so far too.. It literally blows my mind every week how Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Zach Quinto, or Jessica Lange aren’t getting any recognition for AHS. How could you deny Frances Conroy’s angel of death from winning this?!

  5. Mike says:

    You ppl take this too seriously.. it’s a fun column on a website to give recognition to, perhaps, ppl who won’t get such recognition otherwise. Rainn has been awesome on the show for years, and last night was a highlight, so that’s saying something.

    Kudos Ausiello

  6. marge says:

    that ONE line was funny in an otherwise boring episode. such does not warrant one “Performer of the Week”. come on Team TVLine, you can do better. :)

  7. Mark222 says:

    This was a VERY bizarre episode to me. I’m not really sure how I feel about it, but I do agree Rain did a wonderful job. I never for a second would believe Angela would put a hit on Oscar – WAAAAYYY too over the top (times 1000) and way too dark for the show. Then, the plot kept going, and going, and it became breaking knees, and then Oscar literally had to FIGHT OFF his attacker. I didn’t find anything funny about this, and im not even sure they were going for funny. If they were, I certainly wasnt laughing. Still, it didnt mean it was BAD, it just felt like the most serious storyline the show had ever done. I did feel the tonal shifts between the other plots very jarring.

    Also, whats the point of this new love with Erin and the new guy so late in the series?! Why, just why? Why make Andy so unlikeable now? Im so confused with this plot. Id really like to hear other’s opinions about this, please.

  8. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Walking Dead had a lot of good performances this week. Glenn’s bravery in fighting a zombie while tied to a chair, not to mention his ability to take a beating, Maggie courageously staring down a potential rapist, the Governor for being a scary as crap potential rapist…everyone on Boardwalk Empire, everyone on Treme…I also really liked Cam on Modern Family this week, because he really rocked that Thundercats, er, I mean Cats! costume. If I had to pick just one though, I would go for Glenn.

  9. VCI says:

    I was hoping for Ginnifer Goodwin to win this week. I loved her on sunday’s episode. But Dwight was awesome in the office this week, as well.

  10. Ashley says:

    My husband and I both said last night what a great episode this was for Dwight. Loved his one liners!

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    chillax all you walking dead fans… TVLine is, at the very least, trying to spread the love by giving props to different shows every week. at least so far. 4 weeks in….

  12. John says:

    Are you kidding me!!! David Lyons’ gave an Emmy-worthy performance on Revolution’s amazing finale (I thought the show was okay until now, but that finale blew it into the stratosphere! What an episode)! Maggie and Glenn were incredible on Walking Dead! AHS is awesome every week! And you decide to name this stupid guy as best performer! Granted, I don’t watch the show, but those one-liners are pathetic. Even Supernatural had snappier one-liners! Heck, Revolution’s Pellegrino had the best one-liner this week!

  13. Crystal says:

    I love (sarcasm) how people criticize you for your choice, say that the Office & Rainn Wilson suck, and then throw in there that they didn’t even watch it.

  14. Marisa says:

    I thought it was a great episode! It was nice to see Dwight have feelings! (Same way when Jim played the “I’ve been murdered” prank).
    The office has done a great job slowing morphing its show from season 1 to now. That’s how it’s been able to survive for so long. The characters are lovable.

    The show isn’t funny one episode at a time because you do need to understand the characters and their quirks but that’s what makes the show so great to its fans!

    Great job and thanks for making us laugh!

  15. Pparramo says:

    Great pick!!! Dwight was excellent and the best was saved for last!!! This episode rekindled my love of the office.

  16. chinaman says:

    hahaha.. lot of weird ppl here. half of them didnt even watch the show and they are hating for picking Dwight. this episode was the best in years, and Dwight gave one liners after one liners with precision and comedic timing. the whole episode was just great. some cute moments Jim & Pam about phone call, Erin smiling at Pete, Angela & Dwight tagging, old Phylis complaining about her hands etc, some heart warming moments- Jim, Phyl,Stanley group hug, trying to build paper tower, Pam about her workmates etc, some crazy & Hilarious moments- naked Dwight, moment between Dwight Angela & “assassin “, pipe sandwich, Dwight eavesdropping on Oscar etc . this episode had it all, 9 outta 10 for sure. I had stopped watching the show but after stumbling upon a review and reading more reviews i thought i’l give it a go and I wasnt disappointed.

    to Tvline.com team

    bravo, good pick. ppl will always complain, bcos they are biased. they want you to pick what they like and they all have different choices. but you did good, first time on this site but i’ll visit again. keep up the good work and stay honest to your work :).

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