in Television

Ground Floor 1×03 “The New Office” Recap


This week on Ground Floor, the divide between cutthroat business man Brody, and the sensitive, more emotional version of our protagonist, is explored.

The writers of Ground Floor have created a multifaceted character in Brody, and in typical Bill Lawrence style, he’s an alpha-male businessman on the top floor, but back on the ground, this masculinity is reversed. This was true of JD in Scrubs, and to an extent Travis, and the other cul-de-sac crew members in Cougar Town. It’s a cute quirk of character that looks set to prove how Brody and Jenny will actually work. She said to him in the pilot that he’s “a cute little nerd,” and it’s something that rings true despite his business stature and all of those suits. Jenny and Brody aren’t really all that similar, but they both have a lot of heart. And so does this show, only three episodes in.

The main plot this week rests upon the fate of an empty office, and the competition that forms between Threepeat and Brody for it. The two trick each other, so they both end up appearing bad in front of Mansfield. While Brody thinks it makes for a great story, Jenny’s not so impressed. That’s not what good people, like those on the ground floor, do to each other. Brody has to disagree with her, though, and tries to prove it by offering up his parking pass to someone downstairs. And it’s Jenny, crowned Mansfield for the day, who has to decide who gets it, in an attempt to show how the ruthlessness of the top floor exists on the ground floor as well.

As for Harvard this week, he gets caught up with Mansfield’s visiting daughter, fresh back from college and full of liberal ideas. Mansfield and Harvard are the two different ends of the ideological spectrum in Ground Floor (with Jenny and Brody residing somewhere between the two), so when Mansfield finds out who exactly his daughter has been hanging out with, and calls him up to the thirtieth floor, their difference in opinions makes for a lot of fun. For Mansfield, life is a series of challenges to win at, and that includes parenting. But as Harvard tells him: who cares? Mansfield doesn’t have to force his daughter into being someone like himself or Brody, he can just enjoy her for who she is right now – whether it’s a phase to be grown out of, or not.

As for the question of workplaces being competitive, Jenny tells Brody that there’s something sexier than a guy who manages to scheme his way into a private office: a guy who puts the people he cares about in front of himself.

“I’m not that guy,” he tells her.

“Yeah, you really are,” she replies, with the air of someone who knows better.

And the thing is that she really does know better. This is what I meant about the heart between Brody and Jenny: they’re different, but just like the top floor and the bottom floor are competitive when it comes down to it, at the core of things, Jenny and Brody are wired the same. They both care an awful lot about not only each other, but the people around them. Why else would Brody hand over his parking spot to the ground floor workers? Yes, to prove a point that everyone is a little bit selfish (and that even the people on the ground floor have the same drive as those on the top), but also because he doesn’t need that pass like someone on the bottom might.

And although Mansfield later tells Brody that being nice isn’t something that can be done on the top floor, the point about Brody’s character has already been made. He is that guy, and already was before Jenny made a point about it. Now Brody just happens to be more aware of it.

Memorable Quotes

  • “This ice tea has gone bad.” “That’s 40 year old scotch.” “Yeah, well, get something newer because that’s disgusting.”
  • “While you were wasting time getting busy with girls, I was getting busy with starr-trekkkkk!” (I take back everything I said about Threepeat last week.)
  • “You know what’s sexier than a guy with a private office?” “A guy with a private office that knows all the parts of Wicked?”

Grade: A-