Missing The Office

Posted in TV Shows on January 11th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week I really could have used a Thursday night pick-me-up from my favorite show, The Office, but alas, no new episode.  I was sure I couldn’t be disappointed two weeks in a row, but this week’s ep is also a re-run!  Then I started thinking about how it’s been in the news lately that NBC is changing around their scheduling, most of it having to do with the Olympics and Jay Leno.  Then I realized that if the Olympics are on NBC, the Office probably won’t be on for the entire duration of the Winter Games!  I did a quick search, and to my relief, I found that a new Office is scheduled to air on January 21 – not this week, but next week thankfully.  We might have to wait out the entire airing of the Winter Olympics, but at least they’re not going to make us wait until it’s over and we’ll have at least one new Office episode to enjoy in the meantime.  Any other Office fans out there?  Does anyone know how many more new episodes we get for the rest of the season, or at  least how many we can expect to enjoy before the beginning of the Olympics?  How long IS the Olympics, anyway?  And fyi, the Jan. 21 episode of the Office is called, “The Banker”, and the plot outline is this:  When a prospective buyer for Dunder Mifflin visits, everyone looks to impress and Michael gets nostalgic.

Sounds hilarious, as usual!  And don’t get me wrong, this show is so great that reruns are tons of fun too.  We were just watching the “Frame Toby” episode from season 5 last night, and we had to rewind 4 times to listen to Creed’s classic line about the quarry – I’m not going to repeat it here because it’s mostly the WAY he says it, but it has to be one of the funniest Office moments EVER!  Which got me to thinking about a hypothetical situation –  what if Creed were a character who came to our semi-regular game nights?  HAHA!

The Office – Great As Ever

Posted in TV Shows on October 15th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, we’ve now gotten a taste of two new episodes for this season, and I think I can safely say that the Office is back on track and as funny as ever!  It’s always been funny; it’s just that the few episodes that aired after the writer’s strike weren’t the best ones.  But I’m happy to see that so far, this season is a riot and will keep me looking forward to Thursday nights.

Entitled, ‘Business Ethics’, the 2nd Office episode of the season saw Michael and Holly in a major disagreement.  But no need to fret, it was resolved by the end of the show, thank goodness.  Sorry if I spoiled something for you, but you wouldn’t want to be left hanging about that, now would you?  I think I’ll copy n paste the tvguide.com episode sysopsis and comment on it.  That’s an easy way to write a review of the show and share the tvguide.com summary which I always enjoy.  Tvguide.com is in italics, my comments are in BOLD CAPS.

 

With the exemplary premiere behind us, in which we were treated to Jim and Pam’s engagement, Dwight and Angela’s torrid and super-secret affair, Michael and Holly’s evolving ‘friendship’ and Ryan’s return as Pam’s temporary replacement, does the second episode of the Office continue the momentum? The answer, my friends, is …

Definitely. Maybe. Ummm … Not so much.

It’s hard to follow up near-perfection.  WHILE I AGREE WITH THAT COMMENT, I WILL DISAGREE WITH THIS WRITER TO SAY THAT I THINK THE 2ND EPISODE WAS ALMOST AS GOOD AS THE FIRST – THERE’S JUST NO COMPETING BETWEEN AN HOUR OF THE OFFICE AND A HALF-HOUR OF THE OFFICE. “Weight Loss” was a one-hour gem, while “Business Ethics” had some nice moments, particularly during the beginning of the show, but it had some disappointments for me as well. I’ll list out my quibbles with this episode first, and then I’ll get to the funny:

1) The Absence of Pam
After their shocking engagement, Pam is relegated to a disembodied voice on the telephone at the beginning of the show. No doubt there will be plenty of opportunities for her to take center stage as the season develops, and I understand that sending her to school makes it difficult to include her in the office’s day-to-day, but it was jarring to all but ignore the Jim and Pam relationship right after their shocking engagement. 
AGREED – I MISSED PAM TOO, BUT IT WAS ONLY ONE EPISODE, AFTER ALL.  IF SHE ISN’T THERE NEXT WEEK, I WILL HAVE A BEEF.
2) Ryan’s ethics
Reflecting back on an episode entitled “Business Ethics” I guess I was surprised that it focused primarily on Michael, Holly and Meredith, and only tangentially referred to the busted and now-humbled Ryan. I was expecting the episode to center more on Ryan somehow (don’t ask me how, I’m just a recapper). 
RYAN CAN BE ANNOYING IN LARGE DOSES, SO I’M GLAD HE WAS ONLY ON THIS EPISODE FOR A LITTLE BIT.
3) Holding back the crazy
Creed didn’t say or do anything
Creed-like; Andy didn’t sing a capella or punch a wall; even Michael and Holly’s “Let’s Get Ethical” intro was a schtick we’ve seen before. So even in an episode with Dwight peeing into a soda bottle, the usual absurdities of the Office family felt somehow muzzled or restrained.  CREED DID SAY AT LEAST ONE REALLY FUNNY THING – SEE BELOW.

But enough with the criticisms. Let’s get to the kudos. I thought the “personal time” subplot was the highlight of the show, and led to the episode’s two best scenes:

1) Battlestar Galactica.
This scene was so pitch-perfect, especially for a sci-fi nerd like me, that the only way to do it justice was to transcribe it:

Jim: Hey Andy
Andy: Yo
Jim: By any chance did you see Battlestar Galactica last night?
Andy: No I did not. Is that any good?
Jim: Actually not, it’s really so-so.
Jim: I don’t like all the crazy monsters and stuff, like Klingons and Wookies and all that.
Jim (looking at Dwight): Sorry, is there something you wanted to add Dwight?
Andy: Is that like the original Battlestar Galactica?
Jim: You know what’s weird, it’s practically a shot-for-shot remake

(Dwight crumbles paper in frustration)

Jim: The story is kinda bland, it’s about this guy called “Dumbledore Calrissian” who needs to return the ring to back to Mordor
Andy: That doesn’t sound right …

2) 19:48

It’s easy for Jim to push Dwight’s buttons, and it’s easy for us to laugh at it. Jim’s pranks on Dwight have been the stuff of legend, but this was the first time that Dwight had it over on Jim – and Jim didn’t even know it.

The smugness on Jim’s face when he got Dwight to admit that he took “personal time” paled in comparison to the sidelong glance Dwight gave the camera when he admitted that “Yes, maybe I’m not” ethical. The camera panned over to Angela buttoning up her shirt, and we understood how Dwight spent that 19:48. I loved that the writers gave Dwight this moment over Jim – unexpectedly turning the tables and making Jim’s prank just seem irrelevant.  THAT WAS A NICE MOMENT.

And finally, here are my favorite one-off lines:

“The tall guy got engaged” – Creed  CLASSIC CREED, HILARIOUS!

“I’ve listened to Cookie Monster Sings Chocolate Rain 5,000 times” – Michael. (By the way, I tried like heck to find this video on You Tube, but no luck. But here’s the consolation prize)

“You’ve been cuckolded by a stronger, smarter male” – Dwight

So, what did you guys think?  LOVED IT.  Am I right that this episode – while good – did not live up to the season premiere’s lofty heights?   I THINK YOU’RE WRONG.  IT WASN’T AS GOOD AS THE PREMIERE, BUT PROBABLY ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY HALF AS LONG AND FOR THE PREMIERE EPISODE, WE WERE SO HAPPY TO HAVE THIS AWESOME SHOW BACK AFTER SUMMER HIATUS!

The Office – Season Premeire!

Posted in TV Shows on October 7th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!  THIS POST DETAILS THE HAPPENINGS DURING THE OFFICE PREMIERE – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

I can’t believe I didn’t get around to writing about the Office season premiere until now!  For goodness sakes, it aired almost two weeks ago!  It all began when our kids were acting up so much that we didn’t catch the premiere episode when it aired on tv the Thursday night before last Thursday night.  Still with me?  Doesn’t really matter…  just skip to the part of the post you like.  Thinking we had set our computer to tape The Office premiere or that we could find it online, we didn’t fret too much until it was time for bed and we still hadn’t found it.  Finally got ahold of it late Friday night after some corn maze fun, stayed up way too late to watch it, followed by a busy weekend, a chaotic week, and another bustling weekend before I got a chance to write about it!  So anyway, here is my take on The Office’s premiere episode.  I always like what tvguide.com has to say in their tv show blogs, so I copied and pasted their tv show blog synopsis of the premiere and that’s in italics.  I will interject my own comments throughout the article, and those are in BOLD CAPS.  A brief break for the Vice Presidential debate last Thursday, and then some more funny new Office episodes begin this Thurday!!!

Last season ended with cliff-hangers galore: Andy proposed to Angela, Jim was thwarted from proposing to Pam, Michael commited to playing babydaddy to Jan’s mystery spawn, and — this really killed me because my DVR cut off early and I only found out about this the next day — the cameras, those ubiquitous Office cameras, caught Dwight and Angela boinking minutes after she accepted Andy’s proposal. The writers developed great storylines last season, and this premiere episode did a great job picking up those threads and setting up some great arcs for this season.  (AGREED!  AT THE RISK OF ALIENATING POTENTIAL VIEWERS, I WILL SAY THAT THIS SHOW IS A COMEDY WITH SOAPY CHARACTERISTICS  GIVEN ITS CONTINUING STORYLINES AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.  BUT IF YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THE OFFICE, DON’T LET THIS OBSERVATION DISCOURAGE YOU!  MOST TV SIT-COMS HAVE CONTINUING STORYLINES – YOU JUST DON’T ALWAYS REALIZE IT!)

***SPOILER ALERT***

Thursday’s premiere was chock-full of big shockers: Jim’s proposal to Pam at a rest stop, Ryan’s return as a receptionist bent on revenge (IT’S GREAT FUN TO SEE RYAN AT THE BOTTOM ONCE AGAIN – EVEN MORE FUN TO SEE HIM AT THE BOTTOM NOW AFTER HIS SMARMY ATTITUDE ALIENATING HIS CO-WORKERS), and Dwight and Angela’s secret affair — consummated in an out-of-the way warehouse closet. Lots to talk about, so let’s get started.

The episode begins with the announcement of a corporate weight-loss contest, a still-unengaged Pam leaving for Pratt Design in New York (“what up, 2-1-2?”) and Angela beeping Dwight for some Office lovin’, right after Andy serenades her with a personalized version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (“Angela-ela-ela”). Honestly, I would page Dwight for a booty call if somebody did that to me, so I’m definitely not going to moralize.

Meanwhile, Michael is in the “friend zone” with Holly, and, according to Jim, “killing it” because “she’s kind of a dork.” Cut to the “wicka-wicka-wicka” bebop (I think that’s what the kids call it), and you appreciate that there’s a special chemistry there. (I also loved the “Acting!” and Yoda impersonations in last season’s finale.) Clearly, Jan and the baby are going to complicate matters, but since Michael may have found in Holly the only woman with whom he could possibly have a healthy relationship, I’m rooting for them. The writers, though, seem hell-bent on making his journey with Jan and the baby as difficult as possible. I’m looking forward to the ride.  (I SO WANT MICHAEL AND HOLLY TO END UP TOGETHER – THEY’RE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER AND SHE SEEMS TO ACTUALLY LIKE HIM.  HE KEEPS BEING SO CLUELESS ABOUT IT THOUGH, ITS FRUSTRATINGLY FUN TO WATCH!)

As for Jim and Pam: The writers really have it in for them, don’t they? First, unrequited love. Then, Jim leaves and returns with a girlfriend. When he comes back, Jim is almost killed by Roy — thank God for Deputy Dwight and his can of mace! — and now, a long-distance relationship? Really? The Office has been great at avoiding clichés, and I hope it continues to do so by not sucking Pam into a complicating “friendship” with some college dude.  (I WAS NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE FRIENDSHIP WITH THE COLLEGE DUDE.  PAM HAD BETTER NOT PULL A “ROSS” (REMEMBER THE TV SHOW FRIENDS?) AND CHEAT ON HER SOULMATE – SHE AND JIM ARE MADE FOR EACH OTHER, AND I THINK THE SHOW WOULD BE JUST AS ENTERTAINING IF THEY GO AHEAD AND LET THESE TWO GET MARRIED.  IF THEY WANT TO FOLLOW IN CHEESY SITCOM FOOTSTEPS, THEN ADD A BABY OR TWO DOWN THE ROAD, BUT DON’T BREAK THEM UP!)

And now on to my favorite scenes:

The return of Ryan
I found myself clapping out loud, it was that awesome that a humbled, court-ordered-community-service-oriented Ryan returns as Pam’s temp fill-in. Ryan’s out for some weird revenge angle, as evidenced by his menacing goatee, his black attire and his anti-Earl list, which includes Jim and — strangely enough — Kevin. I’m sure Michael will figure out a way to keep him around longer, but I wonder if the once-humble intern truly has turned irrevocably to the dark side. 
(I THINK SO – RYAN WAS NEVER A NICE PERSON.  SURE, THEY MADE YOU FEEL SORRY FOR HIM WHEN HE WAS A TEMP THE FIRST TIME, BUT HE WAS STILL A JERK.)

“So you think it’s a choice?”
The patented Office awkwardness of Oscar and Holly having the “I’m a lesbian… No, I’m actually not” exchange was fantastic. It certainly didn’t reach the cringeworthy heights of last year’s classic dinner-party episode, but it still managed to make me laugh and squirm like no other show on TV does. For some reason, that appeals to me. 
(THIS SCENE WAS HILARIOUS AND ONE OF MY FAVORITES – NUFF SAID!)

“That wasn’t a tapeworm.”
I would like to proclaim, in this, my initial Office blog, that Creed is my hero. He may be my favorite sitcom character of all time. Kelly says she swallowed a tapeworm to lose weight… that Creed sold her. Cut to Creed: “That wasn’t a tapeworm.” The only question that remains, and I’m afraid of the answer: What was it? 
(I AM A BIG FAN OF CREED ALSO – HE IS AN AWESOME CHARACTER, SOOO FUNNY.  MY FAVORITE CREED LINE IS WHEN HE SAYS “YEP, IT’S CRAZY.  IT’S CRAZY.” IN THE EPISODE WHERE DWIGHT WANTS TO COOK A GOOSE IN THE OFFICE.  IT DOESN’T LOOK NEARLY AS FUNNY IN TYPE; YOU HAVE TO SEE THE EPISODE.  AND THEN THERE’S THE EPISODE WHERE CREED DYES HIS HAIR AND STARTS USING SLANG TO APPEAR YOUNGER – CLASSIC!)

“I’ve replaced Angela as head of the party-planning committee.”
Phyllis reveals her Machiavellian side with this power play. As she caught Angela and Dwight doing their illicit dirty deed, her little upward smile indicated at the very moment she caught them that the party-planning committee chairmanship was all hers. You go, girl!

The big shocker: Jim and Pam get engaged!
On exit 17 off of what I can only assume is the New Jersey Turnpike, Jim drops on one knee and pops the question. I’m really glad they didn’t drag it out and save the engagement for some sweeps or finale ploy. The unexpectedness of the proposal, and how unassuming it was, really kept true to the nature of their relationship. For me, this is one the main reasons why this show is so great: The writers don’t betray their characters. 
(AGREED!)

So, what did you guys think? Was the Season 5 premiere worth the wait?  (IT WAS GREAT, BUT NEVER WORTH THE WAIT CUZ THAT MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO GO WITHOUT THE SHOW!)  What did you think of the engagement?  (VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT – CALMS MY FEARS ABOUT THAT RANDOM COLLEGE DUDE A LITTLE BIT – I WAS FEELING JEALOUS FOR JIM!)  Did you see it coming or were you, like me, totally shocked?  (I WAS SHOCKED, DIDN’T SEE IT COMING AT ALL, BUT IT WAS SOMETHING I WAS REALLY HAPPY ABOUT.  I’M GLAD THEY DIDN’T SHOW IT TO US IN A PREVIEW!)  Finally, what were your favorite scenes?  (THE OSCAR / HOLLY EXCHANGE AND THE CREED / KELLY TAPEWORM INCIDENT WERE MY FAVORITES – KELLY LOOKING SO SICK AND PASSING OUT WERE PRICELESS!  OVERALL, AS SO OFTEN HAPPENS WITH TV SHOWS, THE SEASON PREMIERE DID NOT DISAPPOINT IN THE SLIGHTEST!  CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THURSDAY!!!!!)