The Office (BBC): Episode 7
by Annie Wu, posted Jul 11th 2006 10:55PM
(S02E01) First of all, everyone that loves Mackenzie Crook (Gareth) needs to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It is a tremendously fun film, with loads of face-time for Mackenzie Crook (he plays the guy with the wooden eye). Seriously, go see it. Okay, okay. On to the episode!
The second season started with a really strange/adorable moment. Gareth, David, and another employee enthusiastically hummed the Mah Nà Mah Nà song rom The Muppet Show (watch the Muppet version here, the Office version here) as Tim silently looked on, completely confused. The way that David pops out of his office and starts chiming in gets me every time.
A great example of subtlety in acting is the way that Ricky Gervais portrayed David as he tried to show off his picture in the paper industry's trade magazine. The way that he tried to collect himself after failing to impress the employee is exactly how I act once I realize I've said something embarrassingly stupid. Beautifully (or is it "painfully"?) realistic.
Neil Godwin (formerly David's equivalent over in Swindon, presently David's boss) made his first appearance in the series. He seemed like a really nice guy, but, of course, David visibly seethed with jealousy. After all, this was the guy that took his promotion, his raise, his opportunity to become something better.
Gareth was thoroughly angering Tim all morning, so he finally got a little talking to. I loved this bit of dialogue and the stunned silence that followed...
Tim: Team Leader don't mean anything, mate.
Gareth: It means I'm leader of a team!
Tim: It's a title someone's given you to get you to do things they don't want to do for free. Alright? It's like making the div kid at school milk monitor. No one respects it.
Gareth: Uh, I think they do.
Tim: No, they don't, Gareth.
Gareth: Uh, yes. They do. 'Cause if people were rude to me, I used to give them their milk last... so that it was warm.
Also, to Tim's annoyance, Gareth got a new cookie jar for his desk. It was one of those horribly obnoxious ones that shout whenever someone tries to open it (in this case, it kept yelling, "Stop! Move away from the cookie jar!"). After showing it off to David, Gareth suggested a joke for him to do during his welcoming speech to the new Swindon employees.
Gareth: Alright, it's Christmas dinner. Royal family... having a Christmas dinner. Camilla Parker-Bowles says, "Okay, we'll play 20 Questions. I'll think of something and you have to ask me questions and guess what it is." And what she's thinking of is a black man's cock.
David: Ha! Trust Camilla! -- It's not racist, is it?
Gareth: No, no. Um... So, Prince Philip goes, "Is it bigger than the bread bin?" and she goes, "Yeah." Charles goes, "Is it something I can put in my mouth?", she goes, "Yeah." The Queen goes, "Is it a black man's cock?"
David found this absolutely hysterical, so he pocketed it for later. During the little welcoming meeting, Neil gave a very brief and funny speech to introduce David. Everyone had a bit of a laugh because all of Neil's jokes were light, relevant, and harmless. However, David's routine was fucking painful. I cringed so much when I watched him. He turned the whole thing into a comedy routine, not a welcoming speech. His impressions were poor and his attitude was even worse (however, I liked his high-kicking Basil Fawlty bit). Sensing that he was bombing like hell, he brought out what he thought was a gem. Apparently, he did an awesome job of impersonating a coordinator at a conference he once attended, so he did it again. Totally random. He prided himself on the fact that he didn't make fun of the coordinator's withered little hand. After the Swindon lot didn't laugh at that either, David looked to Gareth for help, only to hear, "I prefer the stuff you do about his little hand... The wanking claw." Ahhh. So painful to watch. Damn.
Desperate to recover from that horrible session, David tried to tell the royal family joke to a small group of Swindon workers. But, he immediately stopped after the new black guy (Oliver) casually walked up to try and hear the joke. "It's not the black man's cock one, is it?" he asked. Haha, David looked so damn nervous, playing with his tie. He was relieved when Oliver said that he wasn't offended. However, someone tattled on David and Jennifer called him (accompanied by Gareth) in to have a talk about appropriate jokes. After Jennifer said the joke was not one for the workplace and that it was racist to assume that all black men have a large penis. "It's a myth!" she said. Then, Gareth offered to show her a few magazines which say otherwise. Haha, brilliant.
David went up to a group of the Swindon guys and jokingly said that Jennifer needed to seriously chill out, maybe smoke some of the ol' ganja. The scene then immediately cut back to Jennifer and Neil facing David, shouting, "I was not advocating the use of drugs!" Haha, nice. Meanwhile, Tim briefly flirted with a blond Swindon girl named Rachel. Gareth also wanted a piece of the action but his attempts at flirtation fell rather flat. As for Dawn, Tim was still being rather cold towards her. She tried to get Tim to mock Gareth for a bit, but he scolded her, saying that Gareth was quite busy at the moment and so should she be. Ouch. A few minutes (and several awkward looks back and forth) later, Tim finally went up to Dawn's desk and told her that he had an open 20-minute window in his diary marked as "wind up Gareth with Dawn". Awww. Her face immediately broke into a smile and they went to the next room to piss off Gareth. I adored the fact that it was their equivalent to a proper date.
After brooding in his office for a bit, David came out to speak to a group of the new intake. He didn't apologize, but rather confronted everyone and demanded to know why they felt the need to snitch him out to Jennifer. He tried to turn it into a lesson about being part of a "melting pot", heh. I loved that when Oliver said that he was mixed race, David immediately blurted, "That's my favorite!"
Dawn relayed Brent's "melting pot" speech to Tim and they both started laughing over it. Tim jokingly embraced Dawn and started dancing with her. Suddenly, Lee stormed in, slammed Tim against the wall, and stalked out again. Holy crap. The first time I saw that, my heart almost jumped out of my chest. I thought Lee was going to start furiously beating Tim to a bloody pulp. God.
Oh, I didn't know where to put this, but I had to throw it in somewhere... I really loved this line:
Gareth: My dad, for example. He's not as cosmopolitan or as educated as me and... it can be embarrassing! He doesn't understand all the new, trendy words. Like, he'll say "poofs" instead of "gays", "birds" instead of "women", "darkies" instead of "coloreds"...