(S06E20) If you took this episode and dropped it in the middle of season two or three, it probably would have fit in nicely. Well, except for the fact that you might be asking why Pam was on maternity leave (and why Jim is the dad), why Andy is working in Scranton, and just who the hell Erin is.
But you know what I'm getting at. The tone, pacing, and comedy of this episode continues the recent trend of 'The Office' getting back to what made people love it to begin with. And, yes, part of that means that Michael is going to make an ass of himself. But at least the season six version of Michael somehow gets a little bit of hope mixed in with his desperation stew.
With sales being king at Sabre, the sales staff was letting their elevated status go to their heads. This brings about some interesting character aspects we haven't seen much of. Phyllis, for instance, gets to take her status out on Michael, who's embarrassed her any number of times, and Angela, who she just plain hates. Andy walks out of a tedious Michael-called meeting. Stanley actually looks like he's doing work. It's amazing how a high commission can motivate even the most sedentary salesperson, huh?
(S06E16 / S06E17) Remember how the one hour Pam/Jim wedding episode was considered by many -- including me -- to be 'The Office's' best episode of the season? Well, the one-hour Pam/Jim baby episode definitely isn't in that category.
Why? Because, through a lot of the episode, Pam and Jim displayed none of the charm that made us fall in sitcom love with them in the first place. To compound the situation, they're being written into situations that would make fans of 'Yes, Dear' cringe. But we'll get to that later.
As usual with most one-hour 'Office' episodes, the first half was better than the second. But even the first half of this one had some problems.
Can you feel it? The air is cleaner, food tastes better, and the two feet of snow outside my window is a fluffy dream instead of an icy mess.
It seems like the producers of 'The Office' realized things weren't right in their world and they decided to rectify things. And in the process they made one of the more satisfying episodes of the season.
(S01E15) Why has this season of 'The Office' been so off-kilter? There have been promising episodes but very few that hit the mark. In fact, the only episode that can hold its own with classic 'Office' episodes is the Pam-Jim wedding, and I'm starting to fear that the show really is trying to figure out where to go from that high point.
And Jam may be the big problem here. They're not interesting anymore. But I'll get to them later.
So Dunder Mifflin is now owned by a company called Sabre. We don't quite know what they're all about except that they sell printers and they have a feisty CEO played by Kathy Bates. And in exchange for saving the branch's ass, they've asked for a few very reasonable changes. You'd think that even Michael Scott would embrace those changes. You'd be wrong.
(S06E14) A clip show? Really?
After being gone for six weeks, and teased by the no good louts at the NBC publicity department that we were getting a "new Office," we get handed a clip show. Not cool.
And... and... when was the last time you saw a sitcom do a clip show, anyway? Friends, maybe? I thought in this new era of "creativity" in the sitcom world clip shows were more mocked than embraced.
Ok, ok. Enough bitching on my part. I guess this will be the shortest Office review ever, because there wasn't all that much new material to talk about.
But Michael's petulance had a purpose. Dunder Mifflin is in trouble. Office morale is at an all-time low. So, while Michael was still acting like a baby, he was doing it because he wanted to be the one to lift everyone's spirits. Still, it's funny to watch childish Michael, especially when we can see big ol' Kevin act indecisive while crushing Michael's lap.
I loved seeing Phyllis as Santa. She's right; she has the temperament, the figure, and she's got bad-ass Bob Vance to back her up in case anyone objects. And to think, at one time Phyllis Smith was a cheerleader for the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals.
You really, really wanted to see him pull a plan out of that savantish mind of his that would have saved Dunder Mifflin. At least I did. But, thankfully for the show's writers, that was never going to happen.
The interesting thing about this episode, though? The shareholders meeting plot was just OK. What I really wanted to see was more of Jim devising ways to assert his authority around the office. That was much funnier, and it was a small reminder of what attracted people to the show to begin with: small, real-life situations everyone who's ever sat in a cubicle could relate to.
(S06E09) There was so much comedic potential in this week's episode, that I ended up coming away from this one unsatisfied. It played out as essentially two mini-episodes, and while the second one was better than the first, neither was particularly funny.
Michael Scott is always funnier when he produces cringe-worthy moments via his cluelessness. Cruelty just doesn't suit him well, and the only time it really works for him is when he's dressing down Dwight. What I was expecting to see during his and Helaine's double date with Pam and Jim was some blissful obliviousness on Michael's part and seething anger on Pam's part. What we got was a Michael that was about as cruel as he's been to anyone in quite some time.
Kapoor and Hannon are the new singing sensation Subtle Sexuality, and "Male Prima Donna" dropped just after midnight this morning. They already have a Web site, a merchandise page with t-shirts, mugs, and tour posters. es, they list several dates in and around the Scranton, PA area and one in Ithaca. If you happen to be in the Dickson City, PA area tonight, you can catch the tour kickoff at Idle Hour Bowling Karaoke.
Nope, that's been the beauty of the Jam pairing from the minute they got together; they just continue being a solid couple in the background while the craziness spins around them. Even when one of them gets sucked into the craziness -- Pam defecting to the Michael Scott Paper Company, Jim becoming co-manager -- the pairing is still solid.
That's what made this hour-long wedding episode so enjoyable. It wasn't the fact that Pam and Jim got married, it's that they had a memorable, very PB & J-style wedding despite the presence of the crew from Scranton.
We all know B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard on The Office (he's also a writer and associate producer on the series). However, long before that, he was sharpening his comedic skills on the unsuspecting patrons of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Give Me My Remote has the scoop, straight from Novak's MySpace: while in high school B.J. and his brother decided to swipe the cassettes used for audio tours at the museum and replace them with their own tour, complete with Chinese music and everything (the tapes were for the Chinese art exhibit). The boys recruited fifteen of their friends to sneakily replace the regular cassettes with the new ones, thus giving museum goers a tour unlike any other.
You can download the Novaks' audio tour via iTunes by clicking here. Trust me, it's worth it. This is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time.
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