The Office (BBC)
Well, good news for anyone else who is still in need of some Office love. July 1st's Concert for Diana in London will feature a multitude of stars to celebrate Princess Diana's life. Among those stars will be Office stars Ricky Gervais and Mackenzie Crook, performing "Free Love Freeway" before introducing Sir Elton John.
1. Where were you born?
Los Angeles, California.
2. How many siblings do you have?
Three. Carly, Tyler, and Stella.
4. Do you have any pets?
I had a lot growing up! My apartment doesn't allow pets. I want a dog though! I love dogs. Thelma and Louise were our two dogs growing up. We also over the years had a bunch of cats. First we had Pippi, who my sister named (The Pippi Longstocking movie had just come out), and Pippi had two kittens, that my brother and I each got to name. I named mine "Fluffy," because I'm sooo creative, and my brother named his "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ghostbuster," who was also known to the rest of us as "patches."
Merchant was one half of the writing and directing team behind the original The Office. He appeared in the show as the Oggmonster only one and a half times (once during the Red Nose Day episode and another time as a voice over Gareth's speakerphone), so it was only natural that his writing and directing partner, Ricky Gervais, got all the attention as the star of the show.
For those of you who might not know yet, Ricky Gervais was part of a pop duo from 1982 to 1984 called 'Seona Dancing' (shawn-uh, not see-own-ah). They released two singles ("More to Lose" and "Bitter Heart" - both wide b-sides) in the UK that climbed to numbers 117 and 70 on the charts, before they dropped into obscurity. However, in 1985 a DJ in the Philippines started playing "More to Lose", and it rocketed to the top of the Filipino music charts. According to the All Music Guide, "In one part of the world, Seona Dancing's "More to Lose" became an '80s anthem as ubiquitous as Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."
Ahhh, the acting chops that had to take. Still, I would've jumped at the chance to be on the show, even if I was background extra number 48 in a crowd scene. I've missed the last two seasons, but this premiere sucked me back in. That's how easy I am.
You see, when I read the AV Club's interview with Ricky this week, I really didn't know how I felt about it. On the one hand, you have a groundbreaking comedian trying to set the bar a little higher for himself. On the other you have a pompous windbag. I've been flip-flopping between the two.
Soft, feminine features, typified by the face of Ricky Gervais, were more likely to make people laugh. According to psychologist Anthony Little, "The characteristics of a feminine face imply that the person may be agreeable and cooperative...Typically masculine facial traits, such as chiseled jaws and high foreheads are regarded as less amusing and their owners are less likely to succeed in a comedy career."
(S02E06) I think this episode features one of Ricky Gervais' best dramatic performances. Yeah. Dramatic. As David begged to Neil and Jennifer to not make him redundant, his eyes glazed over with tears and his voice gently cracked. It was subtle and heart-breaking and, in that one instant, my views of David completely turned around. It also reminded me of how tragic this entire series is. I don't think I've ever seen a comedy series with such emotionally-realistic characters.
(S02E05) I always refer to this episode as "the one where Tim and Gareth kiss" or "the one where Tim and Dawn kiss". However, everyone else does a lot of "um"-ing and "uh"-ing until I mention David's infamous dance. Yes, yes. It's "the one where David dances", but, gosh, so much more happens. All the events in this episode prepare us for the season finale, when feelings are sure to be hurt, hearts are sure to be broken, and fools are sure to be... uh... made... out of.
(S02E04) Although I still obnoxiously quote it all the time, this episode kind of bugs me. I mean, it's hysterical in every way, but I've always thought that it stepped a little too far from reality. The beauty of The Office has always been the fact that all actions, all words, all awkward looks to the camera are realistically justified. David's ego is just larger than life in this episode. It got a little too sitcom-y with his training seminar storyline. Eh. Maybe it was just me.
(S02E03) This episode focused mostly on David's growing disgust/jealousy toward Neil and the near-breakdown of Tim and Dawn's friendship. The constant jokes about David's heeled boots were great because I really do see men wearing those around... It was just the right amount of ridiculous. Wearing a knock-off version of Neil's jacket was the icing on the cake. We learned that David's idea of being bad-ass is slightly different from the rest of the world's...
David: You know that old thing... "Live fast, die young"? Not my way. Live fast, sure. Live too bloody fast sometimes! But... die young? [shakes his head] Die old. That's the way I -- I'm not orthodox. I don't live by "the rules".
(S02E02) There was major development in the Tim/Dawn relationship (or lack thereof), thanks to a budding romance between Tim and one of the new girls. David's seething jealousy towards Neil also hit a new high. Plus, Keith's appraisal is in this episode. In other words, this episode is jam-packed with awesome.
(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.
(S01E06) The episode started with David firing the same guy that he hired at the beginning of the first episode. The forklift-operator being fired, Alex, was furious with the news and asked David if firing him instead of Anton, the 3' 4" midget working in the warehouse, was just positive discrimination. David defended himself, explaining that being short isn't a disability (in fact, many children are short). And then some guy working on David's computer(?) popped out from behind the desk and Gareth showed up next to the window. Haha, it was really unexpected. Everyone kept asking Alex the definition of a midget and a dwarf... and then an elf. When asked how he knew so much about midgets, Alex sighed, "It's called an education" and left. As the scene changed, we briefly saw a many with some paper rolls walk through a door and silently glare at the camera (see picture). Fun Fact: That's co-creator Stephen Merchant's dad.
(S01E05) Although this episode had its share of funny moments, the amount of character development cannot be ignored. This half-hour took Brent's desperation, Tim's exhaustion, Dawn's confusion, Finch's perversion, everyone's everything to a higher level. Plus, we got to see some of Slough's rocking night-life. Sweet.
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