"A man just runs in in a red military uniform and a black top hat," recalled 'The Office' actor, writer and producer. "I thought, well, this has to be a Michael Jackson impersonator, because this isn't what Michael Jackson would ever wear on his day off." But no, it really was MJ.
After dinner, they played Scattergories. "He got the double-word score under fictional characters for Nicholas Nickelby, so he's a [Charles] Dickens reader," observed Novak.
And the superstar won! He celebrated by singing an "absolutely gorgeous" a cappella rendition of 'We Are the Champions'. Too bad Novak couldn't really brag about it at school the next day: Who would believe him?
Novak's new contract will make him executive producer next season (he's already a co-executive producer) and he'll direct two episodes. Novak directed the 'Scott's Tots' episode in season six, in which Michael Scott promised a group of students he'd pay their college tuition if they graduated high school, and also directed the Webisodes series 'The Office: Blackmail.'
(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.
(S06E07) "You know, I really would have appreciated a heads up that you were into dating mothers. I would have introduced you to mine." - Dwight
Ahh, that's more like it. After last week's garbage episode, "Mafia," The Office seems to be back on track by exploring two of the best plots the show has had in quite some time. Jim and Pam's wedding is obviously still the high-water mark, and it will probably continue to be that way for quite some time, but "The Lover" was certainly a step in the right direction.
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.
The video is like that old elementary school essay: What I Did Last Summer. The cast--supporting and main players--all talk about what their summers were like. Some of them even seem to tie up a few loose ends, especially Karen's testimonial, which is a little... bitter. We also get to see Ryan at his new job and Kelly's reaction to him is priceless.
Video after the jump and I've also embedded a great promo for Chuck with NBC's promo guy:
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