This post will only be about "The Office." I may not get a chance to watch "The O.C." and "Earl" until the weekend. Since "Office" isn't really a show you can spoil, I'm going to leave this all on the main page (again, now that I can spoiler-protect posts, let me know if you'd like me to do it with everything, just with some shows, or never).
Last week, I mentioned seeing an advance copy of an an episode that made me feel like "The Office" had finally made The Leap from very good to great. That's next week's show, but last night's was so damn funny that I may have to reassess exactly when The Leap was made. It's been in reruns for so long. Maybe the Christmas episode? Or Booze Cruise? Valentine's Day?
I have a constantly-expanding list of Things That Are Always Funny (Al Pacino with a Cuban accent, Homer Simpson's whiny voice, the books of Carl Hiaasen), and to that I think we can add Rainn Wilson in a goofy hat. Dwight in the sheriff's uniform with the shiny boots was bad enough, but when he put on that Smokey hat, I just about died. And him carrying a coffee cup of his own urine around the office? Jim was right: this was the absolute worst day ever to be silenced by Jinx.
And speaking of which, this may have been my favorite Pam/Jim subplot to date. The pleasure she took in putting him in situations where he couldn't talk was great (though my recollection of the Jinx rules is that she also could have freed him by saying his name, or punching him in the arm once if he spoke on his own ), and his impression of Stanley was dead-on. (I'm assuming Krasinski does impressions of everybody off-camera, and they wrote it in.)
With "Arrested Development" gone, this is now the densest comedy on TV, and I feel like I need to go back and watch it again two or three times to make sure I catch everything. There was another squirm-inducing Angela/Dwight scene (two, actually, if you count the veiled birth control discussion in front of the other accountants), Creed identifying the marijuana by brand (of course, he would know; he's Creed Bratton), Ryan trying to get a job at the urine-testing lab so he can get the hell out of Dunder-Mifflin, and any scene with Kevin. (I've met Brian Baumgartner, and he's a really bright guy; his ability to do that dead-eyed stare is impressive.)
And in the midst of all the goofiness, there was room for some genuine heart that didn't in any way undercut the jokes: notably Dwight's look of disillusionment as he walked to the sheriff's station, and the final look shared between Jim and Pam. Can't say too much about the latter, since I've seen next week's show, but I can't wait to see what the hell Daniels and company try to pull off in the finale two weeks from now.
What did everybody else think?