Friday, May 05, 2006

"Just take it."

For me, the highlight of last night's "The Office," if not the last year of TV comedy, was Toby's despair and frustration as he had to pose for the employee ID photo.

Simply a brilliant episode all around. Since I wrote about it in Wednesday's column, let me just list some of my other favorite bits:
  • Stanley's "We sit close" to Phyllis.
  • Michael trying to swap clothes with Ryan.
  • Pam using the word "hussy."
  • The perfect camera pan to Jim lip-synching to Michael's "That's what she said."
  • Creed being the one who complained about the men's room being whites-only.
  • Creed keeping mung beans in his drawer ("very nutritious, but they smell like death")
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark/Citizen Kane homage at the end. (Does that mean that Toby has hundreds of these complaint boxes, or that Toby wants the complaints to be shipped out to a customer?)
  • Jim's dawning realization about how wasteful his relationships with both Pam and Dwight have become.
  • The Photoshopped picture.
Just superb. What did everybody else think?


Cheesesteak said...

I thought it was one of the best episodes for character development. Finally we see some movement from Jim to move on, not just away from Pam, but to save his sanity. After his realization that he's wasting every day, it was good to see him meet with Jan.

I missed pieces here and there (like the first 5 minutes), but I came in on the "You mean like your thoughts and feelings?" exchange. That was really rough but necessary for Pam's character. I'll be happy if she ends up with Jim, but first she needs to be honest about her relationship with Roy.

I'm going to go wait for my Dwight bobblehead

Fred App said...

Dwight's cluelessness over why someone would suddenly take back all the bad things they said about him six months ago was pretty funny, too.

What I liked about this episode was that it was hilarious, but it didn't play things for laughs. Underlying all the funny lines was the obvious pain that these characters felt. Even Michael -- there's one point where he has this expression of impending horror mixed with resignation, as if he's just realizing what he's unleashed and that he can't stop it. And then, of course, he tries to patch things up with the photo (like he tried to patch up the disastrous Christmas party by getting everyone drunk). I guess we'll find out next week how well that worked.

doogald said...

I am a big fan of the Gervais The Office, and when I first saw this one I was convinced that it would be gone in a few episodes - it seemed too derivative, and not even as good. In fact, very much like the two Couplings.

Boy, was I wrong. This show is one of the best comedies on television right now. I really like My Name Is Earl, I am trying to like The Old Christine and How I Met Your Mother, but I think that when we look back in a decade that The Office will be the show that we remember.

Nilbo said...

Another brilliant episode, and I agree, this series is hitting its stride big time.

Too many favourite moments to list, but I have to say that with every episode, I'm more and more impressed with the acting chops of the supporting cast, and not just comedic acting. The Pam/Jim sub (super?) plot is so well crafted in the looks and silences. I find myself watching the show once for the surface moments and comedy ... and then again for the undercurrents, glances, and subtle bits of business that give this "sit-com" the atomic weight of plutonium (or at the very least, a good Christmas fruit cake).

Jennifer Jaroch said...

Brilliant episode. I have to agree that Toby's ID moment was hilarious/sheer genius. You should add to your list Dwight's newest memorable quote, “Anytime someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life.” The only thing I wish had happened that didn't was a slight pan to Ryan's face during the Dwight 6 month redacted complaints...don't forget he has a good idea of what's going on between them after what he had to overhear in the kitchen that day.

I look forward to this show more and more every week. It just keeps getting better. I can't wait to see what they do with 40 minutes and a season finale next week.

Pretty-How-Town said...

I agree with Jennifer! Dwight's lines about never smiling were one of my favorite parts of a terrific episode. Here's the complete quote: "I never smile if I can help it. Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I can see is a chimpanzee begging for its life."

That just might beat out my previous All Time Favorite Dwight Schrute Quote: "The purse girl hits everything on my checklist: creamy skin, straight teeth, curly hair, amazing breasts -- not for me, for my children. The Schrutes produce very thirsty babies."

Jaynee said...

I absolutely adored this episode and think it's definitely one of the top three (The Dundies is still my all time favorite, followed by the Booze Cruise).

I rewound my Tivo a few times to see Jim lip-synch with Michael on "that's what she said" because it was so frickin' funny. And I giggled myself silly at the Raiders of the Lost Ark reference at the end.

I love this show and refuse to delete it from my Tivo if I can help it. I currently have 20 episodes saved on Tivo and they won't be deleted until I own the DVD of the second season.

Julia said...

Great episode! Three words to pretty much sum up the hilarity:

Dwight Fart Schrute

Pete said...

As you said, Alan, they were really on their game last night. This episode is probably in my Top 3--along with "Health Care" and "Dwight's Speech."

I had a different take on the RotLA scene at the end: the box that Toby was putting away was the one he was using to keep Dwight's complaints about Jim that he was supposedly sending to New York. Now that Dwight knows Toby doesn't send anything to New York, there's no reason for a separate box. So Toby puts it back in the warehouse.

Rainn Wilson steals just about every scene in _The Office_, but one of my favorites last night was Oscar, livid and screaming to Toby, "Toby, Jesus would FLIP OUT if he saw that! FLIP OUT!"

tanster said...

Hi Alan,

First of all, I just want to say THANK YOU for your column on Wednesday (which OfficeTally linked to); it was pretty much the only source of spoilers for Conflict Resolution that I found this week!

Some of my other favorite quotes and moments:

Michael (reading Dwight's complaint): “This morning, I knocked myself in the head with the phone.”
Jim: That actually took awhile. I had to put uh more and more nickels into his handset, til he got used to the weight, and then I just ... took them all out.

Creed posing for his I.D. picture like it was a mug shot.

Kevin quickly agreeing to Michael's decision for Angela to sexually harass him.

Yes, I also thought the Raiders of the Lost Ark reference was great!

One more episode to go. It's going to be a long, sad summer.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Great episode of "The Office." The show gets better and better, if that is even possible. So many times you think it has reached its peak and than it exceeds it again.

Question - Why did NBC cancel "The West Wing" retrospective??

vance said...

too many funny things to count on The Office. It is amazing how far this show has come since last year. I watched out of respect for the first Office and Steve Carrell, then this winter, thought that it kinda enters my top 10, and now its just zooming up the charts, and is definitely one of my Must see TV (hey, maybe NBC can actually claim that again). It's definitely entered, along with Veronica Mars, Everwood and Lost, as the shows I CANNOT miss now.

Daniel L. said...

Pretty much anything Dwight says is hilarious, and I love the chimpanzee quote, but my favorite from last night was the story about the lax security that allowed him to bring a spud gun into the office -- followed by the topper: "Could you imagine what would have happened if I was deranged?"

sm said...

One thing that bugged me - wasn't Dwight smiling in the photo at the end? Where did Michael get that photo from if Dwight never smiles?

velvetcannibal said...

My absolute favorite moment was when Phyllis slammed the fridge in Andrea's face. And the death looks from both of them. HILARIOUS!

Cheesesteak said...

So have you seen the finale ahead of time?