Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Office: Hard-working. Alpha male. Jackhammer... Merciless. Insatiable.


Spoilers for "The Office" just as soon as I tell my drill instructor, "I GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!!!! I GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!!!!"

First of all, awesome music choice with the Muzak version of "Up Where We Belong" in the background of Michael's reconciliation with Dwight. I already had the "Officer and a Gentleman" theme running through my head as soon as I saw Michael walking into the Staples, then I wondered if they were going to play the real thing (and somehow violate the documentary conceit), then heard what sounded like random Muzak, then realized that it was "Up Where We Belong." Just perfect. To quote Marv Somebody, YES!!!!

This one wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as "Traveling Salesmen," but that's because they were going for more of a poignant tone. Everybody's out of sorts in this one. Dwight's working elsewhere, Andy is trying to become Dwight (but is oddly turning into Michael), Michael seems normal in comparison to Andy (his only real bad moment was at the Party Planning Committee meeting), Karen's refusal to play accomplice briefly turns Jim into Tim from British "Office," Angela is (temporarily) human, and the reunion of the Jim/Pam Prank Squad clues Karen into what a terrible mistake she just made.

(Minor) credit to Jim for manning up and admitting the truth, even if he had to wait to be asked by Karen. So what do you do if you're her? You're young and smart, but the economy sucks, and you've already moved once in the last few months. Do you stay with Jim and spend the rest of the relationship waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do you break up with him but stay at that job and feel humiliated every day? Do you join Fat Guy Who Isn't Kevin, Non-Stereotypical Black Ex-Con and Nursing Mother on the bread line?

Some random thoughts, good bits and lines:
  • Was that Kevin Reilly as Dwight's first job interviewer?
  • Oh, one other Michael-as-Michael moment: he explains Ebonics. (On the flip side, the revelation that he was hiding behind the door during what seemed to be B-roll of Andy looking for him was beautiful.)
  • Jim to Ryan: "I liked you better as a temp." Ryan to Jim: "Me too."
  • Phyllis thinks she has a big personality?
What did everybody else think?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Best line of the night: When Michael said he couldn't understand how someone (Andy) could be so self unaware.

I thought this ep was VERY strong. I loved how out of whack everyone was without Dwight there. Andy was so annoying that I was hoping Michael would fire him (I don't think he is going to last much longer).

As for karen, well ,we all knew it wouldn't last long but it feels so abrupt. Poor thing. but looknig at Pam's young bouncing bosom, is it any wonder Jim is having his head turned by that sexy vixen?

SJ said...

Very good episode. I loved the prank Jim and Pam played on Andy...I couldn't help laughing whenever that awful song started playing.

Another funny moment:
Ryan adding an accent mark to the 'n' on lemonade for the mexican party. I'm in the process of learning Spanish so it just made me laugh a lot.

Anonymous said...

very good episode - the only sitcom I still feel like I need to watch, not just listen to.

No post-episode scene, though. Bummer.

Dan Jardine said...

Kevin to Oscar: "Welcom back from gay-cation."

Biggest surprise of the week: Angela cries. Angela freakin' cries! In front of Oscar! Oh, and the reunion with Dwight, that was really lovely as well, as both realize the sacrifices the other made on their behalf. This is certainly the closest thing to mere mortal that we've ever seen Angela. That said, I can't wait for her to revert to form. The office without bitchy Angela would be like the Lakers without bitchy Kobe. Dull.

dave said...

I really like that you pointed out the Jim / Tim parallel from this episode. That was as much as they've ever seemed really the same throughout the entire series. There's one point where the camera cuts to Jim and he scratches his head quickly in an exasperated manner as Andy's doing something or other. That really evoked Martin Freeman as Tim for me.

BF said...

Congratulations, Universe. You win!

Kristin said...

And don't forget that look of "oh crap" on Jim's face when Andy punched his hand into the wall. One of my favorite moments...

I think if I were Karen I'd be looking for another job. Maybe even be considering moving back to Connecticut...unless I just signed a lease and would be losing money. No way would I stay working in an office that small with the weird love triangle thing going on. Too humiliating.

Wonder what Pam's gonna think if/when Karen quits?

Anonymous said...

It was Kevin Reilly. Variety did a story on it: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117957762.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

k said...

Love this blog, actually first i just love the starledger being a jersey girl, and that led me here.

my favorite line/moment last night (and i paraphrase cause i deleted it from the tivo) was
michael: i don't want people sucking up to me to advance their career, i want people sucking up to me because they love me...and then he wistfully looks off and gives this dreamy satisfied "huh" like he's thinking of dwight. it was hilarious

Dan said...

The Producers cut is up on the NBC Office page.

Some great extras in there, worth watching just to see Creed explain where Dwight is.

Rick said...

When Andy punched through the wall I just about lost it. It also marks the second time this season where HE did, in fact, lose it... "Where's my freaking chair!"

It's a shame that the stars are aligning to have Andy out by the end of the season, which is too bad as I think his character is hilariously unbearable (for them... just hilarious for me).

Anonymous said...

Overall I agree that it was kind of a blue episode without a ton of humor, especially from the main characters.

But the secondary characters cracked me up a couple of times -- Angela's tearful "apology" to Oscar, and the hilarious reaction shots after Andy freaked out and punched out the wall-Jim looking freaked, Michael looking disgusted, and especially Oscar just grinning and smirking.

Taleena said...

I loved this episode. The indispensible Dwight and everyone realizes it. I loved the muzak, my husband and I looked at each other and just laughed then of course Dwight stripping off the Staples shirt and throwing it to the checker was perfect; not quite a hardhat, but definately evocative of Officer and a Gentleman.

The prank was hilarious. "I think we broke his brain."

Anonymous said...

I also love that the documentary camera missed Jim finally getting up to go to Pam's desk, and had to scramble to get over there to catch it.

Anonymous said...

The Andy/Phyllis part where he tries to get into her desk and she slams it and he says "I don't trust you Phyllis!".

Alan Sepinwall said...

Some great extras in there, worth watching just to see Creed explain where Dwight is.

With Creed, it's always about decapitation, isn't it? I always suspected Ed Truck's death wasn't quite so violent...

Other notables in the expanded cut: Michael only realizes what Andy's about after Jim tells him that Andy used to do the same with Josh in Stamford, Kelly complains about Oscar's ignorance of gay culture, an extended welcome scene for Oscar with Michael being his usual clueless self, and a running gag involving Michael's convertible.

Why can't the show be super-sized every week?

Benji said...

LOVED the episode. Andy truly was "in rare form," so deliriously overconfident over Dwight's departure that he managed to "out-Michael" Michael.

Andy's behavior made the prank sooo satisfying.

Anyone else notice Andy saying "gonna get my beer on, get my 'Lost' on"? I was shocked to hear a competing network's show mentioned, but I guess it WAS an uncool, annoying character saying he watched the show...

Benji said...

Oh, *loved* the Staples co-worker:

"I don't like him, his giant head, or his beady little eyes."

Alan Sepinwall said...

Benji, Dwight has made repeated "Lost" references over the years (most recently in "Boys and Girls" where he compared going into the warehouse to the episode where Jack met The Others).

J said...

I was really hoping they'd push the Dwight-as-Aleksey Vayner thing a little harder -- would have loved to see some ballroom dancing and weightlifting -- but I guess that Michael Cera video did all that needed doing, there.

velvetcannibal said...

Alan,

I have a season pass on iTunes to the show and I was pleasantly surprised to find that all the bonus material is included in this week's download! I have 28 minutes of awesome.

Some other things I loved:

-Karen telling Jim all Dwight's passwords are a different mythical creature.

-In the bonus footage, Phyllis shaking her "maracas" for Michael.

-Andy referring to Ryan as "Big Turkey."

Kathleen said...

velvetcannibal, don't you mean you have 28 minutes of dawesome?

Lisa said...

Anonymous 1:49 PM, I had to rewind and watch Phyllis slam that desk drawer about 4 times in a row. What reflexes!

dez said...

Why can't the show be super-sized every week?

Which show would you sacrifice for the extra "Office" minutes, though? Everything on NBC Thursday night has been so good!

My fave part was definitely when Jim and Pam broke Andy's brain. I do wish Andy could stick around longer, too.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Which show would you sacrifice for the extra "Office" minutes, though? Everything on NBC Thursday night has been so good!

"ER." In a heartbeat.

dez said...

Heh, but "ER" is back in fine form. Adding John Stamos to the cast seems to have invigorated the show. Too bad they sent Kerrie off into the sunset, though.