Friday, January 05, 2007

The Office: No shirt, wrong e-mail, big problem

A very funny night of television last night, and I haven't even seen "Earl" yet. I'll get to "Scrubs," "30 Rock" and "The O.C." later this morning, but spoilers for "The Office" just as soon as I get a stray piece of tape out of my friend's hair...

She doesn't know. She doesn't know. Jan has no idea. Genius. Absolute freaking genius.

I think we had all guessed that Jan was on the other end of Michael's Christmas party call, but poor, poor Jan. Not only does she have this unhealthy fixation on Michael, now her stupid therapist is telling her to embrace her self-destructive tendencies. If the guy ever met Michael, he would tell Jan to run far, far away. When Kevin started asking her about her tan and she floated the Arizona line, I thought she was desperately trying to deny her presence in the picture, and that we would see her tear into Michael in private (she can't fire him over this, because that would be sexual harassment), but she doesn't know. I love it.

I also love the speed with which Darryl got that e-mail circulating. Packer got it, like, two seconds after Michael sent it to the wrong address, and Toby got it from nine different people ("including my ex-wife, and we don't talk"). Darryl's never liked Michael, and he's had a particular grudge against him ever since he trashed the warehouse in "Boys and Girls." Revenge is a dish best served topless. Or something.

But for me, the funniest moment of the episode was the capper to what had been shaping up to be the sweetest scene: Dwight comforting a sobbing Pam, acting the most human he has ever, ever been on this show, followed by "So you're PMS'ing pretty bad, right?" Beautiful set-up, perfect pay-off.

A few other thoughts and quotes:
  • What was that bit about Darryl's iPod? I thought it might be explained in the deleted scenes on NBC.com, but the only stuff there is about the postcards Michael sends Pam from vacation and Dwight listing all the pranks Jim pulled on him in the last week.
  • Speaking of which, nice teaser with Jim running the sales meeting and totally messing with Dwight's tape recorder. Hell, even Phyllis got involved before Andy had to go and ruin it. However, it feels a little off for Jim -- who keeps vowing that he's going to stay away from old patterns, even though he backslides -- to be so openly mocking of Dwight while running the office. Funny, though.
  • Did anyone else feel like Michael's sad shuffle to his office to confront Jan needed to be accompanied by the Charlie Brown music?
  • Hannah the new mom quit over Christmas break, which leaves Karen and Andy (and, technically, Jim) as the only Stamford people left.
  • "That's all I'm gonna say... sex... sex... we had sex... I had sex with her..."
  • Pam's always so good at quietly undercutting Michael's foolishness, in this case with her line about Jamaica being an impoverished country.
  • Why does Kevin get to keep the poster?
So what did everybody else think?

21 comments:

Cheesesteak said...

I loved this episode, though my fiancee and I were calling Jan not knowing about the email when Pam told Michael she was coming in.

As the season continues, I like Pam more and more. Her action as a real friend to Jim, just as he did for her, will make their eventual relationship that much more stronger.

Or he can live with Karen happily ever after. Either way he wins. And sorry, if Roy keeps that beard, so does Pam. He's looking pretty good these days.

BF said...

Had they gone with the Charlie Brown music, it just would have seemed like an "Arrested Development" rip-off. As it is, Carell made it his own with that trudge up the stairs.

Don't want to get your hopes up too high, but Earl was incredible!!

Nilco said...

Yeah, I couldn't even tell it was an ipod. And I backed up four times to make sure.
Missed the joke totally there.

Anonymous said...

I was totally confused about the ipod bit too.

I had mixed feelings about the PMS joke. Dwight is the most sitcom-y and least realistic character on the show. I think cutting the joke and having him actually be there for Pam would have been ironic and worked as just a sweet moment. At the very least, if they were going to go with a joke (and I do admit to laughing at his stupidity) they could have come up with something a little more clever than a PMS joke.

Anonymous said...

Btw, nothing against Kate Flannery, but why is she still on the show? I honestly don't even remember the last time she had a line. Meredith could be a funny character, but if they're not going to do anything with her then having her lurking around silently in the background all the time just seems weird.

On the flip side, I know BJ Novak has been in the opening credits since the pilot, but his role on the show is no bigger than Kevin's, Angela's, and lots of the other supporting players. It seems kind of unfair he still gets billing over them.

Kristin said...

Oh, no, I think the funniest part about the Dwight/Pam scene was Dwight taking off his jacket, like he was about to offer to her. Then, he ties it around his waist declaring that "it's hot in here." Hilarious!

I really don't want Pam back with Roy. At least let her date some other not-so-completely-horrible guy for a bit. Please give her someone new, if she can't have Jim for now. Please!

Alan Sepinwall said...

It really is a shame about Kate Flannery, as she's wicked funny in person and on the occasional deleted scene. There are a few things getting in the way of more Meredith time, I think:

1)She doesn't work in Sales or Accounting, and she's not in a relationship with someone, so she doesn't have a professional or personal reason for interacting with the others on a regular basis.

2)Her two established character traits -- alcoholic and trampy -- don't automatically lend themselves to being a go-to person in a scene the way Stanley's apathy or Kevin's juvenile idiocy do. Greg has also said that Meredith is one of a handful of people who don't mind working for Michael (Dwight and Kevin being the others), so the obvious route of having her get annoyed with him doesn't work.

Chip said...

BJ gets billing because he's a writer/creator...

Anonymous said...

Mindy Kaling is a writer/producer too, but she's not in the opening credits.

Alex said...

I'm kind of slow sometimes, so it took me until the very end of the episode to catch onto the fact that Jan didn't get the e-mail. That said, I find it hard to believe that she didn't get it, especially given the speed at which the message traveled. I know they were going for extreme irony here, but I'm nitpicking anyway. On the other hand, I did love that Jan has really decided to "go for it."

Anonymous said...

They usually update the deleted scenes daily, so I'm sure there will be something in the next few days that deals with the IPod.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there's more to the ipod thing in the deleted scenes. But why did they not cut the scene that did air? It made no sense whatsoever.

howlingfantods said...

I think the teaser is an indication of the serious mistake they made in giving Jim a promotion.

Their dynamic was originally that of someone taking the piss out of an annoying peer who believes they're superior because of an empty and meaningless title. Now that Jim's the number 2, though, he's the more popular and more powerful worker picking on the more socially maladjusted geek, the freak of the office.

So the pranks go from playfulness and justifiably trying to take someone down a peg to being basically bullying. Not as funny and definitely not sympathetic.

Anonymous said...

The only things I watched last night were ER and Scrubs. Leave it to NBC to keep me from watching a rerun of my dear Grey's by running an ep of Scrubs paying homage to House!

The scheduling was so tight (and off-hour, probably, too) that both my Grey's were cut off at one end or other. Good thing they were reruns. All I kept from the first one was a promo for Season One, starting Sunday on Lifetime.

Hopefully, you will get to Scrubs soon. It was a lot of fun. :-)

Pam from Boston

Anonymous said...

Anybody think that the photos looked too photoshopped to be real? Maybe Michael took someone else on the trip????

Fred App said...

I don't think the pictures were Photoshopped. I think they really were of a German woman named Urkelora (or however it's spelled and pronounced).

Alan Sepinwall said...

As for the billing thing it's because B.J. was slated to be a castmember from the beginning, where Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein (Toby) were recruited for one-off appearances that turned into regular characters later.

Contractually, almost everyone who works at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton (plus Jan) is considered a cast regular now, the only exceptions being Creed, Darryl, Karen and Andy. (Darryl's not in every episode, and I'm not sure what the deal with Creed is.) Most of them got promoted to regular status in January '06, and expanding the opening titles to include all of them would lead to at least four additional deleted scenes per episode.

Anonymous said...

The Ipod thing was because they were doing inventory (remember they waited for Michael?). He found it while going through the warehouse.

Matt said...

I'm guessing we'll see Rashida Jones and/or Ed Helms moved to the opening credits at the start of next season (assuming they stick around)--they've got room for one or two more headshots. However, being billed as a guest star rather than a regular can have benefits. Back in the 60s, NBC refused to allow Nichelle Nichols to be a regular on Star Trek. By guest-starring every week, she made more money than she would have as a regular.

filmcricket said...

Going back to your opening paragraph, Alan, was that really a spare piece of tape in Michael's hair? I was trying to figure out what it was for the longest time, and then I decided it was one of those hair-wraps or beads on the end of a braid that enjoyed an annoying vogue when I was in highschool and you still see on people who come back from "the islands."

Not Jim said...

filmcricket, I think the spare piece of tape comment was a referrence to Pam's interview, where she compared helping Jim to helping other friends, like when she got a piece of tape out of Phyllis's hair. The thing in Michael's hair is definitely a cornrow he got done in Jamaica.