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The Office: USA


MattPage
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Part of a reviewlet I wrote of season 1 (which I just caught up with on DVD) a couple weeks ago, giving it a B+:

"...I did initially underrate the American version of "The Office" -- partially because, as [my sister-in-law] suggested, I was unfairly comparing it to the original, but more because Steve Carell is in that rare pantheon of comics who can can do everything right in selling a joke and somehow still make it unfunny. (See also: Ellen.) But, however, on the other hand, if this is possible, the non-boss aspects of the American show might actually be better than the British version. This show is more true to its title, with at least a dozen memorable cast members with meaningful roles (as opposed to maybe half that in the U.K.'s); I'm not sure you couldn't have as good of a show with the accounting department as the leads and Jim, Pam, et al., in the secondary ensemble. [yes, I am psychic -- mdp] And having more episodes than 14 (not in season 1, but overall) to stretch out Pam and Jim's storyline is nothing but helpful, and allows for more quiet, observational moments -- Pam simply putting on lipstick in the finale might have been the most touching moment in television last season. I can only hope Steve Carell becomes too big of a movie star sooner than later..."

Pretty much all of that holds for season two, except moreso -- the show gets even further away from being "The Steve Carell Show," the ensemble gets even stronger, and the positive ways it differentiates itself from the British original become even more prominent (an incredibly sophisticated understanding of race relations, more pomo referencing the filmmakers and the camera, a fascinating secondary romance). If The Greatest Half-Hour Comedy in Television History doesn't get picked up for season four, there's probably no better sitcom on the American airwaves than "The Office."

Christian:

: [Angela] is [a Christian]? I did not know that.

Yes. It was referenced once (in the fire episode, I think) and then dropped, thank goodness; it seemed the writers were trying to pile on the Puritianness of her character, and, you know, what's more Puritian than Christianity? (I wish instead they'd made, say, Oscar a Christian rather than a, um, you know.) That misstep aside, Angela is probably the most intriguing character on the show, and I'd cast Angela Kinsey in a second in almost any female role in any film; I think she's clearly the show's best actor, smallish part notwithstanding.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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  • 3 weeks later...
Important public service announcements from the most important people on television.

Heh... I was just watching some of those. The "Smell" one just cracks me up for some reason, and the "Jelly Beans" PSA is so true.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone catch the season-finale tonight? There was a small development between Jim and Pam. And by small, I mean a moment that makes one go "WHHHAAATTT???"

I know. Where can they possibly go from there? I mean, the romantic in me loved it, but...the unrequited tension of flirting is always better than actualization. Just like real life!

Sara Zarr

author, person.

sarazarr.com

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Things are going to be awkward around the office, that's for sure. Even more so than usual.

I hope this doesn't mean Jim and Pam stop annoying Dwight. "I can move things with my mind". :D

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That's how you do a season finale, folks. Wonderful.

Clint, are you saying you didn't care for the development between Jim and Pam? I think it's The Office's greatest moment yet, a sign of confidence on the part of the writers that they can make that relationship work without sinking the show.

The thing with Michael and his two dates. That's just ... weird.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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For some reason, while I was falling asleep on Thursday night, I suddenly remembered watching Steve Carrell win his Emmy and dedicate it to his wife.

That's when I remembered where I've seen the woman who was his (other) date at Casino Night.

That's Carrell's wife!! I'm almost positive!

Over the last two weeks, The Office became my all-time favorite television comedy.

They are firing on all cylinders right now. EVERYTHING is working brilliantly.

And I agree... the big moment last Thursday was one of the greatest television moments of all time. I actually shed tears. The power they are slowly building into that story... wow.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new information about Kevin that they've revealed. That 80's style rock video was priceless.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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So much went in those last five minutes in the Jim/Pam relationship that I'm not sure even the great Greg Daniels can stretch this storyline much longer without getting unrealistic. I do wish Jim hadn't said "I love you" -- there's more interesting ways he could have got across his point without being so brazen. But I really, *really* wish Jim hadn't gone to the office while Pam was talking to her mother; a great would-be final moment showing Pam struggling with her feelings was replaced by Pam being completely sure of her feelings, which no thank you. I do trust Greg, who handles emotions 10x more realistically and touchingly than any other sitcom writer -- just look at "Lisa's Wedding" in "The Simpons" -- but I dunno. I worry.

(It didn't help, of course, that the similar -- but better -- end to UK season two is one of the greatest moments in television history.)

Dale

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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Hang on,

two characters soun like they're getting together, and there's an 80s style rock video

CHristmas Special alert - Christmas special alert.

Have you guys seen those yet? They are perfect. Seriously. P-E-R-F-E-C-T

Matt

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  • 1 month later...

: BBC3 has bought the series from NBC.

weird.

"so we did this thing, you've ripped it off and now you're selling us back your (possibly) crappy* American rip off version". Someone at NBC has great business ability

Matt

*I'll edit this if I'm wrong.

Kind of like how...well...We had Friends...which spawned Coupling. And so NBC purchased the writes to develope a Friends knockoff?

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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  • 2 weeks later...
Three new cast members, none of whom I've heard of. But Daily Show fans are probably rejoicing, right?

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 1 month later...
his eraction was "Meh".

I get spam email frequently that informs me there's a medical solution for that...

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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The Washington Post's TV critic, Lisa de Moraes, was saying in an online chat last week that the people she spoke with Friday morning were divided on the season premiere. Some loved it, others despised it. No middle ground.

I'm at a loss to explain how anyone who enjoys this program might not have enjoyed the most recent episode, unless the gay stuff was just so uncomfortable for some people that they couldn't watch it, much less laugh at it.

Sarah and I reacted as most fans of the show probably did: By screaming with laughter at the audacity of those moments.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The Washington Post's TV critic, Lisa de Moraes, was saying in an online chat last week that the people she spoke with Friday morning were divided on the season premiere. Some loved it, others despised it. No middle ground.

I'm at a loss to explain how anyone who enjoys this program might not have enjoyed the most recent episode, unless the gay stuff was just so uncomfortable for some people that they couldn't watch it, much less laugh at it.

Sarah and I reacted as most fans of the show probably did: By screaming with laughter at the audacity of those moments.

I think that may have been part of it. The part that felt a little "off" to me was Jim not being directly involved in the Scranton branch happenings. The bits with the Gaydar was pretty funny ("Let me check Sharper Image... ahh, out of stock."), but I hope that he gets back to Scranton soon.

And just for the record, I loved it. I fell out of my seat laughing when Michael was kissing Oscar in the most uncomfortable man-to-man kiss ever televised.

Edited by Clint M
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I would like to see Jim away a little longer, but I hope we see more of him. I want to see him interacting with this new office more. Plus, I loved the moment where the woman talks about how "Jim is always looking at the camera and doing this...what's with that?"

Plus, boy could I relate to Jim in this episode. There was that scene where the co-worker is asking him if he thinks a particular girl is hot, and Jim had the same uncomfortable "um sure" expression I get when guys in the office I work in act that way.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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