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I'm surprised no one's mentioned easily the best moment of this episode: the final pan to Pam, where her face expresses a half-dozen different emotions in three seconds. I've always kinda thought that Jenna Fischer was more well-cast than she was a per se "good actor" -- see also Alexis Bledel in "Gilmore Girls" -- but that moment makes me wonder if I was mistaken.

Dale

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

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Wow, um, so I actually thought it was probably the weakest episode since "The Injury," other Michael-and-Dwight-centric episode. Both "The Injury" and "The Coup" (last night's ep) were far too broadly comedic for my tastes; I think "The Office" is at its best when it focuses on small moments, like the tiny wave Toby gave while passing Pam's desk last episode.

On the other hand, the final moment between Jim and

the girl at his new office

was as beautiful as

grenade throwing

gets.

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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The "hug" bit was funny, but for the most part, I was disengaged from the proceedings. The episode was ... boring (gasp!).

"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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Wow, um, so I actually thought it was probably the weakest episode since "The Injury," other Michael-and-Dwight-centric episode. Both "The Injury" and "The Coup" (last night's ep) were far too broadly comedic for my tastes; I think "The Office" is at its best when it focuses on small moments, like the tiny wave Toby gave while passing Pam's desk last episode.

Yes, definitely! This episode highlighted why (overall) I still find the original BBC version to be much more satisfying. It excelled in the small, awkward moments. The NBC version is still a very funny show, but it's success in my mind is inversely proportionate to how "sitcomy" (broad, obvious) the humor gets. Last night: VERY sitcomy = not as funny.

Also, in case the reference escaped anyone, "Hug it out, bitch" is one of Jeremy Piven's signature lines in "Entourage," which Michael mentioned being a fan of earlier in the show. Though I felt the reference was put in there purely for the callback on the "hug it out" line.

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm salivating over this description of tonight's episode:

The staff of The Office (NBC, 8:30 ET/PT) celebrates the Hindu festival of lights in this episode, written by Office star Mindy Kaling. Michael amidst another culture; you know that won't go well.

Edited by Christian

"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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"Fresh Air" talks to the writers.

"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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: From what I saw of the UK show, the manager is a far less

: sympathetic character.

I think that both shows have a similar arc regarding the sympathy the audience has for the managers. Both start out as complete and utter jerks (see the end of the first episodes, where they pretend to fire Pam/Dawn), but gradually start softening as any problems they give their subordinates are nothing compared to the beatdowns they get by their superiors (in the British version) or by society (in the American [e.g. Michael's constant failed attempts to get people to be his friend] and in the British Christmas Special). But if all you've seen is the first series of the British show, you'd be right to think what you did.

: I loved his commiseration with Pam, but

the kiss thing

was just pathetic.

The kiss thing

was so awesome in a completely uncomfortable way -- which, of course, is the office at it's best. (See also my favorite minor storyline of the year: Toby trying to ask Pam out.

I was fond of last night's ep, although it ended a little anticlimactically; the Standford branch subplot seemed to go nowhere particular. Compare/contrast with Pam getting drunk at the Dundies, which at least had

Pam kissing Jim

.

Dale

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

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A few hours before the episode aired, I drove home while singing along to the Indigo Girls

"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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Anyone else struck by just how massive (in terms of number, of course, rather than size) "The Office" cast is in season three? The more I think about it, the more I'm sure there's never been a cast of regulars this numerous in the history of half-hour comedies. By my count, there's 18 (almost all well-developed) characters with speaking parts in pretty much every episode: the four stars, Angela, Kevin, Phyllis, Stanley, Creed, Kelly, Toby, Meredith, Ryan, Jan, Roy, and the three new Stanfordites (Karen, Andy, and Josh). (It would be 19 with Oscar, but I think he's still on paid leave from D-M.)

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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Well. Next week's episode should be very interesting.

Just have to say...right now, this is the *only* TV show that I absolutely have to watch every week.

Edited by Diane
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The best episode of the season and one of the best of the series. I love how "The Office" continues to subvert sitcom cliches: Dwight and Michael go to New York to save the branch (and presumably make fools of themselves in the process), and...nothing happens. This entire season has pointed at Jim and Karen being a couple by the time Jim goes back to Scranton (a la Ross coming home from China with Julie), and...nothing happens. (Well, Karen admits she has a crush on Jim in a talking head, but that's entirely different; there's never been any strong evidence that Jim reciprocates.)

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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The best episode of the season and one of the best of the series. I love how "The Office" continues to subvert sitcom cliches: Dwight and Michael go to New York to save the branch (and presumably make fools of themselves in the process), and...nothing happens. This entire season has pointed at Jim and Karen being a couple by the time Jim goes back to Scranton (a la Ross coming home from China with Julie), and...nothing happens. (Well, Karen admits she has a crush on Jim in a talking head, but that's entirely different; there's never been any strong evidence that Jim reciprocates.)

Dale

To me, the best line of that night belonged to Jim, right after Josh told them about his deal with Staples.

"Say all you want about Michael Scott, he would never do something like that."

And then showing how Michael was so willing to save his own job (and, of course, everyone else in the office ;) ) - that was a nice touch.

I'm assuming from next week's preview that the obvious Stamford people make it, but also

the overweight guy that Karen helped out in the previous episode

.

One other thing in general about this season - do you get the feeling that the production team finally talked NBC Universal into giving them a bigger budget for music this year? They have found ways to sneak in at least 2-5 songs each episode this year.

Edited by Clint M
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Steve C has pinpointed the American that holds on to material possessions and acceptance for the key to life's joy IDIOT. All of us have in one way or another related to Michael Scott, trying to be funny, trying to be accepted, trying to say that perfect phrase in the right situation, and failed.

He is the epitome' of America: happiness in success.

But, he also has many redeemable qualities as well. The one episode that showed first signs of the inner Michael was on the ship season 2 when he tells Jim "Never....give up."

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It looks like tonight's episode is one of those "Supersized" episodes. According to the NBC website, it starts at 7:36 tonight Central time instead of 7:30, and ends at 8:20 instead of 8:00. I'll have to remember to adjust my VCR accordingly.

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It was true last week, and it's true again: The best episode of the season and one of the best of the series. So, so many great new relationships: Dwight and Andy (esp. the scene during the end credits), Michael and Andy (esp. their first scene together), Stanley and the new black guy, Karen and Phyllis ("who's Bob Vance?"), Creed and the breast-pumping lady, and my favorite, Andy and Angela ("you have such a pretty smile"). And that's not even getting into Jim and Pam and all the questions their last scene together bring up:

Why is Jim dating Karen, or at least saying he is? (Especially when Karen guessed just last episode that he wasn't into her that way.) Does he really have a thing for Karen, or is he trying to follow Pam's implicit advice from the first scene in season 3 and show Pam he's moving on? Does Jim still have a thing for Pam, and if so, why did he reject her almost-asking-him-out request for

coffee?

Dale

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

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I'm enjoying the new characters, but I don't find myself laughing as often the past couple of weeks. The episodes have been enjoyable, but I wouldn't single them out. Maybe I'll feel differently as the season progresses.

"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 bit with the big guy and the table was, for me, the most painful sequence in the series so far.

But wow, what an amazing episode. They covered more territory in 35 minutes than most hour-long shows dream of covering.

If only Lost's storytelling were so efficient.

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 bit with the big guy and the table was, for me, the most painful sequence in the series so far.

The most painful sequence in the series for me so far was in the premiere (and thus stolen from the British version), where Michael "fires" Pam as a joke. But yeah, the table scene was painful as well, and not in a good way like, y'know, those massages Michael mentions in "Conflict Management."

Dale

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

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cold open was awful. Dwight's not nearly my favorite character to start, and that was one of his two or three worst scenes through three seasons.

After the opening credits, however: Best. Episode. Ever. Karen-Pam was so awesome. Dwight holding Angela's hand was so awesome. All of Jim's double-entendre statements -- especially

his and Michael's discussion of rebound relationships

-- were so awesome. The return of Oscar. Toby and his robe. Dueling parties (and the greatest cliffhanger act break in television history -- what party will Stanley attend?). Michael marking the waitress. Michael not buying his iTune. All -- and probably more I'm forgetting -- so awesome.

I'm sorry. I'm gushing. But this was my favorite episode of television since the demise of "Arrested Development." Good job, "The Office."

Dale

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

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In my office, a few of us now employ what we call "the camera glance." It's what Jim does whenever somebody says something painfully inappropriate or strange.

We save it for special moments during long meetings when someone says something utterly confounding. Then we shoot each other glances that say, "Yes, I witnessed that. Yes, it's hard to believe someone just said/did that." Sometimes, a quick "camera glance" can send me into fits of trying to stifle my laughter.

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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