Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lanch party!

Can we go back to 30-minute episodes of The Office? These hour shows every week are just too much. What was the focal point of tonight's episode again? Bad pizza? Kidnapping? Ryan's a tool? IM gags? Pam and Jim discuss relationship minutiae that no one else would find remotely interesting?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I give it a C, since there were still some funny lines and moments. Will's point about the British version wrapping things up after two seasons looks prescient. As much as anything, the Jim-Pam thing could have ended on the right note, not with the two talking about yogurt on the roof. Were my expectations too high entering the season? Was the show ever really as good as it was in my mind?

So many of these plot lines center around intra-office romances or hook-ups -- potential, imagined, current or past: Jim-Pam, Michael-Jan, Ryan-Kelly, now Darrell-Kelly, Roy-Pam, Roy-Angela, Meredith-Michael, Toby-Pam, now Meredith-Jim, Angela-Dwight, now Andy-Angela. What's next, Dwight has a torrid affair with Phyllis and she breaks up with Bob Vance of Vance refrigeration? It's becoming like Friends with ties and less Italian stereotypes.

Anyway, there were still parts that made me chuckle:

Kevin on the Lunch Party sign: "Maybe you could just change the U to an A."

"Three reams - in your face!" (Not as funny now as I remember it being at the time.)

Angela to Pam: "I would like to have a relationship with a man."

Kevin on Pizza by Alfredo: "It's like eating a hot circle of garbage." (Ditto from the three reams comment.)

The staff in unison: "A medium amount of good pizza."

Did Rainn Wilson forget to shave before shooting this episode? Or is that stubble just meant to illustrate how he's falling apart without Angela.

Also, another couple of outbursts from Carrell that we haven't seen from his Michael Scott in awhile.

I think there's one more hour-long episode to go before we can get back to normal, can't happen soon enough.


Jim Polzin said...

I agree totally. I was ready for the show to end at the 30-minute mark.

I will say this: the intros are usually pretty funny, but tonight's was freakin' hilarious. Maybe it's just because I've actually wasted time watching those screensavers and not stopping until it hit the corner perfectly.

A classic start. Too bad that was pretty much the last laugh-out-loud moment of the night for me.

I did think the IMs Pam/Jim were sending Dwight were pretty funny. And I thought Stanley's brief dance was comical.

olson said...

Agree on Dwight's beard. I kept waiting for it to become a plot point, like "If Ryan has a beard, so will I!" or something. But, nada. Seemed like it needed a payoff or brief explanation.

One total inconsequential quibble: Could they not take a week of production and shoot all of the car scenes somewhere with trees? I'm thinking the area around Scranton is not a hilly, arid expanse. I keep waiting for a "Death Valley - 8 miles" sign to sneak into a shot.

As far as plotting, the romance angles are starting to really worry me. "Friends in an Office" is not really the direction I was hoping for. It's not painted completely into a corner yet, but it's getting closer.

Will said...

From what I read, the theory behind the one-hour show was that usually they had so much extra stuff from the half-hour episodes they figured it wouldn't hurt the quality to write longer. But it doesn't seem to have worked out that way.

They also wrote the shows with a logical break in the middle. So on repeats and in syndication, they will be considered individual episodes and not replayed for a full hour. I'm hoping that once they return to the half-hour shows, the normal quality will return.

Loved the opener as well, Jim. The whole hostage thing fell flat. I think Kevin has been the MVP so far this season for the show. And I am a sucker for whenever Andy does an a-capella number.

mjschwal said...

Now I haven't watched last night's episode yet, but I agree with Will. Kevin has really been the bright spot in an otherwise lame year so far.

I disliked the Andy character prior to anger managmement but now I think he's great.

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