Monday, February 8, 2010

Tasting the Sabre Rainbow

Christian Slater: Have you ever tasted a rainbow? At Sabre, you will.

John Krasinski makes his Office directorial debut with the episode Sabre, which marks the beginning of the takeover by the Sabre Corporation (costarring Kathy Bates & Christian Slater).

Sabre had it's ups and downs. I liked the opening sequence with the box in which Michael assumed (which we all know makes an ass out of u & me) the contents belonged to the office for him to disburse as he saw fit. Having to repackage all of that was pretty funny.

Michael: Okay, everybody, listen up. I have some bad news. Due to circumstances beyond my control -
Dwight: Impulsivity and inattention to detail.
Michael: Hey, hey. I have opened a box, which should not have been opened...
Dwight: Terrible mistake.
Michael: And distributed things which should not have been distributed.
Dwight: Undistributable.
Pam: Well, maybe we can put the box back together.
Dwight: Impossible. He opened it like an ape.

We all knew that Michael would hate changes being made in the office; especially when it means he has less control. I loved that they had to stop his little talking head speech before he could say the word 'balls'.

Michael: There is a small part of me that is actually very excited about this new company. But 70 percent of me is water, and the other part, the real part, the part that has feelings and emotions and thoughts and makes decisions and, if I can be crass, makes babies, that part thinks that all of these changes suck ba-

Andy and Erin are so cute! I loved their little Sabre (Sah-bray) song. However, I don't know how long they can keep up this charade of not asking the other out first. It's mildly amusing, but I'm ready for that ship to sail. I'm hoping they'll hook up soon...maybe for the Jam baby episode!

Erin: I think when Andy finally asks me out he's going to try to top what he did with the drum line. I can't wait to see what he comes up with.
Andy: The ball's totally in Erin's court. After the whole drum line thing.

The daycare scenes with Jim and Pam were the best part of the episode for me. Walking in on someone peeing who happens to be the person interviewing you later totally seems like something that would happen to me! Too funny. And I loved how direct Pam was with the interviewer.

Pam: Is this because Jim walked in on you going to the bathroom?
Jim: What?
Jerry: Seriously? You told her?
Jim: Did it? It might have come up while we were waiting for you.
Jerry: And you - you thought that might have something to do with how the meeting is going?
Jim: No.
Pam: Maybe, because it doesn't seem to be going super well.
Jerry: Well, you didn't consider the fact that it might not be going super well just because it might not be going super well?
Pam: Nope. 'Cause we're really nice people but you don't seem to like us.
Jerry: I'm being perfectly pleasant. Did you ever consider that you might not be as charming as you think you are?

And I love episodes with David Wallace! He's such a refreshingly realistic and sensible character (usually). I liked that he had slipped into the lazy lifestyle of the unemployed. I remember that feeling all too well. However, I don't think he would have clung to Michael so much. That part was a little silly, but the depressing, let-yourself-go quality of his unemployment hit home (thankfully in a funny way). The invention of the "suck-it"? Not one of Wallace's better ideas. It was hilarious that Michael got creeped out by David. (Notice David waving goodbye to Michael in the picture below. Too funny!).

Michael: Well, that's not the David Wallace that I remember. [reverses out of driveway, Wallace follows him] That is some sort of weird creature that lives in David Wallace's house. Oh, my God. Alright. Just get me out of here.

It was also great to see Wallace's son again (we first saw him in season 3's, Cocktails). I loved the drumming!

So overall, not a bad episode. It was a mixture of bland and spicy, which I realize is an oxymoron, but that's my critique. Thanks for reading!


PS) I have had no time to write this week. So I apologize for the thrown-together quality of this review. I will improve as I go along and find my inner writer again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peformance Review of Epic Proportions

Hello all! Well, it's been a while since I've posted here (and because my last review was not entirely positive) I thought I'd come back and put in my two cents on how the seasons have progressed since my last post, as well as how my attitudes toward The Office have changed.

At this point I've come to terms with how the show has evolved and no longer expect it to be what it was during the first three seasons. Accepting that the show is no longer based entirely on reality has allowed me to really enjoy the show again. I've learned to appreciate the more farcical quality of it and am rekindling my passion once more!

So, from now on, I will try to review the show whenever I am inspired to do so. There won't be a review for every episode, but I'll post more often; possibly doing season recaps or a review here and there. For now, I'll review the seasons I have missed as a whole starting with parts of season 4.

Season 4:

I was initially excited about the long episodes, but they proved that, while hour-longs are great for season finales and special cases, the show really works best as a half-hour. I say this because it seemed that they were straining to fill those extra minutes and the show kind of suffered for it. Not that there wasn't some great material that came out of those. I just think those episodes (Fun Run, DMI, Launch Party, etc.) would have been even better if they had been trimmed a little (that's what she said).

Having said that, there were some great moments in Season 4. Fun Run's outing of Jim and Pam as a couple was absolutely wonderful. I still grin from ear to ear when I see that scene of them finally admitting their coupledom on camera in the conference room. They're elated, I'm elated. It's great. The Dwight/Angela/Andy love triangle was highly entertaining. I felt awful for Dwight in Money, however, and that scene where Jim consoles him in the stairwell is still highly moving.

The show started gaining momentum in season 4 (right before the writer's strike) that it couldn't quite recapture once the season resumed 5 months later. Dinner Party was awesome, but the episodes following (with the exception of the season finale, Goodbye Toby) felt a little sluggish to me. Who knows, though? Maybe I was just disappointed that Jim couldn't propose after having put so much thought into it. I did love that Phyllis discovered Angela & Dwight at the very end, though. That was priceless!

Season 4 produced some great memories, but all in all it's my least favorite season.

Favorite Episodes of Season 4:
Fun Run
The Deposition
Dinner Party
Night Out
Goodbye Toby

Season 5:

I loved the season opener! Jim's proposal was so unexpected, which is a testament to the writing. They teased us with the idea of a proposal leading up to the season 4 finale and didn't deliver. Instead, they waited and made it more realistic. Rather than a lavish proposal at Toby's party it actually happened more modestly through Jim's spur of the moment "meet me at the rest stop where that soda exploded on me," which was therefor more meaningful and romantic. So sweet.

Otherwise, season 5 had a series of stops and starts. The pace started buliding during the last few episodes of the season starting with New Boss and then really speeding up around Broke. Bringing in Charles Minor provided great tension in the office and all those awkward moments we've come to know and love from the show. I loved (but was also frustrated by) how Charles had no respect for Jim because he initially screwed up on Charles' first day by wearing a tux to frustrate Dwight. Charles choosing Dwight as his favorite because he appeared to be a hard worker was too funny; especially when it blew up in his face during the episode Broke, when Dwight's idea of resolving the Michael Scott Paper Company issue was to release a queen bee into Michael's bathroom. So much fun watching Charles squirm over that.

Dwight: There is a hive of bees outside the front door. We kidnap the queen, extract her alarm pheromones, place them on a flushable wipe, put that in his bathroom.

I also wholeheartedly enjoyed watching the rise and (almost) fall of the Michael Scott Paper Company. For me, that's when the season really started to get fun. Cafe Disco, one of my favorite episodes of the season, was also a smashing good time. I also love the addition of Erin, the receptionist. She's so sweet and naive. I loved Dwight and Andy competing for her in the break room with banjo and guitar and how they didn't even notice when she had left because they got so caught up in their own music. That scene is hilarious!

The Season 5 finale, Company Picnic, was one of the sweetest ever. The reuniting of Michael & Holly was so adorable and, of course, Michael outing the closing of the Buffalo branch was classic. The very last scene, however, was the best. Jim and Pam's surprising news in the hospital was just so moving. Jim's happy tears? Oh my God. I love how in love with her he is. It gives hope to all of us hopeless romantics in the world. Their love is so pure. I love that their storyline progresses with the same goals that everyone hopes for them to reach (i.e. marriage, babies, etc.), but that the writers don't write them in the predictable, formulaic fashion that other shows do. Life is unexpected, and so are Jim and Pam. Things don't always happen the way you expect them to, but they do happen and that in itself is wonderful.

Favorite Episodes of Season 5:
Business Ethics
Lecture Circuit
Dream Team
Cafe Disco

Season 6 (thus far):

Okay, okay. I have to get something off my chest. My opinion has since changed, but because I had waited for 4 years to see the wedding of Jim and Pam, I think my expectations were set way too high. I honestly don't know what I expected, but at first I really hated the famous wedding episode, Niagara. (Here me out on this one).

When I first saw Niagara I was just so anxious for Pam and so frustrated that so many things were going wrong with the wedding (because if that had happened at my wedding I would have been devastated). I just wanted their wedding to be perfect. So all the chaos really made me anxious. In fact, that's what I remember feeling the whole time I watched it; anxiety. It gave me that frustrated Meet the Fockers feeling where I just felt everything was so unfair. I also didn't "get" that the attendees only did that tacky YouTube dance to get back at Jam for being so late to their wedding and making everyone wait. I thought they had planned it out from the beginning and I just thought, "What horrible people! Who would intentionally ruin someone's wedding like that?! How awful of them." It seemed so out of character for some of the cast, but now that I know it was them "getting back" at Jam it makes more sense and I'm okay with it.

So after having watched that episode a few times, it's now one of my all time favorites. I smile constantly through the whole second half. It's so sweet. I love all the tender Jam moments.

(Jim cutting his tie to cheer up Pam)...

(Jim and Pam sneaking off to be married in secret at Niagara Falls...)

(The triumphant second wedding...)

Tears were definitely shed from this blogger. I was moved.

Aside from that, Season 6 has been fun. Like most seasons there have been some great episodes and some not-so-great episodes. Mafia may just be the most boring episode ever. I ended up having to watch that one twice and it felt like torture. Murder, on the other hand, was great fun. I like the new storyline about Dunder Mifflin going bankrupt and being bought-out. I mean, I hope it doesn't spell doom for the company, but I like the uncertainty. It makes things interesting.

I'm enjoying Jim's new position as co-manager. I don't like Dwight's diabolical plot to destroy Jim, however. It got old the minute it started or, rather, the minute Dwight outsmarted Jim (because frankly, I just don't see that happening). I also don't see why everyone was so upset with Jim for accidentally choosing himself as Employee of the Month. I mean, come on. Obviously, he didn't do it on purpose and he said he wouldn't accept the award. I think everyone was way too hard on Jim and very unreasonable. That episode actually made me really angry. Thank God David Wallace didn't seem too upset. I hope Dwight gets his comeuppance soon! Grrrrrr.

And I loved the Christmas episode, Secret Santa, and the return of Dwight's elf costume! It was fun to have another real Christmas episode. Season 4 had no Christmas episode because of the writer's strike. Season 5's Moroccan Christmas was fun, but it didn't really feel Christmasy. Plus, it was a sad episode for Andy. So Secret Santa was refreshing. I liked Dwight's nutcracker build-a-gift and Andy's bird-heavy "12 Days of Christmas" gift to Erin ending with the 12 drummers drumming. Good times.

Dwight: For several weeks, my Secret Santa has been giving me pieces of a machine that I've been attempting to assemble. I'm suspicious of this because I had the exact same idea, for catching Osama bin Laden. I would simply send him a different piece each day. He would assemble it, to find himself... in jail!

(Dwight always gets the best lines).

Now we await the birth of the Jam baby! I'm hoping it's a girl and that they end up inadvertently naming it after Pam's Grandmother, Silvia. How cute would that be? Especially if they really did it for themselves; completely unaware of Micheal's promise to Mema Silvia at the wedding.

Well that's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates and reviews! It's good to be back!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Great Moments with Michael & Dwight

One of these days I'll get around to doing an actual blog. 'Til then, enjoy the good ole days with this video.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Has it really been 10 months?

Man, it's been a good, long while since I've updated WOW. (Yes, I abbreviated my blog title). The reasons are twofold:

The main reason why I haven't updated WOW is that no one ever seemed to really read this thing. I would spend hours on each entry (because I'm a perfectionist) only to have no one care. (I'm really not looking for pity here, though. I'm over it). I would spend an hour or so each Friday night making screen caps from the previous night's episode. I'd have to make a lot more than I ended up using, so that my writing could just flow and then I'd insert pictures accordingly. Then I'd spend at least an hour constructing the written portion. Then another hour editing and trimming it down. It was exhausting, but also very rewarding as long as I knew people were reading it. In the end, though, I think I only really had two reliable followers. So, after a while, it just didn't seem worth the time anymore.

The second reason is because, in my opinion, the show's quality has been slipping. I don't know if it's because Greg Daniels has been out a lot working on his new TV show with Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones called Parks and Recreation (he also took one of the best writers of the show with him, Michael Schur, who occasionally plays Dwight's bearded cousin, Mose) or if the writers are just getting too comfortable and not taking risks (man, that makes me sound pretentious or something; as if I could come up with anything better. That's so not how I meant that to sound).

For the first three seasons, the show had such a realistic quality to it. That was the whole brilliance of the show to me. I could relate so well to their environment.

Michael wasn't as sweet or as ultimately vulnerable as he is now. You felt bad for him in a way, but you also loved to see him squirm and be taken down a notch from time to time. Now Michael is so sensitive that you just end up feeling sorry for him ALL the time. I miss the old, roll-your-eyes-at-him Michael Scott who was mean to Dwight and thought he was better than everyone else. You know, like a real boss.

Dwight's character has also morphed. He has always been dweeby, but in the earlier days there was a subtle tinge of insecurity under his breath, probably stemming from a deep need for Michael's approval. Dwight always thought he was smarter than everyone, but he was still gullible enough to fall for Jim's pranks (Now they almost get along. What's that about?) The newer Dwight is kind of hardened and stern. He's too confident, which takes away his likability and his whimsical dorkiness that we all know and love.

Angela has aslo changed. I really don't think the old Angela would have found it so easy to two-time Dwight & Andy. She's always been the moral (and judgemental) police and I really feel like even if she had been two-timing them we would have seen some sort of dilemma going on in her mind a couple seasons ago. Do you remember when she started opening up to Pam about her issues with Dwight in season 3? I really liked that. Now she's just kind of wicked. They've even got her licking cats? WTF?

Andy is still fun, but I kind of liked his arrogance and desperation in the beginning more (pre-anger management). I don't have a lot to complain about with Andy, though. Ed Helms is just too adorable not to love. Who knows? Maybe Andy will have another meltdown in the near future. That would be awesome.

Did I mention that Ryan used to be cool...and kind of cute? I loved him as the temp before he became a dillweed at corporate. He was so uncomfortable around Michael. My favorite Ryan moments include the scenes from The Fight where Michael gets Ryan's cell phone number and calls him all day using various celebrity impressions including Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson. Another favorite was in The Fire where Michael tries to give Ryan business advice and Ryan outsmarts him at every angle. Then they have that horribly awkward scene in Micheal's Sebring where Michael tries to bond with him and Ryan looks like he's about to vomit from the uncomfortability factor. That was comedy gold. I miss that.

I'm still a big Jam fan, but I have to admit I was more excited by them before they became a couple. I was so elated when they finally did get together, don't get me wrong (and I don't think the writers could have waited any longer without it getting old), but now there's just something missing. Maybe that's only due to the fact that the focus has been taken off of their storyline in recent months. I still enjoy their scenes together, there's just not enough of them, in this hopeless romantic's opinion. Occasionally their perfectness as a couple seems a little unrealistic to me, too, but that's just me being nit picky. A good fight between them at some point might liven things up, as long as they eventually make up. Even before they became a couple they'd have little arguments or a day where one was upset by the other (i.e. Halloween, The Fight and Boys & Girls). Those little spats always made the good times more poignant. Can't have the sweet without the sour, as the saying goes. Overall, I still love Jim and Pam, though, and I always will.

I suppose what I'm getting at here is that what used to be the little foible of each character has now become that character's shtick. All those little idiosyncrasies that made the characters so rich are now ├╝ber exaggerated and stuffed down our throats, whereas before, they were very subtle and, therefor, very real. It's like they're trying to appeal to the masses now by taking all the intelligence and subtlety out of the show.

Having said all this I still love the show. It will always be special to me. It got me through some rough times and lodged itself right into my heart. For that, I will follow the show to it's end. I still look forward to it every Thursday, but my enthusiasm has waned a bit in recent months. Hopefully Mr. Daniels will come back to save it soon.

Until then, maybe I'll turn this blog into a Greatest Hits kind of situation rather than a weekly review. I think that would be fun, don't you?

Let's start out with a little reminder of the good ole days:


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"The Deposition"

Okay. So it's been five months since The Deposition originally aired, but it has to be said that there will be no review in honor of what was the writers' strike. They went on strike and, apparently, so did I.

So even though I thought The Deposition was a terrific episode I could not write the review. The bleak, wintery strike put my favorite show on hold and threw my writing muse out the window along with it. Luckily, the inspiration is slowly creeping its way back into my spine and something tells me that by April 10th it will be back in full force.

So, since there's no review, I'll leave you with these pictures to honor its memory; a memory montage, if you will. Enjoy.

Pam: Every time Michael's in a meeting, he makes me come in and give him a Post-It note telling him who's on the phone.

Kelly: What has two skinny chicken legs and sucks at ping pong? ...I'll give you a hint: It's not my boyfriend. I think it's a guy over here.

Jim: So you're asking me to defend your honor against Kelly? ...Bring me players.

Toby gets no luv from Michael.

Who can resist those Basset Hound eyes?

Toby's Revenge.

Lawyer: Mr. Scott, who is this other woman, Ryan? You refer to her as "Just as hot as Jan, but in a different way."

Michael: Hey David? ...I think you're a nice guy too.