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: