Is it me or was this episode totally rushed and sort of "forced"? It's like they jammed as much material as the could possibly fit and tied up as many loose ends as they possibly could within their tiny 40-ish minute window. My brain was bouncing all over the place from start to Costa Rican finish. I tried taking notes during the episode; stuff I wanted to talk about on the blog, but I gave up after about 15 minutes because it was Just. Too. Hard. (TWSS!!).
Overall it did not feel like a real episode of The Office to me. It felt like a weird one-off episode, much like I think the upcoming "24" prequel is going to feel. Not quite a season 4 episode, but not quite fitting into season 5 either.
Ok, onto our featured players...
Andy/Angela/Dwight: I've said it before and I'll say it again...who's the office mattress now?! I wonder if that crucifix she wears has actually burned a scar onto her chest yet, because LORD knows she is committing some rather unholy devilish acts in that little storage room. My, my, my. This whole "thing" she has going on with Dwight is going to blow up in her prissy little face in a BIG WAY. I still stand by my prediction that Andy & Angela are going to make it to - or get close to - their wedding day before somehow the Dwangela booty calls (or is that booty pages?) are discovered. Wanna place bets on the possibility of Dwight & Angela going at it in the church rectory while she's in her wedding gown??!! Huh? Huh?
Michael/Holly/Jan - Or rather Michael/Holly/The One With The Feet (lol!!). Not since Jim & Pam has there been a more perfect match than Michael and Holly. Like peas and carrots (nice healthy weight management food). SPOILER ALERT: It's a shame Amy Ryan's contract was only for 6 episodes. It doesn't necessarily mean she won't EVER come back, but I think the odds are pretty slim right now. Which means he'll end up with evil Jan and her devil spawn donor (NOT!! You took me by the haaaand, maaade me a maaan, that one night...) baby. Blech! Jan is blech!
Kelly/Darryl/Ryan - Well, well, well, look what the New York State penal system (TWSS!) dragged in. Mr. Ryan Bailey Howard, all goateed up and ready to work...as the temp!!! Fire-d guy indeed. To coin a phrase from one Stewie Griffin, his uppance has come. And his first order of business, aside from the lamest, most insincere pile of bullshit apology to Jim, is to try making a play for Kelly again??!! What??!! Oh so now that we're back in Scranton suddenly Kelly is wonderful and..."perfect" was it? Such a player. Such a little douchebag player. And how amazing was it to watch Kelly be all "Oh that's so sweet Ryan, but I'm dating Darryl still and we're crazy in love". Ohhhh yeah! However, if I may make another prediction? She and Ryan will be back together by Christmas. Guaranteed. That is not a spoiler, that is just common sense. She can't stay away.
Jim and Pam - Ok, well, there's one prediction right out the window. An engagement in the first goddamn episode?! Wow. Did not see that coming...which I think was exactly the point. I think the writers did that on purpose to throw all the viewers off.
But although I am THRILLED they are engaged - and the engagement was cute and romantic and perfect for Jim & Pam - I am now officially very worried. Why? Because that leaves the entire rest of the season open for shit to go wrong. And you know it will. There can't ever be a couple on TV who just falls in love and gets married like everyone else. Oh no! There have to be angst and frustrations and obstacles. Pam isn't even finished with her semester at Pratt yet, and she's really enjoying her time there. So what happens when the semester ends and she...oh, I don't know...wants to stay longer? Or wants to stay in New York in general because she likes the city? And what about these friends she's making? Maybe I've seen one too many episodes of "Three's Company", where Mr. Firley walked in on Jack kissing a girl and misunderstandings ran rampant. But couldn't you see something like that? Couldn't you see Jim driving up to Pratt to surprise Pam one weekend, only to catch her giggling and flirting with that "My ex-girlfriend is behind me" guy? Not that she would be interested in him, but maybe Jim would see it differently and start to have doubts. After all, she called off her wedding to Roy, so...
Believe me, this is NOT how I want the scenario to play out. But to me the early engagement just opens the door to so many icky bad things happening. Of course it also opens the door to a Christmas wedding. Maybe I should stop being so glass-is-half-empty. Ya think?
Favorite moments/quotes (I have so many, because really I think the one-liners made this episode funny):
* "What up 2-1-2?" (How cute was she?!)
* "Who's the girl in Michael's office with the feet?"
* Angela's "That's how I sleep at night" speech.
* "Dangerous. Tacky. Sharks. Haunted."
* "What is up, girl in the computer?". And then Girl in the Computer being carted around the office to say hi, meet Ronnie, and find paper clips. And Girl in the Computer's talking head.
* "Beer me five" (Awesome!!!!!!)
* Michael saying Jim was going on a booty call and then giving him a condom. Yikes!
* Speaking of booty calls, Angela's repeated pages to Dwight
* Creed dividing up the rice grains like cocaine.
* "Give me Ryan Howard. Give 'em to me. I want him. I need him." and then the dueling goatees.
* Pam's "summer project"
* "Andy Bernard does not lose contests, he wins them. Or he quits them because they are unfair"
* The fruit in the vending machine...and the flies...and Dwight's, um, "solution" to the problem
* The names of the guys from Here Comes Treble (Broccoli Rob, Spare Rib, Doobie, Lunchbox, Sandwich, and my favorite Pubey Lewis and the News - LOL!!!!!!!)
* And of course the proposal, every single wonderful, wet, drippy, gasoline-smelling moment of it. It's about damn time!!!!!
Since Season 4 ended, I have managed to bring two more people over to the dark side that is The Office Obsession - my stepdaughter and her boyfriend. While I feel few people could ever reach my freakish level of fandom (read my last post - 25 mother-lovin' Office items purchased, AND I spent some of my lovely Sunday cruise checking OfficeTally.com on my Blackberry for any news on the premiere, AND I sat on the edge of my couch with my eyes closed and fingers crossed [literally] during the Office-related parts of the Emmy awards), my SD and her man are getting close. We're having a family viewing party tonight and then I'm going to twist their arms into playing the Office board game.
So, with the premiere about to air, I thought I would throw out some predictions for the new season. If I know any spoilers (which I'll admit I know just a few minor ones) I will own up to them. Here goes:
Jim & Pam - Obviously they will be dealing with the separation brought on by Pam's art school internship. I think it will start out difficult but tolerable, then grow increasingly stressful as the separation goes on. I think Jim will have a very hard time adjusting to Fancy New Beesley's other life, with new friends and new experiences that do not involve him. And I believe Pam will have a difficult time returning to Dunder-Mifflin...if she returns at all?? But the big question - will they get engaged? I say yes, but not until either the Christmas episode or the season finale.
Dwight/Angela/Andy - I think the real office mattress, Ms. Angela, has a tough decision to make. I do know (spoiler alert) that she and Andy are going to go ahead with making their wedding plans. Whether or not the actual wedding takes place I do not know, although I believe it won't. I see Dwight pulling a Benjamin Braddock maneuver, a-la "The Graduate", and stopping the wedding just before the I-do's. In the meantime, will Angela keep hooking up with Dwight? I say yes.
Michael/Jan/Holly - Michael has wanted to be a daddy his whole life. Now he may (sort of) have his chance with Jan's sperm donor (oh puhleeze!!) baby. So I think he's going to dip his toe back into Jan's water, so to speak. But then there's Holly - clearly the peanut butter to Michael's jelly. They could not be more perfect for each other. Holly seems to have the hots for Michael and he is also interested. I think Michael will be torn between his growing affections for Holly and the baby that's growing inside Jan. Who will he choose? I say Jan. Reluctantly.
Ryan/Kelly/Darryl - I think there is trouble in paradise for Kelly & Darryl. I think Kelly is going to feel sorry for Ryan and all he's going through. Sure she put on the tough girl oh ha ha act when he was first arrested, but I have a feeling that will all change. I won't say more than that because I do have some inside info on what's happening specifically with Ryan.
So there you have it. Marked 9/25/08 at 10:15 a.m. Central time. We'll see if my Office ESP is properly in tune.
Oh! And I also received the Office trivia board game as an anniversary gift from my darling husband. Love it!! Soooo much better than the DVD game. I am particularly fond of the Support the Rabid bracelet included with the game. Even though it is a game piece, I am not ashamed to say that I will be wearing it Thursday, in honor of the Season 5 premiere.
Well one thing is...the DVD board game. Yikes.
Ok, don't get me wrong. There are elements of the game I liked. I liked winning Schrute Bucks, I liked that ALL of the major characters (minus the Nard-Dog and Evil Karen) were available as board marker pieces, and I liked that the questions ranged from easy to fan-obsessed hard. Oh and I enjoyed the fact that my whole family was able to sit around the TV and enjoy an activity together.
But thaaaaat's where my likes end.
Let's start with the DVD. The "How to Play" instruction section? Wow. It would have droned on forever no matter who was narrating, but the fact that it was Toby?! Hand. Me. A. Gun. It lasted FAR too long and, quite frankly, confused us all even more. Particularly the section about wagering Schrute Bucks. If we win, do we win everyone's wagered SB's? Do we only win back our own SB's? And if so, what's the point of wagering in the first place?
Now we move on to the game activities. The trivia questions I had no problem with (although one of them was WRONG!!!). But dude - lose the "clerical challenges". I suspect anyone who owns this game skips over these challenges, just like we did. We just automatically awarded SB's to whomever landed on that space. We're not gonna draw the Dunder Mifflin logo, or address an envelope to DM's corporate office. It's just not practical.
Let's be honest: Anyone who has purchased and/or is playing this game is doing so for one reason - bragging rights! We want to prove our Office knowledge is better than your Office knowledge. We want our friends & family to be amazed when we pull the make & model of Anglea's car out of our asses because we're that obsessed with this show. We do NOT want to draw, write, rearrange words, or count the number of O's in a line of dialogue.
Oh and how 'bout this, Office DVD creators? Remember that little thing called "Season 4"? Why does the board game go all the way up to Season 4, but your DVD game ends at "Theeeen it's a date"?
In the words of Mr. Kevin Malone, two thumbs down.
There were many deluxe/collectors packages to choose from at various stores. I chose the Target exclusive deluxe package, which included the following:
- 4-discs for the show
- An extra disc with the cast Q&A from the Office convention in Scranton
- A mini copy of the original script for "Dinner Party"
- The most amazing little post-it note book thingy (it's basically the size of a large post-it pad, it's hard covered, and it contains TWO different Office post-it notepads and 5 or 6 stacks of plain little post-it flags)
For various reasons (stepson very sick , husband inexplicably breaking out in hives), I was not able to watch as much of the DVD as I would have liked. But you're damn skippy I watched the blooper reel!! Funniest. Thing. Ever. Seriously, that alone was worth the price of the DVD. Anyone who doesn't laugh until they cry at the very last blooper needs their head examined.
I also watched a few of the deleted scenes. There is a deleted scene from "Fun Run" between Jim & Pam that is so sweet and lovely, I am VERY disappointed it wasn't left in the original show. Instead we got to see Michael vomiting alfredo sauce. Uhh...yeah.
The "Dinner Party" script is pretty cool too. It is the original script before any rewrites or ad-libs were done. So there are several lines/scenes that did not make it into the finished product, including a prank phone call to Toby . Also, the peanut-butter-on-the-head cold open was originally slated for this episode.
Oh and the "Rabies: The More You Know" PSA thing from Steve Carell - hysterical!
"Rabies. Blech." LOL!!!
We're expecting lots of rain here for the next few days, but I will be happily curled up on my couch further feeding my obsession.