Tag Archives: Jim Halpert

“The Office” 604: Niagara a.k.a. the big Halpert-Beesly wedding BARF!!!

Spoofing a viral video that's already forgotten 3 months later.

Spoofing a viral video that's already forgotten 3 months later.

My greatest fear right now is that we may have just witnessed the exact moment The Office jumped the shark.

The wedding aisle dance.

I’m not saying this is definitely IT, because of course I can’t predict the future quality of the show. But it’s a benchmark. It’s definitely…something.

(sidenote: Can you believe the “JK wedding dance” video debuted on July 19, less than 3 months ago? The web has completely distorted my perception of time when it comes to events. I initially wrote that this video came out last year, January at the latest. Boy, was I ever wrong! [enthusiastic kazoo sound])

I get the intention of the bit. It was supposed to be bad, meant to be a horribly uncool choice by Jim’s idiot brothers that is embraced by all the horribly uncool guest list. An act of kitsch that Jim and Pam would abhor, thus they are supposed to realize that not only are they powerless to stop it thus should just give in and enjoy it, but that it comes from a place of love from their friends and family.

Yeah, I get it.

Or maybe that they realize they did in fact try to micromanage their nuptials too much? But I’m not convinced that the writers on the show do think Jim and Pam were acting like wedding douches so that one doesn’t hold as much weight for me.

Whatever, enough trying to explain or defend it.

For the record, I found many parts of the episode to be funny (see below). It’s just that the wedding aisle dance, and the entire cliche device of Jim and Pam running off to have their own ceremony, on their own terms, while blissfully, incredibly, uber-romantically happy…represents, for me, the apex of the growing trend of niceness on a show that used to run so efficiently on cruelty.

If this had been an exception to the standard of awkwardness, then it would have been a nice surprise. But there’s been so frickin’ many of those moments over the past couple seasons that I just wanted to boot my TV into a half-empty swimming pool full of decapitated action figures and drowned Frasier-lovers.

Even so, I still love the show and will give it a chance; I’m not condemning it to sitcom hell or anything. There’s already places down in that fiery pit reserved for Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and the new Jenna Elfman sitcom that is about three weeks in and could be the worst piece of abortion shite in the history of the medium (and shall remain nameless because it’s not worth the 30 seconds of my time it would take to look it up; Definitely, Maybe? The Happening?). So TV Hades is crowded down there, and The Office will run at least 4 more seasons, unless Steve Carell decides to leave (although I could see them continuing the show without him). And there’s still a lot of funny stuff left in there.

But…I mean…just…grrr…c’monnnnn…

Click. Cliche-meter activated.

Click. Cliche-meter activated.

Mental picture taking? Really?

jim-pam-niagarafalls

Is anyone else boiling with rage that their favorite sitcom has been hijacked by the Today Show?

Okay, it wasn’t ALL bad. There were funny moments…here’s my favs…

"To waiting."

"To waiting."

Not on the registry.

Not on the registry.

Yeah, let's just order room service.

Yeah, let's just order room service.

And sure, it’s tough to sustain the funny over two episodes shown back to back. But did we really need to open on a vomitorium?

So Pam was justified in making ridiculous requests of her coworkers?

Didn't need to *airquotes*go there*/airquotes* did we?

My problem with this cold open was two fold…

1) I was eating a delicious tofutti cutie at the time.

Do not eat while watching barf-fest 2009.

Do not eat while watching barf-fest 2009.

2) It justified Pam’s riDICKulous request of her workmates that they cut down on perfume and adjust their eating habits because of her queasy pregnant stomach. Based on the TV writers that I’ve met (an egotistical, pretentious lot if ever there was one; at least the ones under 50 who haven’t yet experienced a nice humbling 2-5 year unemployment stint once their show, and style, “goes away” as they say), I’m willing to bet that The Office writers are frighteningly close to Pam and Jim in their belief that they are the first people ever to get pregnant and get married (in that order, because no one in Hollywood, real or fictional, knows how to use birth control).

Enough barfing. Mine and the show’s. I’ll end on a good note; I thought this little moment was hilarious…

"See you in Viagra fallllls."

"See you in Viagra fallllls."

I love the voice.

And I’ll be there next week. The steam should have stopped bursting from my ears by then.

reporting from a delightful cottage in scenic Niagara Falls,

-Dan Calvisi
Dan’s Scriptomatic Cinematic Telematic in 3D!

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“The Office” 603: The Promotion

A toast to gin in "World's Best Boss" mugs, which is awesome.

A toast to gin in "World's Best Boss" mugs, which is awesome.

This season has been all about strengthening the two essential truths of the show:

  1. Steve Carell IS the show; he’s the tent pole, the most hilarious and talented actor in the cast and they’re incredibly lucky that he decided to stay on the show even after his movie career took off. Only he can sell a line like this in a nerd voice: “Con: you unzip your pants and you find that there’s a calculator down there.” The guy is brilliant. His appearance on Leno the night before was great, too. But unfortunately, there’s a nemesis to this hero…
  2. The interview segments are becoming an increasing liability. Especially when they involve Pam or Dwight.

I’d love to see them try an episode without a single interview. Has there been one? What about when they’ve gone outside the office, like the boat party episode back in the day? You office geeks with better memories than I can answer that one.

Yeah, the cold open was funny when it was Jim toying with Dwight…until Dwight’s interview where he started yelling out some kind of quasi-wrestling match challenge. He also screamed in an interview in the first episode of the season, and it wasn’t funny then, either.

I know there are unconditional Dwight lovers out there. I am not one of them. And it’s not Rainn Wilson’s fault; when the writers keep Dwight weird, as opposed to maniacal, it works. Like Creed. You don’t see Creed yelling. He’s just batshit insane, how we like him.

IMHO, the show most often misses when it tries to go too BIG and BROAD. Sometimes it works, like with parkour or Phyllis ending up on the hood of Michael’s car (or was it Meredith?). But when it involves Dwight shouting at the top of his lungs or Pam squealing with adorable glee over seeing the name “Mrs. Pam Halpert” for the first time…then, in my living room, at least, you can hear crickets.

Oscar’s interview in this episode, however, was the one that worked. Because it was clever and it was Oscar being Oscar: “It doesn’t take a genius to know that any organization thrives when it has two leaders…Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?” It served as a nice commentary on the previous scene and the perfect bridge into the next. Nice going, Oscar.

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the episode , laughed several times and again, this show is still funnier than most comedies on the air even with an okay episode. But I just hate to feel that pit in my stomach when there’s a funny moment followed by a groaner, ya know? But I digress.

We come to the meat of the episode and the season thus far: Jim vs. Michael. Michael thinks he’s the “Senior Co-Manager” and Jim thinks he knows more about Michael since he knows all of Michael’s faults. They’re both wrong.

Jim and Michael commiserate in the ruins.

So after they try to get David Wallace to choose which of them will handle the yearly bonus issue (Michael’s follow-up to David’s statement that this issue is both ‘big picture’ and ‘day to day”: “Which is it more?”), Jim tries his hand at announcing to the troops his brilliant plan for awarding bonuses only to the sales staff. Would anyone be so dumb as to announce that to an entire staff? Probably not. But it worked well to reiterate what we glimpsed in a previous episode: Jim still has a lot to learn about managing the branch.

Dwight takes advantage of Jim’s misstep in making like he cares about his co-workers, which we know he does NOT. Dwight actually looks to be a pretty good politician at this point (but it won’t last long). Then Michael steps in, gets a great dig on Jim and just when it looks like he’s going to save the day with his plan to give small pay increases across the board (which is actually smart and fair) he launches into a pointless speech about how they are best friends who give each other heart-ons…which is a gift.

In this spirit, Angela should lend Oscar a cup of sugar.

Michael blows it just as he always does, by failing to identify the real problem, or what one might call, the “big picture.” Which is what he’s supposed to be doing.

The “Boston baked bean plan” is also a disaster (and a hilarious sidebar):

Jim knows this is the kind of thing he used to mock Michael for, right?

Jim knows this is the kind of thing he used to mock Michael for, right?

So we’ve got two inept managers, but Dwight only cares about ousting Jim, so he gives a William Wallace-esque speech to rally the troops and stage a coup.

"Give us freeeedommmm!"

"Give us freeeedommmm!"

This call-to-arms is greeted with lethargy, and we end on Jim, alone, wondering if Michael is his only friend left in the office, and Pam…right?

What, me, worry?

What, me, worry?

Oh, and Pam and Jim are getting a “romantic bird-feeder mailbox” from Phyllis as a wedding present, and Ryan manages to bilk $50 out of Pam in some kind of high school basketball ponzi scheme. But we’ve already forgot about that, because…

Next week is the BIG Jim-Pam wedding! How do we know it’s BIG? Because a band of circus performers in NBC t-shirts just came to my door to tell me so.

Ya think NBC has spent a few bucks on this ad campaign?

There’s even a JIM-PAM WEDDING WEBSITE! Click on the image below to visit halpertbeesly.com

Get the joke that in trying not to be a pretentious wedding couple, they're being a pretentious wedding couple?

Get the joke that in trying not to be a pretentious wedding couple, they're being a pretentious wedding couple?

I’m getting them any one of the several bobbleheads now available to the discerning Office fan…in limited supply so snatch them up now…okay the Andy Bernard one is pretty cool, but still…

Now available for only $19 each!

Now available for only $19 each!

faithfully submitted,

Dan.

p.s. This review was also posted at joeonthetube.com, with no merchandising whatsoever.

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The Office 6.2: “The Meeting” Michael betrays Jim, Dwight and Toby team up and I get discriminated against for not having a wide-screen TV

This was a solid episode of The Office. Not as many big laughs as the season premiere last week, but some really funny set pieces, great dialogue moments and big plot points formed what looks to be a pivotal chapter in Dunder Mifflin history.

A central conflict built around Michael’s betrayal of Jim leads to a dramatic plot turn that I predict may end in this season’s cliffhanger — will Jim or Michael run the Dunder Mifflin branch?

By the way, do you think Jim’s competing job offer was real? Sound off in the comments.

Jim confronts Michael, which leads to a great moment: Michael gets choked up at the thought of losing Jim, and Pam, and now the baby.

He can’t lose the baby.

Eventually, Michael does the right thing and gets Jim the promotion, while demoting himself to Co-Manager along with his “best friend.”

Dwight left out in the cold, once again.

Dwight left out in the cold, once again.

There’s Dwight, once again playing second fiddle to Jim Halpert. But don’t cry for our mustard-shirted beet farmer, as he got the chance to put his private investigator hat on, teaming up with Toby, of all people, to catch Darryl in the act of worker’s comp fraud.

This didn’t go quite according to plan. Seconds after Toby explodes in expletives (for the first time?)…

toby_asshole

Flenderson Unchained!

…the guys crack the case…kind of…not really.

Oops.

Oops.

A hilarious, well-choreographed sight gag. This leads to actual strong detective work by Dwight, incriminating Darryl, but Darryl has ammunition with his threat of a complaint of sexual harassment against his “baby sister.” Wait, does he mean baby linebacker?

Dwight gets cut from the Eagles.

Dwight gets cut from the Eagles.

So Toby ends up drowning in paperwork (with a red welt on his head that he’s treating with an ice cream drumstick, if anyone caught that).

Meanwhile, Pam attempts to get RSVPs for her wedding from some of the dumbest, most self-absorbed people in Scranton…

Ryan: I’ll probably stop by.

Pam: It costs $75 a person.

Ryan: I once had a glass of cognac that cost $77.

This makes sense only to Ryan, or perhaps Meredith, who had her own take on her RSVP…

Pam: You are going to text me on the morning of my wedding and you’ll eat whatever’s fanciest?

Meredith: Unless there’s ribs.

For anyone who’s ever planned a wedding, Pam’s plight hits home in a BIG way. I don’t think it’s out of line to wish that Ryan and Meredith die in fiery car crashes en route to Niagara Falls.

There was also the Nard-dog’s confusion over how to respond to his cousin’s email: “Hey Andy, let’s go visit grandma and then get drunk together, ha ha.” And the cold open found Michael asking Oscar if he should have a safe word when he gets a colonoscopy. Solid bits.

But by far, my favorite gag was Michael’s “makeshift cheese cart” plot. The very plan itself is classic Michael, and Andy’s turn as a top-shelf sommelier is an inspired heightening of the bit…

"Also from the great state of Wisconsin, an aged parmesan."

"Also from the great state of Wisconsin, an aged parmesan."

And now we get to this week’s social issue, a call to action, if you will, for justice to be served.

There was one bit of action that I missed, due to a problem that seems to have gone unnoticed by the media, and by extension, the entire planet: those of us without wide-screen TVs are being discriminated against with the networks’ increasing use of activity in the corners of the frame!

Suddenly, every TV director is Paul Thomas Anderson.

So I had to watch the internet stream to actually see Michael climb out from under the cheese cart…

Evidence A in my epochal lawsuit against the major networks.

Evidence A in my epochal lawsuit against the major networks.

…and I was pissed. Because my people, those of us who still own analog television sets without wide-screen aspect ratios (1:1.33? Who am I, James Cameron?), are discriminated against every time a show airs that is not letterboxed. Do you have any idea how we feel when we hear a line from a character and that actor is actually offscreen when it’s clear that the filmmakers intended for them to be onscreen?!

Would it kill the networks to broadcast in letterbox format once again, like E.R. in 2001? Was it really that long ago? Does technology really move so fast? Don’t look at me for that answer, because, once again, <airquotes>not George Lucas over here</airquotes>, but I do know one thing…

This economic telematic racism must stop.

It’s hard to put into words for those of you who have never walked in my shoes. It’s like I’m a Native American…being driven from my own living room…by digital pirates.

That’s what that is. So screw you, NBC. (Even though your current Thursday night comedy lineup is pretty freakin’ solid, if I may complement you whilst planning my revenge upon ye and yours.)

And although I wasn’t fond of the Dwight Schrute scream to end the episode — I know how he feels…

The Scream.

The Scream.

No, Dwight, you can’t have a plasma for Christmas. Maybe next year, when broadcast media becomes fair.

-Dan.

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