What can I say about last night’s episode of The Office? I laughed through it all. Here’s a brief synopsis for you. Michael Scott applies for a job at HQ in New York. In order to choose his successor, he holds the Beach Games. The winner will get his job, because naturally he’s a dead lock for the NY job. Hilarity ensues.
Everyone hit their marks throughout the show. Meredith, to show how prepared she was, shows off the bathing suit she wore under her clothes – only she forgot she put it in her purse (Mardi-Gras moment, anyone?)
Stanley shows his enthusiastic side for a few minutes when he realizes he’d rather work for an upturned broom with a bucket for a head than anyone else in the office.
Stanley: I would rather work for an upturned broom with a bucket for a head than work for somebody else in this office besides myself. Game on.
Andy shows his outlet for his barely-contained rage after losing one contest.
Andy: I am okay if I lose every single contest today. Honestly. Because I see these contests as an opportunity for me to demonstrate what a good sport I am. Mallard! (skips stone on water.) Mallard: QUACK!
Kelly, the cause of his frustration, shows us just how clueless she is.
Kelly: Who’s Bob Hope? Michael: God! He’s, he’s a comedian. Kelly: Oh, like Amanda Bynes. Michael: Who’s Amanda Bynes? Kelly: She’s from What A Girl Wants. Michael: Oh, I love that movie.
Dwight shows his extremely competitive nature.
Dwight: Sabotage. Angela: What? What are you saying? Did you say “sandwich”? Dwight: No, I was saying that before. Not now. Now I am saying … sabotage. The ancient Dutch art of screwing up your own team. Angela: I knew you were saying sabotage. I was giving you an example of it. I will misunderstand everything that Andy says until he goes insane. Dwight: If Michael organizes some kind of group hug, stand next to me.
Angela shows what a duplicitous b!@#$ she is.
Andy: Go tell them I’m floating away, obviously! Angela: I don’t understand what you want from me. Andy: Angela, it’s pretty simple. Look at what I’m doing, and go tell somebody it! Angela: Sorry! Bye, Andy! Andy: Angela!
Oscar shows us that he’s still placidly offended by Michael’s constant stereotypical comments.
Michael: Oscar, you brought your Speedo, I assume? Oscar: I don’t wear a Speedo, Michael. Michael: Well, you can’t swim in leather pants. (Laughs) I’m just yankin’ your chain. Not literally.
Kevin shows his true nature.
Kevin: I just want to lie on the beach and eat hot dogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Pam shows us her meek submissive side. Or does she? More on that later.
Pam: There’s nothing better than a beautiful day at the beach, filled with sun, surf, and uh … diligent note-taking.
Jim shows his maddening ability to needle Dwight.
Dwight: We will be called Gryffindor. Jim: Really? Not Slytherin? Dwight: Slytherin are the bad guys, Jim. Jim: I know. Okay, we will be Voldemort. Dwight: He who must not be named? I wouldn’t do that. Jim: Vol-de-mort, Vol-de-mort …
Poor Toby shows us just how pitiful he is with barely any lines, but the hound dog look he has mastered.
Michael: I want today to be a beautiful memory, that the staff and I share after I have passed on to New York. And if Toby is a part of it … then it’ll suck.
Creed shows us his disgusting side (when does he not?) after hand catching a fish and devouring it raw.
Creed: Nobody told me we were going to have hot dogs!
Michael Scott shows us that he’s just Michael Scott.
Michael: Jim Halpert. Pros: smart, cool, good-looking. Remind you of anybody you know? Cons: not a hard worker. I can spend all day on a project, and he will finish the same project in a half an hour. So that should tell you something. Michael: Dwight is an obvious candidate for my job. He has the best sales record in the office. He loves the work. He is, however, an idiot. Michael: Andy Bernard. Pros: he’s classy. He gets me. He went to Cornell. I trust him. Cons: I don’t really trust him.
Karen and Phyllis really didn’t have many lines. They’re there, and that’s about it. Besides, the big news of this episode comes after Pam conjures the courage to walk across burning coals. Since it’s the day after the episode aired and I don’t want to spoil anything for late-comers, I’ll just link to www.officetally.com‘s quote page if you want to read it yourself (thanks, officetally.com!) It’s Pam’s last quote.
Suffice it to say that the Pam/Jim/Karen triangle is about to heat up. I think the finale next week will set the tone for the relationship for the next season if not settle the triangle for good.
Kudos goes to the entire cast as well as director Harold Ramis. I knew Egon would make good! While I gave you plenty of quotes, none of them give away anything vital. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, then get to it! It’s well worth the ½ hour.
Jon, Stacy, and I went to see Spider-Man 3 Tuesday. Unlike most everyone I have talked to so far, Jon and I liked it (Stacy did not.) The complaints I have heard generally fall into three categories.
Three villains and the Parker/Watson romance was too much to fit into one movie.
Too much angst and tears from every character
The acting was bad
I won’t deny the first claim. The Flint Marko/Sandman sequences were great, especially for Thomas Haden Church’s performance (take that, bad acting claim!) But the long sandman-less portion in the middle made his reappearance feel almost like an afterthought. His struggle to regain form after the accident that grants his powers was especially stirring.
The Venom storyline took the most time to develop as we had to see Peter discover the symbiote, go bananas like Clark Kent on red K, and get rid of the suit as well as Eddie Brock’s rise and fall before inheriting the symbiote and declaring war on Parker. I will say that Tobey Maguire’s red kryptonite scenes were the most entertaining of the movie. Raimi played them for laughs as Peter sauntered through the scense like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. The Pete-Wentz-inspiredemo look may have been a bit much, but it got the point across. Still, it showed Maguire’s range to do the two sides of Peter (another nail in the bad acting coffin!)
Was it too much in for one movie? Probably. I think Raimi could have done it much more justice by paring out at least one villain. However, for working within the constraints, it was very well played. Besides the lack of Sandman in the middle of the movie, the separate plot-lines were woven together masterfully. This is especially true in the romance between Peter and Mary Jane. It is affected by two of the three villains, so the scenes did more to progress the overall plot than just spotlight their relationship as a fourth cumbersome story.
Naturally, any romance adds a certain amount of angst into the story. However, this is not only the norm for the Peter Parker from the comics, but expected! The only comic with more angst, self doubt, and off-and-on-again romances is X-Men, and they have a much bigger cast to play with. I don’t mind a bit of the weepiness from Parker or Watson. As for Church’s Sandman, that is to be expected as well. His character is a tortured soul, in the wrong place at the wrong time and only trying to do right by the one he cares about. I’d be shocked if that situation didn’t produce a couple of tears from ole’ Sandy. What about Eddie Brock? His life was ruined by Parker, why wouldn’t there be angst? How about Harry? Not only does he believe Peter Parker, his best friend, killed his father, but he goes through a harrowing experience or two as he’s haunted by his father’s ghost and comes to terms with reality. One order of angst with a side of grief, please! If you’ve got a problem with the angst, then you’ve got a problem with the source material. If you’ve got a problem with the source material, why are you watching the movie in the first place?
That leaves bad acting. Well, what are you going to do? This is an ensemble cast, and as all ensembles go, there are weak players and strong players. It generally ends up in a balance. Maguire and Church turn in great performances as the dual nature Parker and the tortured Sandman respectively. Grace had some great lines and you could really feel his character in the Brock scenes. Rosemary Harris is always a joy to watch as Aunt May. J.K. Simmons could play J. Jonah Jameson for the rest of his career and I would happily watch every second. I only noticed two weak links. James Franco’s portrayal of the amnesiac Harry was one. He was great for the rest of his scenes. The other was Kirsten Dunst’s third time as Mary Jane. Dunst is alright. I don’t hate her as much as the writer of What Would Tyler Durden Do does, but I don’t like her that much. She just doesn’t hit on the right chord for a believable MJ. It’s sad, but a simple fact of the Spider-Man movie franchise. She was no worse than in the other two movies. Where does that leave us for acting? More good than bad in my book.
I should note that all this was about performances and story. A huge factor of the Spider-Man movies is the action. What is Spider-Man without someone to fight? He did not disappoint in this movie. The Sandman fights were great as Spidey struggled to adapt to Marko’s powers. Parker’s fights with Harry were fantastic. However, the grand finale battle royale was a sight to behold. CGI or not, the moves were Spider-Man all the way and intensely satisfying.
Spider-Man 3 is a summer blockbuster. It’s not for the Oscars, it’s for the action flick fans, for the comic book fans, and for those who want to escape the drudgery of a superpowerless world. As all three of the above, I was thoroughly entertained.
I give Spider-Man 3 three and a half spider webs on a scale that I just made up that doesn’t mean anything.
Two weeks later and two knee-slapping episodes of The Office have come and gone. Last night’s Beach Games was classic Michael Scott, but first: Women’s Appreciation.
Just the title makes you wince a little knowing Michael Scott’s warped sense of what is appropriate. Even before watching I knew the episode would be rife with off-color comments couched in well-meaning by Michael and unabashed, if unaware, misogyny by Dwight. I wasn’t wrong.
Things start off in their usual way, with Jim tormenting Dwight. This time there’s a twist. Dwight tries to start it, but Jim handily finishes it.
Jim: Oh, what’s this? Dwight: That is a demerit. Jim (reading paper): “Jim Halpert, tardiness.” Oh, I love it already. Dwight: You’ve got to learn, Jim, you’re second in command, but that does not put you above the law. Jim: Oh I understand. And, I also have lots of questions. Like what does a demerit mean? Dwight: Let’s put it this way. You do not want to receive three of those. Jim: Lay it on me. Dwight: Three demerits, and you’ll receive a citation. Jim: Now that sounds serious. Dwight: Oh it is serious. Five citations, and you’re looking at a violation. Four of those, and you’ll receive a verbal warning. Keep it up, and you’re looking at a written warning. Two of those, that’ll land you in a world of hurt. In the form of a disciplinary review, written up by me and placed on the desk of my immediate superior. Jim: Which would be me. Dwight: That is correct. Jim: Okay, I want a copy on my desk, by the end of the day, or you will receive a full disadulation. Dwight: What’s a dis … what’s that? Jim: Oh, you don’t want to know.
After the titles, we find out that a rather unsavory character has exposed himself to Phyllis and no, it wasn’t Creed. In a surprising show of solidarity, the entire office consoles Phyllis. The entire office, that is, except for Michael. In his customary manner of insensitivity, Michael bags on Phyllis for a few minutes to the complete horror and/or disgust of the rest of his staff.
Michael: Um … I mean, did he even see Pam? Or, uh, Karen from behind? Kevin: I’m guessing not. Michael: Okay, masters of comedy. A guy dropped his pants. Have you ever been to the circus? Toby: I don’t think laughing about it is an appropriate response. Michael: Prove it. Let’s see your penis. Michael: You know, as that was coming out of my mouth, I knew that it was wrong.
What was with the circus comment, anyway? So, to prove he is really a sensitive guy, Michael declares it Women’s Appreciation Day. How to celebrate? Why you take all those of the weaker sex to the place they love best, the mall!
Do they discuss women’s issues at the mall in an open and comfortable manner? No, not really. Although Michael gives it the good old college try.
Michael: Mmm, what is a Pap smear? Or is it “schmear”? Like … the cream cheese. Pam: Okay, new topic. Kelly, how are things with Ryan? Kelly: Awesome. Um, awful, I mean. But uh, sometimes awesome.
Things quickly devolve from there as Michael blurts out some very uncomfortable comments about his relationship with Jan.
Michael: I like cuddling and spooning, and she likes videotaping us during sex. Pam: Omigod. Michael: And then watching it back right afterward to improve my form. Karen: That is not healthy behavior. Michael: No, it’s not that bad. The worst part is, that she shows it to her therapist and they discuss it.
Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice, oops, sorry, wrong show. Meanwhile, back at the office, the guys discover the gleaming mecca that is the women’s bathroom. The spacious lavatory comes replete with lounging sofas and magazines. Why not?
At the mall, Michael is working through his issues with Jan. To thank the girls, Michael magnanimously offers to buy them something, anything. Anything from Victoria’s Secret, that is. For some reason, Angela doesn’t take him up on the offer.
Michael: You don’t want anything? My treat. Some panties or … pick a thong or … G-string. T-back. Get a nice bra. Padded bra. See-through, push-up, lace? Thigh-high? Bustier? Any, it just, you know what, I would love to buy you a fresh set of underwear.
Once he’s back at the office, Michael decides to deal with the whole Jan thing, with his girl posse to back him up. Unfortunately, she’s not answering her phone. What does Michael do? The classy thing, of course.
Michael (leaving voicemail for Jan): Hey, Jan, it’s me. Michael. I’m just calling to say that I think we need a little break. Permanently. And, uh, I know everybody says this, but I wanna remain friends. Or at least, business associates who get along. Oh just so you know, it’s not me, it’s you. Okay, buddy. Somebody just walked in, I have to go. Um, so I’ll talk to you later.
In walks Jan to apologize for an earlier phone call in person, only to receive the message while there. You can guess how that goes.
Not a whole lot happened on the Pam/Jim/Karen front in this episode. Pam shoots Karen a couple of sad looks as the latter picks out some saucy underwear to wear for Jim. Worry not, though. Major developments in the next episode!
This was a good episode, albeit one full of uncomfortable moments. I found myself averting my eyes during the most embarrassing scenes. What's up with that? It's not like anyone I'm watching knows I'm being courteous by not witnessing their shame. I've got issues.
Once again, thanks to www.officetally.com for the excellent quotes! I leave you with Michael Scott’s profound wisdom.
Michael: Any man who says he totally understands women is a fool. ‘Cause they are un-understandable. There’s a wishing fountain at the mall. And I threw a coin in for every woman in the world and made a wish. I wished for Jan to get over me, I wished for Phyllis a plasma TV, I wished for Pam to gain courage, I wished for Angela a heart, and for Kelly a brain. “Michael, how can you appreciate women so much, but also dump one of them?” You mean, how can I be so illogical and flighty and unpredictable and emotional? Well maybe I learned something from women after all.