Friday, April 11, 2008

NBC Thursday Night Funnies Are Back!!

The Office has always been the most awkward show on television. Awkward silences, awkward looks at the camera, and they always succeed in making us squirm. But last night's episode raised awkwardness to an art form, when Michael and Jan held a dinner party that no one in the viewing audience would ever want to attend.

You might not have noticed this, but the actress who plays Angela is 8 months pregnant (if it weren't for the writer's strike, they were going to work the pregnancy into the show, but they couldn't suddenly have her pregnant-out-to-here) so she was strategically placed in every scene: pillows all over her on the couch; standing behind the counter with a blender in the way in the kitchen; holding her coat in front of her in the hallway. It was nicely done.

The episode was packed with great moments:

The tour of the condo, which included a video camera installed on a tripod facing their bed (HA!); Jan's workspace, which Michael added, "is never used"; Jan's candle room, which elicited a look of disgust from Jim that I thought he was going to throw up; and Michael's plasma television, which is the size of a laptop computer screen, "mounted" on the wall so it'll have more space. (When Jan throws something at it later in the ep, he yells at her that that was a $200 television... )

Playing Celebrity:
Michael: OK, my name is Tom, and I'm on a cruise...
Jim: Uh... Katie Holmes!
Michael: No. Oh wait, but I MARRIED her!
Jim: Oh! Dawson's Creek!
Michael: NO... ok, another one. OK, my name rhymes with Parnold Sportzenegger!
Jim: Ooh, Tom Cruise!

Pam thinking she's been poisoned by Jan, and refusing to eat despite being REALLY hungry.

Michael and Jan's argument at the door: "You have no idea the physical toll that three vasectomies have on a person!!" (My husband almost fell off the couch he was laughing so hard at this point)

Jim's constant faces throughout.

However, as awesome as The Office was, nothing matched the hilarity of Jack Donaghy's prank on 30 Rock. Trying to draw out a confession from Liz, he creates a false childhood stutter that labelled him a Class A Moron on his report card, and tells a sad tale of the after-effects of such categorization, including being stuck in the boiler room with a kid named Gilly ("He fell through the ice as a child and was clinically dead for 57 minutes") where they were forced to sweep up piles of sawdust to train them to work in a mill. By the time he was explaining to Liz what it was like making small piles of sawdust "while Gilly sat in the corner, playing with himself" I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. Only Alec Baldwin could have pulled off that monologue. It was brilliant.

So how happy are you that Thursdays are back? What were your favourite moments?


Anonymous said...

Best moment? Michael revealing he sleeps at the foot on the bed on a little bench because Jan has "space issues". All-time great - even for the Office.

Brian Douglas said...

In Lost News: We will be getting yet another episode this season, for a total of six more episodes to air!

The Chapati Kid said...

THRILLED they are back!!!

By the way, are any of you watching Eli Stone? I REALLY like that show. I'm afraid that it won't last a second season (there's a jump-the-shark feeling a la Ally McBeal (because the setup is so similar) but who didn't love the first season of that show?). However, I started watching it because it came on right after Lost, and I have to say, I'm HOOKED. Jonny Lee Miller is brilliant in the role as Eli. His comic timing is so natural. Have you seen it, Nikki? What do you think?

Nikki Stafford said...

Anonymous: I'd totally forgotten that! The way he falls onto it and curls up in the fetal position was SO hilarious.

Chapati: You know, I'll be the lone person keeping my hand down when you ask who didn't love the first season of Ally. I found Calista Flockhart to be one of the most irritating people on television EVER (right up there with Fran Drescher on The Nanny) and I just couldn't stand her, or the show. It was too quirky for its own good. When I first saw an ad for Eli Stone I thought, Oh GOD, a male Ally McBeal... and by all accounts, that seems to be exactly what it is. So I'm staying far, far away. :)