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Tag Archives: The Office
Michael Scott had just hit Meredith with his car. Jim and Pam were already together. That’s where I started with The Office.
I don’t normally begin television shows in the middle. In fact, I’m pretty doctrinaire about avoiding spoilers and slogging through a series’ early growing pains to understand the foundation on which later stories and character developments will be built. But a friend had invited me to a watch party for the Season 4 premiere. I was hard pressed to say no.
And it cracked me up.
Oddly enough, some fans point to the fourth season as the beginning of the series’ decline – when it stopped being a realistic if fractured look at modern office life and descended into the wacky adventures of an increasingly cartoonish workforce. But the laughs got my attention. Every week, Michael Scott had some great line that tickled my funny bone until the next episode aired. From something as weird as “You don’t know me; you just saw my penis.” to confused statements like “New ideas are fine, but they’re also illegal.” to the even more whimsical pronouncements like “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!” each episode had more than its fair share of entertaining and quotable bits.
But while the buffoonery of Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute drew me in, it was the show’s emotional core – best exemplified by the relationship between Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly – that made the show something special. When I first watched them hold hands and pick out ridiculous items from a garage sale, I had no idea of the strain and struggles the characters had been through to get there. I just saw a cute couple who had a fun repartee and seemed to really enjoy each other’s company. That was what kept me coming back.
Definition – Individuals who inherently enjoy seeing the unexpected or unplanned happen, independently of the people or groups involved in these events.
The Story– The term “Applecarters” comes from an old expression. It refers to those who enjoying seeing what happens when something “upsets the apple cart.” In other words, these are folks who like to see the unusual or unanticipated occur. They want to see the contingencies that those in charge didn’t plan for or expect would come to pass. Basically, they enjoy it when things hit the fan.
In “Threat Level Midnight” Michael finally reveals his much ballyhooed, self-produced action film to the office. More importantly, the audience finally had a chance to see this oft-alluded to bit of comedy. Unfortunately the end result, and this episode as whole, were a let down. It might be that the expectations for “Threat Level Midnight” were impossibly high. In the course of the show, the audience has had many glimpses of Michael’s misdirected little spy film. In season two’s “The Client” we had our first look at it when Pam discovers the script and instigates and office-wide table read. We’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie since, including Michael reverting to his “Michael Scarn” character during all of his improv classes and off-hand comments about his situation with Jan has reaching “Threat Level Midnight.” With a gag built up this much, it may just have been too much for any comedy show to deliver on.
The Office took a very long mid-season break between their holiday episode and this most recent one. The last new episode happened all the way back on December 9th, but I have to say, it was certainly worth the wait. In a season that has had its ups and downs, “Ultimatum” was a clear highlight. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re finally getting into the long-teased Michael and Holly situation, or we’re just in an upswing with the show, but this was not only a stellar episode, but one of the best of the season.
Season Six of The Office was, at best, hit or miss. At times the show felt schizophrenic, with stories being picked up or dropped seemingly at random. What exactly was the point of the co-managers story arc? It was unceremoniously abandoned before it had even made it off the ground. Similarly, Michael dating Pam’s mother could have been an interesting storyline, but it went from zero to sixty and back to zero in such rapid succession that the audience never really had the chance to take anything away from the characters’ interactions. To the same end, Dwight and Angela’s “love contract” had potential, but it went off the rails so rapidly and was so completely ignored and revisited at random intervals that it left us simply scratching our heads, wondering what was happening.
Additionally, we have played the “Scranton may be closing” game on the show several times in prior seasons, and the sudden presence of “Sabre” did not do much to spice things up. I love Kathy Bates, but her character just feels out of place on this show, and Gabe was little more than window dressing. Season Six was almost wholly unable to maintain any sort of momentum. Storylines were starting, stopping, and disappearing altogether at such a rapid pace for seemingly no rhyme or reason, and it kept the show from establishing any sort of rhythm. The biggest fault I have with Season Six of The Office is a lack of any sort of consistency or continuity for the season as a whole.
At some point in our lives, we have all come up with some crazy theory about the entertainment we enjoy. It could be a hidden conspiracy to explain all the mysterious events of a series, speculation about a particular character’s secret history, or simply the thought that two seemingly unrelated shows share a common universe. Shows like “Lost” “Heroes” and “The 4400” have even encouraged this type of speculation from fans. The miracle of the internet has allowed people to share these crackpot theories with each other. Some of them are rather creative theories that would otherwise never see the light of day. In that spirit, here are four of my crazy theories about some of my favorite television shows (more…)