Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
The Office Returns!
2007-09-27 16:08
by Jon Weisman

That's the highlight of the evening - but don't forget that there's also a new episode of Mad Men.

2007-09-27 18:29:20
1.   mintxcore
Any love for Ugly Betty around these parts? I felt it got much better as the season progressed and it started to turn incredibly soapy - by then end of the season, I felt like I was watching a novela the characters were watching. And that's a great thing.
2007-09-27 18:37:09
2.   Bob Timmermann
I liked Ugly Betty a lot. I hope they keep it up this season.
2007-09-27 18:59:21
3.   CanuckDodger
I think it says something about American television, and the American viewing audience, that even when casting the lead for a show called "Ugly Betty" producers select an actress who is a beautiful woman. I am not saying things would be any different in my country, because Canadian television apes Hollywood too much, but when you watch British TV shows and films, and films from other European countries, it is striking how much emphasis is put on having actors who look like regular people. In a thread that is bound to focus on The Office, I will note that one of the great things about the show is that the actors look surprisingly "un-Hollywood," outside of Jim, who is much better looking than his counterpart on the British version of The Office.
2007-09-27 20:29:44
4.   Bob Timmermann
A lot of the Ugly Betties in the Western Hemisphere are pretty good looking too.

However, I think that Jenna Fischer is quite attractive and they have to dress her down on "The Office."

2007-09-27 21:51:25
5.   Andrew Shimmin
Is ER really not canceled yet?
2007-09-27 22:13:34
6.   overkill94
Everyone still watching their Tivoed Office or what?

I'd call tonight's episode above average and I like what they're doing so far with Pam and Jim. Creed was especially hilarious in his limited screen time but there was slightly too much Michael in this episode.

2007-09-27 22:31:22
7.   Andrew Shimmin
but there was slightly too much Michael in this episode.

That's what she said.

2007-09-27 22:52:22
8.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't know if I'd call it above average. Lots of good parts, and I like how PB&J are going, too. So, it's probably stingy on my part, but I don't think it was better than the average The Office.
2007-09-27 23:19:18
9.   Bob Timmermann
I had a thoroughly good time watching "The Office."
2007-09-27 23:25:31
10.   Bob Timmermann
I had an extra thoroughly good time watching "Mad Men" with Robert Morse's final scene bringing everything back around.

And some questions are answered.

2007-09-27 23:25:42
11.   mintxcore
I was a bit disappointed with tonight's Office. It was by no means bad, it just wasn't up to the usual par. It also seemed like they had syndication in mind when making this "super special" hour long episode, as it was very obviously capable of being two separate half hours.

But don't get me wrong, I'm super happy the Office is back and thought tonights episode was funny, i just was a little let down compared to the season three premiere which knocked me on my rear end.

2007-09-27 23:28:51
12.   trainwreck
This check is made out to science.
2007-09-27 23:37:10
13.   Voxter
even when casting the lead for a show called "Ugly Betty" producers select an actress who is a beautiful woman.

This is a meme that keeps getting repeated, and I just don't see it. America Ferrera is talented and all, but even out of costume she doesn't strike me as particularly physically attractive. She's not not physically attractive, either, if you see what I mean, so maybe "ugly" is stretching it. But what does it say about the American viewing audience? Would a genuinely ugly woman be casted elsewhere in the world? I doubt it. I think it says that people want larger-than-life out of their television stuff, even when the characters are supposed to be ordinary.

I enjoyed "The Office", and was glad that they'd finally gone somewhere natural with the Jim & Pam storyline after the failures of last season on that front. It looked a little different to me, somehow, but maybe that's a pattern for this show -- because last season looked different to season 2, and season 2 looked different to season 1. There seemed to be a certain amount of filler -- a lot of the stuff of the beginning of the episode was well-worn ground and perhaps slightly less funny than usual -- but I felt that the supporting players stole the show and the episode was excellent once it got in swing.

The episode really got in gear when Michael heard about the death of Angela's cat. The fact that he knew the cat's name was a pretty good touch. The episode as the whole was sort of a run-of-the-mill episode of "The Office" (meaning, "very good"), but that scene was the standout for me.

2007-09-28 00:07:09
14.   Voxter
Wow. "Casted" is so not the past tense of that word.
2007-09-28 01:16:58
15.   Greg Brock
I thought The Office was fantastic tonight. It might just be the fact that Jim and Pam are officially an unofficial item.

And yeah, I liked tonight's Grey's Anatomy. I like the show. I enjoy it. Judge away.

2007-09-28 06:25:59
16.   Jon Weisman
I enjoyed the Office a lot - laughed out loud countless times, and was so happy for Jim and Pam. I thought Kevin's disbelief got things off to a great start, and it went from there.

And I saw Avenue Q last night, which was fun.

2007-09-28 07:14:07
17.   Penarol1916
I love how they made PB&J lowkey. Having them together is probably the trickiest thing this show is going to have to manage. I do not like crazy, jealous Jan though.

Another solid episode of Mad Men. What I find most interesting is that we don't know how good Don is at his job really. Is he as great as the second rate firm he is at seems to think, or is he as out of touch with what is going on in the market as his issues with Dr. Scholl's seem to indicate?

Lastly, in defense of my enjoyment of the annoying old man episode of Wings, the one that I enjoyed was the first one, not all of them, which were not great as a whole.

2007-09-28 07:34:43
18.   Bob Timmermann
I'm afraid it's time for a ritual shunning.
2007-09-28 07:47:49
19.   D4P
I'm afraid it's time for a ritual shunning

We might also need to verify certain areas of Greg's anatomy...

2007-09-28 08:48:31
20.   blue22
My wife was absolutely giddy when PB&J got outed. I'm just glad they can play up their chemistry together again. That was something the show really missed last season, even if it was just how the storyline was to be played out.

And Angela's line about all her french fry bags in the freezer being shredded got me to LOL.

2007-09-28 09:33:23
21.   Greg Brock
18 19

I am as God made me, sirs.

2007-09-28 09:43:53
22.   driches
I enjoyed the Office, but found it slightly over the top.

It seemed odd to me that they revealed Pam and Jim so early in the season and so early in the episode. I think the tension built up by an episode or two of the audience actually believing they weren't dating would have made the reveal a bit more satisfying.

Further, given what little I know about story arcs, I would imagine there are some tough times ahead for Jim and Pam this season, considering the high note on which they're starting...

2007-09-28 09:58:47
23.   Jon Weisman
22 - The only over the top moment for me was the nipple bleed.

I think it would have been odd for Jim and Pam not to have had immediate bliss. My reaction was the same as Kevin's, and I didn't need it to wait for the gratification.

The Office has met every challenge it has faced, so until the disappoint, my expectations remain high. I am sad to think there might be rough times ahead for Jim and Pam, but who knows ... maybe they'll find a way to keep them together but still fun and interesting.

2007-09-28 10:24:26
24.   Greg Brock
The Office has a treasure trove of material. In the office. I really think messing with Jim and Pam would be a cheap means of creating storylines.

Oooh, Jim and Pam have a falling out after Pam misinterprets something Jim does. That would be a hoot! Not really.

2007-09-28 10:24:48
25.   Andrew Shimmin
Even the nipple bleed was one quick shot, and it wasn't revisited.

It makes me uneasy that Kevin keeps saying all the things I'm thinking. It could be worse; it could be Dwight. But still.

2007-09-28 10:42:41
26.   Bob Timmermann
As long as Jim and Pam don't turn into one of the couples on "Tell Me You Love Me," I'll be happy.

But I do get a bit of a Jane Alexander vibe from Jenna Fischer.

2007-09-28 11:03:47
27.   ToyCannon
Exactly, America Ferrera is very talented but hardly what many in the US would say is attractive. She was awesome in "woman have curves" which according to my wife was one of the best depictions of hispanic culture she'd seen done in Hollywood.

That said, I bet those curves she touted in "curves" will be gone in a few years and you probably will not recognize her.

2007-09-28 11:57:35
28.   Bob Timmermann
"It's 5 kilometers, Michael. That doesn't mean the race is 5000 miles."
2007-09-28 12:04:07
29.   driches
23 - I guess I'm still slightly biased towards the British Office, where there are few if any "boss runs over employee" or "co-worker euthanizes secret girlfriend's belived cat" plot points. The humor came from the realistic minutiae of humdrum office life, something I found quite poignant.

I just don't want to see it digress into conventional sitcom craziness. For me, there's already a little too much emphasis on the supporting cast, who in my mind should be closer to anonymous worker drones, highlighting the specialness of Jim and Pam's relationship.

2007-09-28 12:28:39
30.   Jon Weisman
29 - I've been watching some British episodes again this summer. Honestly, I just don't think the show is as good as ours. But either way, you have to keep in mind how many more episodes the U.S. series is doing.

"For me, there's already a little too much emphasis on the supporting cast, who in my mind should be closer to anonymous worker drones, highlighting the specialness of Jim and Pam's relationship. "

I really disagree with this statement, for several reasons. In general, reducing the character development on the U.S. show would just be a flat-out mistake. The supporting cast on "The Office" is a treasure.


Quote list from last night's episode.

2007-09-28 12:34:11
31.   Jon Weisman
By the way, I've seen the season premiere of 30 Rock and it's funny - but I still think The Office is a level better.
2007-09-28 12:37:47
32.   Jon Weisman
More Office:,,20058840,00.html

2007-09-28 12:51:26
33.   driches
30 - Jon, did you begin watching American before you had seen British? Just curious; it seems universally true that people prefer the one they watched first. To each his own.

And you're right--the fact that there were 12 episodes of the British and we're in the 4th season of American is a definite testament to the latter.

And regarding the supporting cast, I think the show is best when it's most grounded in reality, and the development of characters like Angela and Creed as being somewhat insane takes me out of that reality.

2007-09-28 12:55:38
34.   Jon Weisman
33 - I just mean that when you start talking about the storylines, you have to allow for more freedom if you're going to get more episodes.

I had seen the British show first. Liked it but didn't love it. Liked the two-hour concluding film best of all.


(Dwight Schrute)
On a common criticism of The Office:

"I think that the show has always balanced reality with absurdity. It's so funny when you read the people writing about it online, like on the blogs and stuff, and they talk about, ''Oh, that's completely unbelievable...'' But none of it has EVER been believable. Within a very realistic setting, that's shot like a documentary, it's played naturalistically. It's just the stuff that they're writing about is absurd. So I think it's always a balancing act between the minutia of office life — like it's somebody's birthday and they have to get a cake — and the absurdity of, like, Dwight gets a concussion and his personality changes. You know, so many of the same bloggers, those are almost unanimously voted their favorite episodes. Literally, the plot is Michael burns his foot in a George Foreman grill, Dwight gets a concussion and his personality changes. That's ridiculous! That doesn't happen in real life! At all!"

2007-09-28 14:43:17
35.   Kevin Lewis
I laughed for about five minutes after the opening scene. It was so abrupt and hilarious. I need to watch it again. Michaels talking and all of a sudden Meredith is on the hood of the car. Awesome start!
2007-09-28 14:43:33
36.   Kevin Lewis
2007-09-29 23:55:33
37.   underdog
I thought the Office premiere was terrific and satisfying. Except for a couple of those over the top moments (the cat in the freezer bit was unnecessarily disturbing to me, but maybe that's because I have a cat? I guess Dwight is disturbing so maybe it fits). But the show really does balance the absurd and the real almost perfectly.

Look forward to that 30 Rock premiere.

So what are the feelings on Journeyman? Anyone watch the premiere? I'm a sucker for time travel, like Kevin McKidd from Rome, and like that it's set in SF, but parts of it were pretty irksome. Too much time spent on his wife and boss wondering what's wrong with him and all that blather - just cut to the time travel stuff! I'll give it another chance, though.

2007-09-30 10:03:23
38.   Bob Timmermann
If I wanted to watch a show called "Journeyman", they better bring me Elmer Dessens or Mark Sweeney.

The problem with the show was that it was really confusing and the reason for why the guy was travelling through time was just explained matter of fact.

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