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30 Rock and Office Chat Thread
2008-04-10 20:07
by Jon Weisman

Remember: No spoilers for West Coast viewers ...

Regular Dodger Thoughts chat can continue in the thread below.

Update: My Season Pass post for Variety on the two shows can be found here.

2008-04-10 21:14:38
1.   Xeifrank
3rd Rock was one of my favorite TV shows. Sorry, I don't be able to watch it tonight though. vr, Xei
2008-04-10 21:42:53
2.   SoSG Orel
Was Dwight's date homeless or did he just drop her off at the bus stop?
2008-04-10 22:04:22
3.   Marty
I feel like some beet salad.
2008-04-10 22:10:06
4.   Jon Weisman
My Season Pass post is up:

2008-04-10 22:10:26
5.   Jon Weisman
2 - The latter, I think?
2008-04-10 22:18:24
6.   dzzrtRatt
Missed 30 Rock, but saw most of The Office.

It was more creepy than funny. Like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Pretty daring, not entirely successful.

2008-04-10 22:23:16
7.   SaltinWound
I thought 30 Rock had some very funny moments, but here's my big problem: I'm not crazy about episodes based on conceits--in this case the characters acting as if they're in a reality show--but if you're going to do it, at least be consistent. They didn't stick with the reality motif and segued back and forth with more of a mystery tone, including using mystery music. In my opinion, it was too much for one episode to support.
2008-04-10 23:39:03
8.   Bob Timmermann
A friend of mine saw "The Office" for the first time tonight and she liked it. And she had no backstory knowledge.
2008-04-10 23:43:45
9.   underdog
My Tivo is full of laughs after tonight. 30 Rock, The Office, and Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.

I thought 30 Rock was pretty funny, even if a little contrived, yeah. But I did laugh out loud several times.

Fun times.

2008-04-11 00:11:30
10.   underdog
Man, first MILF Island and now there's something on Showtime called "Cougar Club." I wonder if Nate knows about that one?
2008-04-11 01:55:02
11.   overkill94
Eh, none of my big 3 were all that funny tonight (The Office, 30 Rock, and Scrubs). I don't know if it was just rushed scripts after the writers strike or what, but it was a bit disappointing having this be the reintroduction to primetime comedy that I've been waiting so long for.

To top it off, I watched Walk Hard tonight and thought it was really not that good. I'm a big Apatow fan, but the film seemed to go for the ridiculously obvious parody laughs and did nothing to create their own comedy.

2008-04-11 02:00:25
12.   Zak
11 I think I remember reading that the script to the Office dinner party episode was written pre-strike. I'm not 100% sure but I think I read that.

Anyway, Office had some funny moments, but overall was awkward as heck... just like you would expect the situation to be. I did laugh everytime the Hunter CD was playing though.

2008-04-11 06:12:17
13.   Marty
I thought The Office episode started slow, but I got quite a few laughs out of it. Pam's wine being used for cooking, When in Rome, Jan's jealousy.

Now that we know who Mose is, I can't wait to see him again.

2008-04-11 06:53:53
14.   JoeyP
11--I thought Knocked Up was pretty crappy as well. But, my expectations were probably too high since I'd already seen Superbad and 40yr Old Virgin.
2008-04-11 07:50:41
15.   CanuckDodger
The Office wasn't funny at all, and I wonder if it was even meant to be. I think the producers were trying to make people in the audience squirm in their seats. I certainly did.
2008-04-11 08:06:40
16.   underdog
15 I think so, too. I think the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf analogy mentioned above is a good one. That seemed to be what they were going for. The Squirm Factor was high. I did laugh a few times, buut mostly I just felt Jim and Pam's pain, an awful lot. I thought they maybe pushed it a bit too far, and it also seems like Angela's character is fast in danger of becoming a caricature. Last night she just seemed cold-hearted in an attempt to get laughs instead of being more three dimensional. But overall I thought it was a good episode, just highly squirmy.

I do recommend Tracey Ullman's show on Showtime, btw. Uneven but pretty brilliant.

2008-04-11 08:21:19
17.   Jon Weisman
I can't count the number of times people remark on the squirm factor of an Office episode, as if that were unusual rather than an every-episode occurance.

Some, like this one and Phyllis' wedding, have more squirm than others, but to find an episode that doesn't make you squirm a good deal is truly remarkable. Look at who your lead character is.

I thought the first half of the Office this week was very, very funny. Second half was more like the dark humor that is, again, rather typical of the show.

2008-04-11 08:29:08
18.   CeyHey
I enjoyed that Jerry Seinfeld was listed as an executive producer of MILF Island along with Jack
2008-04-11 09:03:51
19.   CanuckDodger
17 -- I think The Office is USUALLY very funny, and if I'm laughing, I'm not squirming. I really couldn't find anything to laugh at last night. It was actually downright depressing. Maybe it is because I have too much experience being at dinner parties where you could cut the tension with a knife.
2008-04-11 09:26:37
20.   overkill94
13 The parts you mention were fairly funny, but they didn't get more than a chuckle out of me. In a normal Office episode I always get at least a handful of laugh-out-loud moments to go along with a bunch of chuckles and plenty of squirminess. Last night was big on the squirm, but I didn't even think it was good squirm. Jan's character has become just plain weird and annoying and unfortunately she was one of the main focuses of last night's show. The Michael-Jan thing works in small doses, but it was plain to see from last night that the writers have to go way over-the-top when expanding their role.

Bottom line - it's between The Dinner Party and Survivorman for worst Office episode and I think last night's takes the cake.

2008-04-11 09:53:37
21.   subclub
The worst episode of The Office HAS to be the pilot, at least for anyone who had previously seen the source material. I just watched it again a few weeks ago and it still creeps me out.
2008-04-11 10:03:46
22.   Jon Weisman
Check out the laugh lines posted at Office Tally.

How can anyone say they didn't get laughs?

Michael's plasma TV alone got three or four good laughs out of me - just to mention one bit.

2008-04-11 10:15:51
23.   GMac In The 909
I don't know which show you all were watching last night, but I laughed myself silly last night during The Office. The awkwardness made it funny, IMO.
2008-04-11 10:26:59
24.   CanuckDodger
22 -- Jon, destroying a man's TV is not at all funny. It's as humorous as drowning kittens.
2008-04-11 10:38:12
25.   Jon Weisman
22 - I meant the part about Michael being so proud about the TV and showing off its multi-functionality. As I noted, most of the laughs come in the first half of the show. But they definitely come.
2008-04-11 10:52:02
26.   Kevin Lewis

I liked the episode and the squirm factor, but I agree about too much airtime for Jan. I wonder if they are preparing for a breakup to take a little bit of her screen time away.

I was laughing a ton about the tv, "sometimes I stand here and watch tv for hours" priceless.

2008-04-11 10:58:33
27.   Jon Weisman
26 - I definitely have that thought. I think they love each other, but I think it could take more than implants for Michael to stay with her by season's end.
2008-04-11 11:50:12
28.   Zak
22 I love that site.

Pam: What a cute bench.
Michael: Thanks! That's my bed. Jan has, uh, some space issues so I crawl up on that puppy.

Jan: He fits perfectly

That was the perfect example of awkward and hilariously funny. Another one..

Jan: No names, no rhyming, no soundalikes!

Michael: Rhymes with Parnold Schporzenegger.

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