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The Office (US Version)

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I thought that was one of the less funny bits, actually. Charles is too smart to be distracted by Dwight getting distracted.

I did love Jim making the kissy face to the camera.

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Definitely one of my favorites of this not-terribly-funny season. (I really liked "Stress Relief," too.) The tension was built really well, and it was funny seeing Charles doing the same butt-kissing behaviors that work so well on him. And, of course, I'm glad to have everyone back in...well, the office! ;)

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Yup, this latest episode was definitely one of the best of the season. It was almost epic, in a way, with the confrontation between the two competing companies. And I loved Michael showing some serious bargaining power....it's those rare moments when he displays an unexpected prowess or competence that make his character ultimately more endearing then annoying. I really enjoyed this recent plot of the off-shoot paper company, so I hope that continues as things get back to normal.

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I thought it was one of the best episodes ever...I'm still surprised that they managed to pull off Michael being good at what he does. We might have assumed it for a while, but the last couple of episodes really did a good job of convincing me that he really can be that good, without it seeming like a Deus Ex Machina.

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Great finale!!

Holly really is Michael's soul mate! They should just make her a regular and figure out a reason for her to move to Scranton

Jim and Pam being preggers was so cute!!!

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Agreed. The last two episodes were quite bad, IMO, but this one was back up to par. I agree, the ending was particularly great. I love how Jim and Pam don't even need to say anything, and yet you know exactly what happens.

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While the first season pales in the comparison to season 2 and 3, I think it contains some truly great moments. Michael's "You'll notice I didn't have anybody be an Arab. I thought things would get too explosive. No pun intended" is among the very best of the entire series. The fifth season seemed to be more sloppily patched together (one episode in particular seemed to completely destroy all the akward pauses, something that is really unique to the show) and as Richuck said less belieavable. I also found some of the ideas to start wearing thin--Jim's pranks on Dwight were less clever. That said, I still really enjoyed the 5th season, I just think it was by far the weakest yet.

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Yesterday was awesome. With some family members, I paid a visit to Dunder Mifflin...aka the Chandler Valley Center Studios in Van Nuys, CA. It was my second time going there to take a look at it from the outside, but this time was significantly more eventful. We were standing in front of the hedges outside the parking lot when a black car pulled up behind us on Saticoy Street. The man driving said, "How're you folks doing?", or something to that effect, and after my brain scrambled to put two and two together for a moment, I whispered to my sister, "That's David Wallace!" It was indeed Andy Buckley, the actor who plays him on the show, and he literally talked to us for, like, at least a minute, with his car stopped in the middle of the street. Very, very friendly...it was all small talk about where he grew up, and us being fans of the show, and them just starting the next season, and so forth. He shook our hands through the window and everything! Very surreal.

Then we hung around for a while longer and repeatedly saw Kate Flannery (Meredith) in the distance, talking with people in one of the parking lots. She never came anywhere near us, but a little while later, Leslie David Baker (Stanley) drove out of the lot in his car! He was wearing sunglasses, so it was hard to tell who exactly which one of us he was looking at, but as he pulled out of the gate, he slowed, turned his head in our direction, and said, "How you doin'?" with a smile! It was all very cool. I snuck a few shots here and there, though I didn't get any of Leslie or Andy. We tried to be respectful and not rabid fans or anything...I guess it paid off!

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Definitely! I'd like to go back if I get a chance in the fall...I bet they'll still be working on this coming season.

Here's Kate Flannery off in the distance:

09072336.jpg

And a shot of the front, where they had a ladder up in front of the SCRANTON BUSINESS PARK sign. They were putting up some fake plants and stuff, too.

09072331.jpg

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I thought yesterday was a great opening! I already suspect this season'll be better than the last, though the episode was still nowhere near the brillance of the highlights of Seasons 2, 3, and 4.

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That about sums up my feelings on the matter. It was fun. Not vintage quality, but fun. Hopefully the season will get better and better as time goes on...I'd really like to see the show return to the amazingness it had for seasons 2-4.

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Yeah it was good, although I sometimes worry that they are stretching the believability factor too far. Sometimes Michael just seems too stupid to fathom.

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I hate hate hate being left out! Whether its not being picked for a team, or being picked for a team and then showing up and realizing that the team doesn't exist... or that the sport doesn't exist... I should have known, "poop ball"?

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What do you guys think of the season so far?

They seem to be focusing more on the newer characters like Erin and Andy, as well as the opening credits characters of Pam Jim Dwight and Michael........ and less on some of the characters that have been around from the beginning, especially Angela. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

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I'm quite sure how I feel about the show in general. It pains me to say it, but the show has jumped the shark, and it's probably never going to de-jump it. I am just...unbelievably annoyed with how the show has gone downhill. Seasons 2 and 3 were soooo great, and season 4 still had a lot to like. Season 5 wasn't funny too often, but at least there wasn't much to actually dislike. Season 6 is just...bothersome. Pam and Jim have lost every bit of the considerable chemistry they once had, and it's not as if either character is still interesting on his/her own - they've actually both become rather dry and unpleasant. Steve Carell isn't doing anything wrong, I don't think, but the way they're writing Michael's character now is similarly terrible, emphasizing all the many ways in which he is completely and totally unfit to run an office. The show used to have a lot more restraint with that...now the idea that he'd ever become a regional manager is just laughable, and not in a good way. As you noted, Jay, the minor characters are being made more and more minor...and then there's Dwight.

Oh my goodness.

Dwight embodies everything that is wrong with The Office these days. Part of what made him so creepy and amusing before was the fact that he never went too ridiculously far over the top. Now he can be convinced to beat himself up for prolonged periods of time, makes strangely loud and annoying outbursts in interviews, and just generally doesn't have any of the intelligent humor that used to make the show awesome.

Oh, and there are too many attempts at feel-good moments. The show was already warmer than its British predecessor, which was fine, but it definitely didn't need to get any warmer. Now we've got episodes that end with everyone just having a great time together dancing or getting married or whatever. Not that there's anything wrong with dances and marriages...in the olden days, the show made those things funny with a genuinely heartwarming touch! Now they just come across as saccharine. Annoying.

Argh. I'm ranting. Sorry. It just really annoys me that I only started getting into this show right as it started to really slide downhill.

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I disagree. I think so far the new season is better than season 5, though not by much. They are definitely taking characters in new directions, especially Dwight, but I don't think it's always for the worse. It is a bit more unrealistic in many ways, and no way does it hold up to any of the pre-Writers' Strike episodes (I consider seasons 2, 3, and the first half of 4 to be the golden era), but they're still enjoyable enough to get me to tune in each week. The one character I have really started to dislike is Pam. They've made her seem almost...stupid. Jim also, but not as much. It seems like one of the them makes a stupid mistake in almost every episode...I'm fine with the theme that everyone has flaws, but they're almost becoming as naive as some of the less wacky people at the office (eg Phyllis). I'm not sure how I feel about the child Michael is becoming with each episode, I like on one level, but whenever I think of the old Michael I realize how much I prefer the latter. I don't know...lots of things to like and dislike, I'm not quite sure my whole feelings on the season, but like I said I still like the show enough to tune in each week.

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I have been so fed up with The Office. It's terribly disheartening to watch a great show fall so far and so hard. Recent episodes have been...slightly better than some of the ones that came before, but that's not saying much. And so it was with this in mind that I muttered to myself, "This is going to be depressing," right before starting last night's episode.

Then the first five seconds of the episode happened.

Once I picked my jaw up off the ground, it was fixed in a disbelieving grin for the remainder of the opening segment. For a The Office geek like me, that scene was a dream come true, and even though the execution was not TOTALLY brilliant, it made the whole episode worth it. (Incidentally, I thought the rest of the episode wasn't terrible, either, so perhaps things really are turning around a bit.)

So yes, anyone who is familiar with both the UK and US versions of the show should definitely watch "The Seminar." thumbsup.gif

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Already watched it numerous times from start to finish. It's a great little show, and different from its American counterpart, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the latter as well.

Er, the first three or four seasons, at least. It's remarkable to watch the show steadily grow further and further apart from the original in terms of tone, humor, content, etc. Everything is so different now, and mostly a lot worse, but in the beginning, the American version was fantastic, and they kept that up right about until the end of season 3, which corresponds roughly to the end of the UK Christmas special. Season 4 had some very strong highlights, but things were already starting to get funky. Took about one more season for the whole thing to just collapse in on itself.

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Already watched it numerous times from start to finish. It's a great little show, and different from its American counterpart, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the latter as well.

Er, the first three or four seasons, at least. It's remarkable to watch the show steadily grow further and further apart from the original in terms of tone, humor, content, etc. Everything is so different now, and mostly a lot worse, but in the beginning, the American version was fantastic, and they kept that up right about until the end of season 3, which corresponds roughly to the end of the UK Christmas special. Season 4 had some very strong highlights, but things were already starting to get funky. Took about one more season for the whole thing to just collapse in on itself.

Good thing I stopped at Season 3 then, eh?

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Yep. You saw the good stuff. Well, there are some truly priceless moments in season 4. "Dinner Party" is one of the most hilariously embarrassing, uncomfortable episodes of television I've ever seen.

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I think the show was fantastic up until the writers strike...so that would be every episode before "Dinner Party." There have still be some good, even very good episodes ("Dinner Party" was definitely one of the better ones), but it never matched the Golden Era. I think season 3 and the first half of 4 were the best.

I've seen maybe 10-15 British episodes, and they're funny, but not nearly as good as the best of the American version IMO. That said, I think part of that is because their accents are so thick that I need to use subtitles, which takes away the effect of a good delivery.

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Haha, sorry, I find it funny that people need subtitles for English comedies. Not dissing you personally, as some of the regional accents are thick, but I guess I'm used to it as I watch UK television a lot (and in fact tend to find it much better than the majority of American stuff).

I stopped watching the US Office a couple of years ago, when the believable characters from the first few seasons had actually turned into ridiculous caricatures of themselves. It turned from "look at these people, you probably know and work with people very much like them" to "look how hilariously inappropriate and bumbling these puppets are".

My current favourite shows are Fringe and 30 Rock. And of course Doctor Who, but I'm dying for the new series to start.

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I didn't notice much of an overall change in quality within season 4...it's more hit-and-miss than the previous seasons, but I didn't notice any especially strong downward trend within the season. It was only once season 5 hit that the show started getting really mediocre and unfunny...and then toward the end of that season, it got so bad it was downright annoying to watch. They've toned it down a bit since then, but it's still such a different show, with such different characters and such different writing and such different stories. It makes me truly sad to think about it sometimes.

There are only 12 British episodes (plus a two-hour Christmas special), so it sounds like you've seen it all. I've watched the British version from start to finish at least twice, with scatterings of repeat viewings on certain episodes. It's...very good, but very British. I can understand the majority of what they're saying, but there are references and jokes that just go sailing right over my head. But there's a lot to love, and even when I'm not sure what they're talking about, the delivery is so good that I can imagine it being funny. :P

Really, the British version is at one end of the spectrum, the current seasons of the American version are at the other, and the sweet spot for me is somewhere in between, but a lot closer to the former than to the latter. That's where that "Golden Era" of the American version is - not quite as dry and pessimistic as the British version, but still very much focused on satirizing the daily grind of the middle-class office worker. None of the dumb humor and depressing over-cheerfulness that often happens these days on the show.

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Carrell is still on, but this is his last season. I don't know if he'll be around all the way till the end of the season, though I kinda hope so. I heard the same thing about Will Ferrell, but he hasn't been on yet. Ricky Gervais had a short scene in the most recent episode - that's what I was geeking out about - but I haven't heard anything about multiple appearances.

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"Dinner Party" was 100% written pre-writers strike and was intended to be filmed shortly after the strike started. But as so many of the writers on the show also act, they felt as though they would be going against the spirit of the strike to act, so it wasn't filmed until the strike was resolved. But they used the exact script from before the strike, didn't change a thing. The rest of the season was written post-strike

Steve Carrell's final episode is airing in April, and the season will then have 4 more episodes without him before concluding in May.

Will Ferrell isn't necessarily "replacing" Carrell and being the new series regular boss next season or anything. He's just slated for guest appearances for the end of this season so far.

Gervais isn't slated to make additional appearances.

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this is one of those shows that can wear out a remote, as soon as it comes on I have to quickly change the channel. It's like Shania Twain coming on the radio, instead of my ears bleeding it's my eyes,

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"Threat Level Midnight" was...not as bad as it could have been. There were some genuinely funny moments, and the premise was not without merit.

But still, they've yet again proven that it's a lot easier to re-create Pam's circa 2007 hairstyle and makeup than it is to re-create the original tone, spirit, intent, and genuine hilarity of the show. I appreciate the gesture of bringing back favorite characters and plot points from yesteryear, but I'd rather they just make the show good again.

The good: cameos by Jan, Karen, Todd Packer, and Ryan's hobbit friend...seeing the aforementioned old haircuts and whatnot...the moments when they allowed Michael's film to actually seem like a badly made home video...blowing up Toby's head...and, surprisingly, the music. Anyone know who wrote that? Was it from a film or was it original? In any case, it actually had a rather nice full-orchestral sensibility, though it certainly wasn't anything too memorable.

The bad: a completely bland and pointless frame story...the sense yet again that the show is just being used as a vehicle to show off the actors' various talents...the fact that Michael's film often did NOT seem like a badly made home video, but part of a professionally produced sitcom...the fact that all of the sudden, most of these characters are also pretty decent actors, not just office drones at a paper company...and the utter lack of the workplace satire that originally formed the basis of the show. But that's been gone for a long time.

Gonna cleanse my palate with an episode of the UK version.

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I enjoyed the episode also, but it was definitely a far cry from the old episodes. I think they should have gotten rid of the present day subplot between Michael and Holly, as trying to fit it in between breaks in the movie resulted in a really underdeveloped idea that started and ended too abruptly. The movie itself was definitely the better part of the episode, but even that got old after a while.

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Just noticed this thread, and yeah, gotta agree with the general sentiment that the show's been going downhill since Season 5/6-ish. I've liked certain things here and there (I enjoyed the Erin/Andy storyline until they broke up and the writers just totally lost their focus with it. And I thought the most recent Christmas episode was one of the best episodes I'd seen in a long, long time), but I'm just ready for it to be over now. Shame since it's actually the only show I've followed religiously since the beginning. And I haven't the slightest idea how they're going to keep it going without Michael.

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I'd say the first signs of trouble were as early as season 4, but those are very minor things, and some of my favorite moments are in season 4 anyhow. Season 5 was when it started to feel mediocre and unfunny to me, and by season 6, it was just downright annoying. I'd say it's gotten slightly better since then, but still...I only watch it because I'm morbidly curious about what they'll make my beloved characters do next. Or...make the people who look kinda like my beloved characters do next...

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...and, surprisingly, the music. Anyone know who wrote that? Was it from a film or was it original? In any case, it actually had a rather nice full-orchestral sensibility, though it certainly wasn't anything too memorable.

Most of it was from the Bourne movies. I really didn't listen too closely but I'm sure its all from recent Universal films considering NBC is a part of Universal.

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