Intrepid Girl Reporter

Thursday, 10/9: the other reason that “The Office” is brilliant, etc.
October 10, 2008, 4:55 am
Filed under: media, television | Tags: ,

I know, nothing for a week and then two posts in one day.

Sometimes I am very easily satisfied. For example, even though this particular phenomenon has jumped the shark, I take immense pleasure in the following image:

Therefore, I would probably have been happy enough if “The Office” had simply continued to display competency in the areas in which it has a record of doing well: clever writing, sharp satirical observations of American corporate culture, making John Krasinski look adorable and his relationship with Pam almost blinding in the jealousy it induces. I would probably have assumed that, yes, it too had jumped the shark, which was what the post-strike episodes of last season seemed to indicate. Conventional wisdom says that when you put the will-they or won’t-they couple solidly into will-they zone, the clock is ticking.

BUT ACTUALLY. I’ve watched both episodes this season, and while they do seem to be getting a little bit of their edge back, that’s not what I find most impressive. What the writers of the show have managed to do is shift the focus OFF of (Pam and Jim)* and ON to two other couples/potential couples/situations within Dunder Mifflin without losing momentum. The whole (Michael and Holly) and (Angela and Dwight and Andy) thing could have felt like a feeble attempt to revisit proven ground, but it doesn’t, because they’re different stories. In other words, the writers seem to be viewing “The Office” like an office, one that has more than two people in it. In other words, somehow, they strapped on their waterskis and went around the shark.

Other things I am enjoying and/or have a strong opinion on today: 1) the Daily Intel makes the mistake of asking, “Why is he so popular?” with regards to Ryan Reynolds. I will tell you, New York Daily News: because Ryan Reynolds is awesome. He was popular with me long before it was popular for him to be popular, probably because I was one of the few middle schoolers (/viewers) in America who regularly watched “Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.”** Also because of his underrated cameo in Harold and Kumar (natch)***, the fact that I really enjoyed Definitely Maybe more than I had anticipated, knowing that had we gone to high school together I would have had a big crush on him, the fact that he dated Alanis Morrisette,**** et al. NYDN eventually comes around to my point of view, citing his essay in the Huffington Post re: the NYC Marathon; okay, he’s not David Sedaris, but he IS funny, thus confirming what I’ve always secretly known*****. Most people who meet me assume that I have the good judgment to stay away from this cocky sort of man, and always, always they are proven wrong.

2) my college has, as one of their freshman bloggers, a hapa whose father is Asian. A) It is nice to know that there are more of us out there, B) it is nice to know that they are in Kentucky.

3) La Sister came home last night for fall break, pulling into the driveway mere minutes after my mother and I. I am happy she is here.

4) the Esquire 75th Anniversary Issue is worth purchasing. Not just because of the flashing cover either.

5) This American Life also recently did a story on (recurring theme alert) Geoffrey Canada. Duh, I recommend it.

*When I was growing up, our neighbors – they were good friends with my parents, we were tight with their kids – were named Pam and Jim. It was difficult for a while for me to hear those names together and not visualize an Italian-American podiatrist and his wife.

**My affinity for crappy sitcoms being well-documented, and probably worth exploring for the insights it might provide into my psyche.

***Aside from the fact that this movie is awesome for all the reasons I have named in past posts, it also deserves credit for having really great cameos. Like, you know, NPH.

****I was really into Alanis Morissette around the same time I was watching “Two Guys.” Because I always sort of pictured Mr. Reynolds as out of *my* league, had I been of age etc., but I also always sort of identified with this whole sort of angry vulnerable feminist thing that Alanis had when she first came out, their dating appeared to be the equivalent of the captain of the soccer team falling in love with the editor of the literary magazine; even though at the time of their relationship I was sort of over them both, it raised my opinion of him.

*****It’s such a strange phenomenon, the way we subconsciously create these conceptions of what famous people must be like based on the limited information we’re given by their performances. For that reason, I find it gratifying that – while I had never considered what an essay by Ryan Reynolds might sound like – it sounds like what I would have imagined.


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jump the shark?

Comment by Marie

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