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"'How have you been?' 'Rat. You?' 'Dead.' 'Oh.'"
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November 01 2007

(SPOILER) Tonight on NBC - Joss Whedon returns to 'The Office'. In case you missed it in all of the excitement, Joss' second Office episode 'Branch Wars' airs at 9pm/ET. And E! Online's Kristin has more from Joss on what to expect from his episode.

I just turned down dinner out so I wouldn't have to wait to watch it.
also Mindy Kaling wrote it. which is another bonus. she's one of my favorite writers they have since she did 'office olympics'.
"The eyes are the groin of the head"...I just peed my pants a little.
"Utica, Utica, Utica!"

Ah, memories.

But whose?
Man, I can't believe in all the excitement I almost forgot about this. In the old days (24 hours ago) that would have been the most Jossy-goodness on the horizon.

I'm looking forward to this tonight - and "Office Olympics" is utterly one of my favorite episodes ever, so yay! for Mindy and Joss.
I thought Joss plumbed new depths of Jim, as well as new shallownesses. Jim didn't break the fourth wall, but at least he tried. He managed to move it a little, but within the cramped confines of the PT Cruiser it just whipped right back at him, a cinematic metaphor for Pitiless Fate.

The industrial copier scene -- radio without pictures. Therein lay its genius. Calamity imagined exceeding calamity photographically documented in funniness.

New depths of Pam with the Finer Things Club, and the suggestion of possible future tension within Jam. Pam reaches out to Jim after his emotionally traumatic journey to Utica with a status-bolstering invitation to join, but he does not take it seriously enough to read AA or just rent the Feel Bad Movie of 1999. Does this reveal a crack in the perfection of Pim, a failure on Jim's part to fulfill the Significant Otherly role of Guardian of Cherished Self-Delusions? In other words, honey, does this episode make his pretension-puncturing look too big? Only time will tell.

As an Irishperson, I've been told I should read "Angela's Ashes." I decline. I have, however, saved this episode for re-viewing. Superb, Purple One-der. You spoil us, and that's what ultimately makes us dependent and resentful, but you win for now.

ETA negative errors of grammar & logic but hap'ly not of spelling :)

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-11-02 05:19 ]
The Finer Things Club was genius. So funny that Andy wanted to be a part of it. Glad Stanley is sticking around too :) I love the Office!!! Oh, and kind of psycho bit from Karen...yikes!
I love the idea of the Finer Things Club. I've gotta start one of those.

Plus, Scrubs had Carlos Jacott, in a confusingly non-evil role. It was one Whedontastic hour.
OMG, I am laughing like a drain right now ...

And now, I'm crying. This is the best.thing.EVAH.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-11-02 05:20 ]
haha 'oh just please crawl on top of her and think of stanley' that was awesome

I do wonder how much is from Mindy and what Joss added.
Loved the episode! But I actually felt cheated after the half-hour ended. I got used to the hourlong episodes and I think this show can totally sustain them.

My only problem with Mindy Kaling's writing here was that she didn't write herself in! She is so sweet and funny, I always love seeing Kelly.

"Host the Dundees for me!"
Loved it, so many good moments, but what really stood out for me was Jim and Karen's final scene. Very very different stuff for Jim to do throughout, he wasn't his usual affable, happy self and when it came to a head in her office, it showed a whole new side to him. He was great.

Plus, the Finer Things club was just awesome. Every moment of it.
I agree. I love how they take the finer things club so serious. And that their idea of a finer things club was getting dressed up and sitting around, nibbling snacks like they were in a Jane Austin novel.
OK, so my first comment finally after almost a YEAR of waiting for the registration to open (Stupid vacations EVERY other time they opened it). So I had better make this a good one. I'm probably gonna blow it though. So here comes the gail force winds of my post.

LOVED the episode tonight. I have not missed a single episode of the Office since the British series. Now I'm not being biased based on the Whedony goodness contained in this episode (well maybe a teensy bit), but this is officially my favorite episode of all time. Character development just took a HUGE leap in a good direction by showing Jim, Stanley, Oscar and Pam showing sides to themselves they never have before. Personally I don't think Oscar has ever made a funnier joke about being gay. I just don't have enough to say. Joss said last year on his first episode that the director of the Office has to be invisible. And while he has accomplished that while at the same time putting his stamp of "Yeah dude, I rock" on it. Joss, thank you for making my favorite show even better. I can't wait for Dollhouse and your triumphant full-time return to the small screen.
Hope you enjoyed my wind storm.
"The eyes are the groin of the head."



Brought to you by, "Sure there's all kinds of things I could say about the surprising and poignant, tragically funny and disturbingly foreshadowing episode... but damn, that line caught me unexpectedly." Good laugh!

Superb episode.
The first Deleted Scene has been posted over on

I think Angela's soundbite from this deleted scene is my favorite thing ever.

I enjoyed the rest of the episode. It was good to see Dwight (who looked actually good in that moustache) not brooding over Angela and rather causing havoc in U-ti-ca. The Finer Things Club (member since 2003) seems like something Pam would take issue with if she were on the outside of it. And Toby really doesn't like Pam's boyfriends, so bringing Jim in was totally her doing. Speaking of Jim, he's like Dwight and Michael's tall handsome conscience. I gotta get me one of those ;)

Those are all observations about the characters, isn't it? Well, they've been doing some real growing-up this season, and its very fun to watch.

Loved seeing Jim break the 4th wall, Toby in his bowtie, Michael and Dwight over the walkie-talkie ("host the Dundies"), and Michael's Wanted ad. The scene with Michael on the phone with the salesman from U-ti-ca was my favorite. Wait. Was 'Ben' on the phone Joss?

[ edited by Arabchick on 2007-11-02 11:01 ]
Brilliant episode, and agreed on the new depths/shallowness to Jim. I was going to say a lot about this, but it has been said. Isn't it interesting that Jim is essentially playing the Michael role, though, at the Finer Things club--he's someone that everyone expects to ruin the party with his lame, uninformed jokes? Jim thinks he's better than Michael and Dwight, but this episode suggests that he isn't willing to make the leap towards trying to better himself, either in career (as Ryan and Karen and to some extent Pam have) or in personal persuits (the Finer Things club). Ironic detachment guy might just be getting old.

And Rashida was so heartbreaking, with Jim trying desperately to get away from having to confront Karen. He knows he's hurt her, and he knows it's largely his fault, but he made the right decision so what else is he going to do, right? There's a particular sensitivity to Karen over the bumbling Jim that I suspect is coming from Joss (though Mindy's script is of course lovely--which, aside, did Kelly appear at all? along with B.J. Novak's not being there, I wonder if it's a preamble to the writer's strike, although that might be my imagination, and I don't know what the actor/writer status would be). Also, can Rashida Jones be in "Dollhouse"? Just saying.
Haven't watched the episode yet, but watched the deleted scenes that arabchick posted.
The Andy stuff killed me!
Easily one of my favorite things was that The Finer Things club just happened to be reading "A Room with a View". Of course, that just happens to be the title one of my all time favorite Angel episodes as well.
Yes! I saw the title and wondered if it was a sly little Angel reference.

Loved the episode. Was it just me, or was Dwight displaying some extra violent tendencies?
Those were nice delted scenes. I just love Toby....he's so pathetic and adorable. He's clinging on to his club!
In reflecting more on the episode (I wouldn't know where to start to talk about all of it - I'm going to watch it again tonight on NBC's website) all I can say at this point is that it was the perfect marriage of director, writer and actors. I thought the "bat" episode Joss did was serendipitous and wonderful, which included the now famous Michael speech to the business class and the great Michael/Pam moment, but this ... seeing ironic, cool Jim lose said cool inside the car and humbled before Karen was like panning for gold in the Yukon and still being able to find huge nuggets: "Ahm rich, Ahm rich, Nellie! Saddle up ole Bessie, we is goin' to the Prospector's Office!"

That's it for now - these are the artistic moments you wait a lifetime to see, and it was all there (and yes, I think Dwight was living large exploring his violent tendencies - the chalkstick line was nearly as good as eyes=groin of the head).

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-11-02 17:08 ]
I think that Dwight wants to deliver some hurt 'cause he's missing his Angel(a). Just like Michael's reaction to losing Stanley is boosted by the fact that he's recently been marginalized by Ryan, Jan, his bank account....
Was that Joss' voice I heard as Ben Nugent, the top salesman in Utica?
pollaxt, it would be very cool if that were the case! Unfortunately I've already deleted the episode off my TiVo so I can't give it a re-listen.

Great episode. Man, I love me some Office.

Did anyone else notice David Denman (a.k.a. Skip from Angel and Roy from The Office) on Grey's Anatomy last night?
Hmm, Ben Nugent doesn't sound like Joss to me.

BTW, Dwight with the mustache kinda looked like Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman.
jam2: I totally thought the same thing about Dwight incognito. Its something I could see Dwight do. "The Shrutes are famous for their facial hair. Since I have no girlfriend, I thought I would put Mose to shame. I grew this over the weekend."

And I choose to believe that it was Joss on the phone. It may not have been, but since I'm not the only one that thought it might be him I'm sticking with it.
I hope that joss will do the commentary track on the dvd for this ep, mostly because I don't want to hear bj novak tell any more whedon stories.

Also, Ben Nugent is the name of Mindy Kaling's boyfriend in real life, so maybe it was him on the phone. (Mindy Kaling wrote this ep)
How is it that no one has mentioned Dwight cutting his penis on the top of the can yet?

That made me wince and yell and laugh at the same time. Awesome.

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