That’s What She Said

In Baby Howie, Celebrity Obsessions, Tolkien on March 13, 2011 at 1:21 am

Given my somewhat obsessive personality, it’s rather surprising that I am not a rabid follower of more TV shows.  This is mainly a function of time, in that I don’t have any.  When I was a carefree youth, I cultivated my lifelong love of Full House (and no matter what he tells you, Baby Howie was a very willing partner in crime in this endeavour.)  But though that admittedly slightly lame show will always hold a place in my heart, I eventually moved on to my current love: the American version of The Office

One John.

Two Johns.

More articulate writers than I have already noted that The Office‘s charm comes from its mastery of the awkward moment.  Personally, I also love its commitment to subtlety.  There’s something very respectable about having enough confidence in your audience that you don’t feel you need to hit them over the head with your humour.  As exemplified by the fact that the framed certificate hanging behind Michael’s desk reads “Congratulations!  You are the proud owner of a Seyko timepiece” — which is of course misspelled, and which to my knowledge has never actually been mentioned in the show.  I appreciate that they’re just counting on us to notice it.  And then there are some awesome lines, such as the following choice vignettes:

Phyllis: Does everyone know my boyfriend, Bob Vance?

Kevin: Kevin Malone.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Stanley: Stanley Hudson.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Ryan: Ryan Howard.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.


Ryan: What line of work you in, Bob?

… and:

Michael: You know what they say the best medicine is.

Kevin: Well the doctor said a combination of interferon and dacarbazine.

Michael: Well, and laughter, also.

… and:

Kevin: Hey Jan, you went to a sperm bank?

Jan: Uh, yes, I did.

Kevin: I donated sperm.

Jan:  Oh.

Kevin: Maybe I’m the father.

Jan: Well this is a highly exclusive establishment.

Kevin: The one behind the IHOP?


Jan: (to the camera) It’s not Kevin’s child. Can’t possibly be. I mean, I don’t know what I would do. Sue… icide?

… and:

Jim: This is parkour. Internet sensation of 2004. And it was in one of the Bond films. It’s pretty impressive. The goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible, so technically, they are doing parkour, as long as point A is “delusion” and point B is “the hospital.”

But the thing I like most about this show, and I don’t think I am in the minority here, is Jim and Pam (or in diehard online-Office parlance, JAM.)  Their romance has been so sweet, so understated, and so funny throughout the arc of the show.  Who can forget Jim’s longing for Pam?  Or what was possibly their most defining on-screen moment?

(You can watch a much better-quality version of the full scene here:

The show has definitely not been the same over the past few seasons.  At this point, it’s looking like it peaked in Season 2.  (In fact, this used to be Tolkien’s and my favourite show, but T can hardly bear to watch it anymore.)  And the impending departure of Michael Scott (I heard Steve Carell taped his final scene last week) cannot be anything but bad news.  But it’s OK, because we’ll always have the old days on DVD.  And you know what else?  Bears.  Beets.  Battlestar Galactica.

  1. You mean “admittedly slightly” as in “admittedly ragingly”

  2. Hello Much,
    First, thanks for writing another blog. I anxiously await each of your entries.

    Second, The Office has been my favorite show on television for quite some time now. I am sorry that Steve Carell is leaving the show. It won’t be the same once he is gone. I, too, love Pam and Jim’s relationship…it is as sweet as they come! It is not surprising that we enjoy the same type of humor – subtle or slightly ridiculous, but, I love it just the same!


    • Leena, that’s so funny that it’s your favourite show too! It is great. It’s not going to be the same without Michael Scott, but I will admit I am kind of looking forward to seeing how Will Ferrell and Will Arnett each try to make Dunder Mifflin life a little more miserable.

  3. […] and around the same age, but dude, that’s totally why I like her. Plus she writes and acts on my favourite show. (As an aside, I just love that four of NBC’s current hit shows have major Indian characters […]

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