"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Office: Women's Appreciation

This episode gave me some more great Michael Scott moments, once again running the range of uncomfortable silence to laugh-out-loud ridiculousness. In the course of the episode I learned some bizarre details about Angela's clothes, the secrets of the Dunder-Mifflin ladies' room, and the total freakiness of Jan & Michael's sex life. I also got some great over-reactions from Dwight, a sequence of awkwardly unfunny jokes by Michael about Phyllis being flashed outside the office, a nice and subtle Dwight prank by Pam, and some truly bizarre Creed moments.

The opening scene was funny. Dwight's long-winded explanation of his demerit and reprimand process was wonderfully ridiculous, especially the reveal that the eventual consequence would be a written disciplinary review given to Dwight's immediate superior, Jim himself. Jim's threat of "a full disadulation" was great as well, but was topped later in the episode by Pam's extended prank on Dwight, sketching an image of his face onto the poster for the accused flasher, just without his glasses and with a tiny moustache.It would be amusing to see the Dwight flasher posters come up again in a later episode (especially since Andy said he was going to hang them all over his neighborhood), but I highly doubt they will.

There were plenty of amusing little tidbits thrown in for fans this week, such as Angela's revelation that she not only wears kids' size 10 clothes but also large American Girl doll clothes. And we learned more than we really ever wanted to know about Jan and Michael's sex life, such as the fact that Michael would put on a dress to indulge a schoolgirl fantasy of Jan's and that Jan videotapes them having sex in order to both critique his lovemaking afterwards and to show to her therapist for discussion. It's one of those times that you can't help feeling sorry for Michael, no matter how big of an idiot he often is.

The highlight of the episode was at the end, as an emboldened Michael, fresh from his day out with the girls, decides to call Jan to break up with her… and proceeds to do it over voice mail, as Jan is walking into his office. The succeeding scene with Jan listening to the message as she asks Michael if he wants to go out to eat (and he feebly replies, "Maybe some Italian? Chinese?") is easily the funniest moment in the episode, and perfectly played by both Steve Carell and Melora Hardin.

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