Saturday, October 20, 2007

In your face, machines!

Dwight proves he is superior to a website. Andy’s barbershop triplet belts out some wicked Abba. Angela turns up the bitchy. Phyllis tries to master a little reverse psychology. Pam gets empathetic. Jim and Michael get in some bonding time. And Michael – oy vey – kidnaps a stoner pizza delivery guy.

Episode 403 - Launch Party

Elephant in the room…Michael’s kidnapping subplot was equally absurd to his rental cruise along scenic Lake Scranton last episode. Not stating anything new here to being happy that we’re almost back to 30 minute episodes. Too much filler…not enough killer with the hour-longs.

However, there was plenty of funny in the ep. 'DunMiff/sys' IM'ing Dwight was classic JAM prankery. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dwight’s binary f-you message to the computer actually equated to some sort of command.

Among the best interactions was with Phyllis trying to use her Googled tips on dealing with a difficult person on Angela. And it totally backfiring. Angela put fear into me with her biting description of cutlery utensils. Though what was up with the v-neck she was sporting? I’m betting they don’t sell that number at the American Girl Store.

Ryan’s lunch lanch launch party for the website was predictable, but Michael’s reading of the invitation to said party was not. He’s clearly familiar with technology to some degree – he’s a Wikipedia ninja and he knows how to play the 10 second clip of James Blunt tunes to nurse himself through a breakup. When Jim clues in Michael that it’s a chatroom/web party somewhere around – I’m guessing – Buttzville, NJ, along Route 80, you have to wonder when they’re going to make him seem less stupid again this season. However, the Dr. Seuss book for Ryan was a funny interlude.

However, despite the aforementioned lame kidnapping plot with the pizza guy, the outburst at the party when Ryan intros Michael and he announces that Dwight “beat your stupid computer,” then calls him an asshole, followed by Kelly slapping a slice of the round slice of garbage courtesy of Pizza by Alfredo onto the TV screen had me guffawing.

Andy wins a milimeter of props from Angela by invading some poor early-evening wedding, bar mitzvah or retirement party and stealing a swan ice sculpture for the re-imagined party that Angela had an hour to create. Though I wasn't a fan of the kidnapping subplot, it was great that Dwight said he knew the pizza guy cuz he stole hemp from the farm, and the kid said he knew Dwight as the farmer with the really bad weed. (What's Dwight doing growing hemp?)

Pam and Jim take it to the roof again, which was cute, but provided those moments that we probably should have seen from earlier on in their relationship, but we got cheated out of with the summer break. (I guess the documentary camera crew took a summer break too. By the way, when are they gonna be finished with the doc? They should have about 4 years worth of footage now. LOL)

In the most stunning show of musical talent since Scrantonicity rocked Phyllis & Bob Vance’s wedding, Andy gets and impromptu performance of Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me” together to attempt to woo Angela. It was as genuine a display of someone’s heart as we’ve seen on The Office in ages…or at least a brilliant ploy to get in someone’s pants as we’ve yet seen. (I heard that the other voices were credited as Michael and Dwight in the closed captioning. Brilliant if they actually got Steve and Rainn to do that – neither of whom were in the shot of the co-workers looking on.) Kelly’s heart looked like it was going to explode with glee at witnessing Andy’s performance.

Final note: Michael and Dwight sitting on top of Dwight’s car in a random parking lot in New York eating leftover sushi in the wee hours after the party while they imitated Ryan’s voice was great. Plus Dwight’s look when we got another homoerotic statement from Michael saying that Ryan was hot was great.

Bonus: Check out the deleted scenes on for Jim calling out Dwight's stubble. Dwight shoots back, "It's called being a man. You should try it some time." Even in pain, Dwight's still got it.

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