The remote to TV disappointment is paved with high expectations.
That’s the best way I can sum up the post-Super Bowl episode of The Office that will air this Sunday on NBC at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET.
I was hoping for an episode like "Casino Night" or "A Benihana Christmas" but the hour fell far short of those peaks of hilarity.
The post-Super Bowl slot is typcially treated as a way to gain new viewers and celebrate and hype a show. In my mind, The Office was always a little bit of a strange choice for the coveted post Super Bowl slot. The comedy kind of falters when it expands to one hour. It’s not prone to any kind of stunt guest casting. And I have to think that after five seasons, it already has the audience it’s going to have.
Sure there are laugh out loud moments — the uproarious opening sequence will definitely keep people’s attention and I’m still giggling about a comment Michael (Steve Carell) makes about You Tube — but the hour rambles from plot point to plot point without ever fully developing any one theme. The much touted cameos by Jessica Alba, Jack Black and Cloris Leachman are bizarre and speedy — Alba is barely even on. The way they work in the cameos is in keeping with the show’s inherent structure (Andy is watching a bootlegged movie with them in it) but they still don’t totally work and are a distraction.
I’m also beginning to become perplexed by how they are handling Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer). I’m glad they have no more angst but they should be able to be funny even when they are happy. Their storyline in Sunday’s episode is sweet and reaffirms what we already know about the couple but it does seem repetitive. Actually many things about the episode seem like bits we’ve seen before.
In the end a bad episode of The Office is still better, more clever, and more witty than most things on TV and I’m definitely judging the show by the high standards it set for itself. I do think a show like 30 Rock — which is attracting new viewers, loves a good guest star, and is easy for a new viewer to pick up — might have been more suited to this particular time slot.
I started thinking about Super Bowl episodes over the years. Even though I didn’t love the episode, the Friends Super Bowl episode sticks out in my mind because the show was at the peak of its hype when it aired. And I still love, love, love the Alias episode. Check out the list of post Super Bowl episodes by clicking here and talk about your favorite Super Bowl episodes below.
Also after you’ve watched Sunday’s episode of The Office, definitely let me know what you think.
Quotes of the Week
"Whatever, go have your Robin Williams ‘Oh, Captain, my Captain’, moment. Just make it quick." Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) response to Sam, when Sam wants to thank a former teacher on Supernatural. Thanks to Sandy for the quote.
"What an idiot! Who wants to carry around a telephone?" Detective Carling on Life on Mars. Thanks to Ritchie for the quote.
"The ‘Reality Bites’ Ethan Hawke not the ‘I left my wife for the nanny and haven’t showered in ten days’ Ethan Hawke." Megan on Privileged.
"I know Betty, but these things get passed down. They’re generic." Amanda to Betty on Ugly Betty about Betty's father’s heart condition.
"Lemon this is our problem. I give you a simple managerial suggestion in a professional context and I get back the second half of a Judy Blume novel." Jack (Alec Baldwin) to Liz on 30 Rock.
"Yes David that’s already getting old." Langston to Hodges when he makes a joke on CSI.
"I am so better fit for Yale than that Rory." Blair on Gossip Girl. Thanks to Caroline for the quote.
Exchanges of the Week
"I still say this is stupid. What happened to 'As we mature, the relationship matures with us?’" Robin to Marshall (Jason Segel) on How I Met Your Mother.
"That's just something Lily read in Psychology Today. All right, she read it in Cosmo. All right, I read it in Cosmo. All right, it was Cosmo Girl! Just drive, OK?" Marshall’s response. Thanks to Michelle for the exchange.
"Are you with the FBI?" President Matobo to Chloe on 24.
"No, I'm a stay at home mom." Chloe’s response. Thanks to Mark and Barry for the exchange.
"What's this?" Locke to Richard (Nestor Carbonell) on Lost
"A compass" Richard's response.
"What's it do?" Locke's response.
"It points North, John." Richard's answer. Thanks to Rishi for the exchange.
A Sneak Peek
I know some of you are not too sad about this. It’s time to say goodbye to Lana on Smallville. Check out next week’s episode by clicking here.
That’s all for today. I’m back on Monday with a look at NBC’s returning line up — Chuck, Heroes and Medium — and another edition of Ask TV Gal (you have lots of questions about Lost). Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at email@example.com.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal