Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
In honor of the upcoming super special, super-sized post Superbowl episode of The Office, I decided that this week’s Top 5 would be a detailed list of my favorite episodes. Now, my romantic leanings will be quite obvious as you peruse this list, because while no other show can have me in stitches or brimming with hearty belly laughs like this one, my favorite aspect has always been the burgeoning, tender, slow burn relationship between Jim and Pam. Jim’s running practical jokes on Dwight are a close second. You’ll notice that my list is primarily comprised of episodes from Season 3, but the entire series is absolutely wonderful.

5. Women’s Appreciation. This episode is a wonderful example of what makes The Office great. Equal parts hilarious and touching, I could watch it over and over. From the opening scenes with Phyllis’s unfortunate flashing to the girls’ shopping trip, it’s just gold. Gold, people! I’m not sure which was best: Michael’s hilariously brazen indifference to Phyllis’s embarrassment and ensuing uncomfortable jokes or his awkward admission that he doesn’t want to be with Jan. Was I attached to this episode because of the men’s discovery of the glory of the women’s bathroom? Or because the cracks that were revealed to be the beginning of the disintegration of the relationship between Jim and Karen? Perhaps the real reason why I loved it so much came in the final moments, when Michael wished that Kelly could have a brain, that Angela could have a heart, and that Pam could have courage, perfectly filmed as a voiceover as we watch Pam board the elevator with Jim and Karen.

4. The Injury. If you were to Google “top Office episodes”, this one would undoubtedly come up, on probably every list you find. It’s an Office classic. So named because of Michael’s disastrous attempt at preparing his morning bacon in his George Foreman grill and the resulting burned foot, it is actually Dwight who incurs the more serious injury, when he crashes his car in his reckless efforts to help Michael. Witnessing Dwight in a more “normal” frame of mind, where he helps Pam download songs from a Russian website and playfully smacks Angela’s behind was funny, but Jim’s drive to the hospital (in Meredith’s crusty van, no less), spraying cleaner from a bottle into both Michael and Dwight’s faces, is even better. “No. A real disability, not a woman’s trouble.”

3. Money. One of a series of hour-long episodes, Money gave us loyal viewers treat after treat. Not only did we discover that Dwight’s beet farm moonlights as a bed and breakfast, we were able to witness Dwight in the role of said B and B owner, because Jim and Pam, predictably, couldn’t resist making a reservation. After an evening of table-making demonstrations, crushing beets into beet wine, and bedtime stories (Harry Potter), we learn that Dwight doesn’t have indoor plumbing and he isn’t at all over Angela. While Michael deals with money problems back at the office (he doesn’t know what a CD is and his erratic spending -he felt the need to buy not one, but two magic kits-has plunged him into serious credit card debt), Dwight struggles with his broken heart. In one of my favorite Office scenes ever, after comforting a sobbing Dwight, Jim rushes back to the office, overwhelmed by his gratitude for his relationship with Pam, and gives her a perfectly sweet kiss. It’s the first real kiss the viewers got to see, and it doesn’t disappoint!

2. Beach Games. In the penultimate episode of the third season, we finally get to see “Don’t call me Pammie” Fancy New Beesly break out of her shell. After being largely ignored during Michael’s ridiculous Survivor challenges, dreamed up as a way to help him “choose his replacement”, Pam gets the nerve up to confess her feelings to Jim, in front of the office crowd. Her speech isn’t particularly graceful or eloquent, but it was a big, brave step. I was completely swept up in the episode, and when I looked back on it, I realized it could have sufficed as a season finale. It was that good.

1. The Job. The final episode of the third season could have been the advent of much change around the office. Jim, Michael, and Karen were all vying for Jan’s old job at corporate, Pam no longer had to live in regret that she had sheltered her feelings for Jim too long, and Dwight was preparing to paint his new (Michael’s old) office black, ready for his reign of terror. However, all was as it should be by the episode’s conclusion. Ryan, the most heartless and thus most deserving, left Scranton for Jan’s job, Michael sacrifices his chance for the job as soon as he realizes that it was Jan’s position, Dwight accepts his old position as assistant (to the) regional manager, and Jim finally comes back. (Yes, that was a cryptic last line, but if you see the episode, you’ll know what I mean.) I watched the episode with my best friend in Austin, and we held hands, laughed, AND cried at the conclusion.

Don’t forget to tune in this Sunday after the Superbowl!

1 comment:

The White House said...

Katie... I really wet my pants after the Super episode of The Office. It was awesome. "Boom, roasted!"