The Office – Season 4, Episode 4 – Money

October 19, 2007

Let me first say this: Toby’s so cool – writing and directing this week’s episode. Well, it’s the final 1 hour episode of The Office and unfortunately I’m going to have to call the experiment a failure. As I said last week – the show just doesn’t work in hour increments. Again, 40 minutes would have been the optimal length for this episode. The whole Pam and Jim going to Dwight’s bed and breakfast had some funny moments but as with the pizza boy story last week, it could have been completely pulled out and the episode would have been much tighter.

Still, here’s what I learned from this week’s The Office:

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Samantha Who? – Season 1, Episode 1 – Pilot

October 19, 2007

I heard mixed reviews of this show but I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed the show and even laughed out loud multiple times.

Samantha Who? is the story of a woman who spends 8 days in a coma after a hit and run accident.   She wakes up without any memories of her life to find that she wasn’t a very nice person and decides to change.

What makes the show work is the cast starting with Christina Applegate.  I’ve always liked her as an actress.  She’s one of those people who can simultaneously be sympathetic and kind of bitchy but most of all likable – all of which are necessary for this role.  They’ve also surrounded her with some fantastic TV actors – Jean Smart, Barry Watson, Jennifer Esposito and Sookie from Gilmore Girls.  The pilot was a little too crammed to give the supporting characters much room to shine but I don’t think they brought on a cast of this caliber to have them sit on the sidelines.

The concept is also kind of fun especially as it mixes the present with flashbacks to mean Sam.  There’s lots of good potential and unlike many of the shows this season, there should be plenty of good comedy situations to keep the show running for a while.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+


How I Met Your Mother – Season 3, Episode 4 – Little Boys

October 17, 2007

I didn’t love last week but this week the show was back in fine form.  More and more I see the comparisons in tone to Friends in its prime and am truly mystified why this show isn’t as huge a hit.

The show started great with a fun group scene discussing the “but” related to the blind fix-up and highlighted one of the real truisms in life – we all have a “but”, although in this case it focused on Robin’s issues.  I’m still amazed what this show gets away with at 8:00, on CBS of all networks, with one of the best uses of the “shotgun” call ever.  I’m still laughing.

For Robin the “but” with her fix-up was that her date has a son and as we fans know, Robin never wants to have kids.  In her own words she preferred to be the cougar chasing the son later in life than meet him as a little kid.  She also didn’t seem to realize that getting full custody is a win.  As much as it was entertaining watching Robin make friends with a kid, try to break up with a kid and ultimately get dumped by a kid, the best part was the flash forward conclusion.  There isn’t another show that so deftly balances the humour with the “warm and fuzzy” moments and this week’s look at Aunt Robin’s ultimate success with Ted’s kids did so successfully.

The parallel story had Ted and Barney competing for who has the best “game” with Marshall excluded because he won the woman’s league version of the dating game by getting married.  The competition to get the girl started feeling a little too familiar but definitely had some good twists.  Barney pretending that he had slept with her and using the image of him as Sir Edmund Hilary with Ted as the second guy up Everest was pure genius.  Ted was so freaked about going where Barney has been that he ultimately had to dump her leaving her wide open for Barney could move in.  Unfortunately for Barney she wanted to take it slow leaving him with her mean Reggae skills, a dancing Ted and a bet that neither of them won.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+


The Office – Season 4, Episode 3 – Launch Party

October 13, 2007

Sorry that I’m late with my look at this week’s Office but as I learned from the opening minutes of the show, watching the DVD box try to go into the corner (something I admit I’ve found myself mesmerized with on my own DVD player), good things can come if you wait for it.

Here’s what I learned from this week’s The Office:

  • I will never doubt Pam again. If she says she saw something, I’m going to believe her.
  • I should start printing my presentations on colour paper instead of white so they won’t be so bland.
  • The brainchild of my brainchild is my grandbrainchild. Cool.
  • From now on I’m only going to attend parties with sushi and important people.
  • If I ever need a good business cliche to be used in a presentation I will rewatch Ryan’s speech – (“apples to apples”, “flying at 30000 feet”, “don’t want to get into a beauty contest”, “convergence”, “going guerrilla”, “don’t want to reinvent the wheel”, “it is what it is”) – Awesome!!!

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The Office – Season 4, Episode 2 – Dunder Mifflin Infinity

October 5, 2007

Pam still looks great, Ryan still started the fire and this show continues to be the anchor of my Thursday night viewing. The show starts with Toby exposing Pam and Jim (not quite the way he intended).  Toby was great this week and how much did you hate Ryan – even more than before (but in a good way).

If you didn’t see, our favourite Dunder Mifflin couples were on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly.  3 covers in all.

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Without further ado, here’s what I learned from this week’s The Office:

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30 Rock – Season 2, Episode 1 – Seinfeld Vision

October 5, 2007

It’s hard to believe that at this time last season I was panning 30 Rock.  After one episode I pretty much decided not to watch any more.  Boy was that dumb.  Somewhere around the 7th or 8th episode I ended up watching and I literally cried from laughing so hard.  I, of course, went back and watched the ones I missed and was hooked for the rest of the season.  The moral: Never judge a show based on its pilot.  But I digress….

The show kicks off with a great scene of Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey discussing the highlights of the summer TV season including MILF Island (25 hot moms, 1 caring prostitute MILF and 8 boys, no rules) and America’s Top Pirate.  But that’s nothing compared to SeinfeldVision where Seinfeld is digitally inserted into all of NBC’s shows.

Unfortunately also over the summer, Liz broke up with Floyd, Tracy’s wife threw him out (who knew freaky deakys could also do data entry) and Jenna put on a bit of weight doing Mystic Pizza the Musical.  No need to worry about Tracy though, Kenneth agreed to be his “office wife”.  In other stories Cerie is still engaged and planning her wedding.  By getting Liz and Jenna to be bridesmaids she got a twofer – bridesmaids and “something old”.   Classic.

As has been promoted for the last bunch of weeks the episode primarily revolves around Jerry’s dislike of the SeinfeldVision concept, unless he could be inserted into Lost.  Now that’s a show he likes.  If Jack doesn’t stop SeinfeldVision from airing Jerry’s going to buy NBC.  Fortunately Jack’s got a couple of days to come up with alternatives and as we all know, there are no bad ideas when it comes to brainstorming (I’m an innovation guy, I know).  As with all things Jack it comes down to negotiation and I have one thing to say – Al Rokker in a Bee costume.

The rest of the show had Liz walking around in a wedding dress and I need to end this review on two important notes:  it is my fondest desire to one day go to Grenarnia and as amazing as this show is I’m with Jack – this is going to be a great year.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A-