Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

Wow. Wow. Drama, comedy, poker, Creed stealing shit, and Pam wearing something not striped for the first time ever. Plus, a cliff-hanger ending.

Supersized episodes can be disasters, but they also bring out the best in a show that typically has to cut funny content. For "The Office," it means letting every character get more face time, more dialogue than usual. Kevin and Creed, obviously, are the biggest beneficiaries here, along with Angela.
Kudos to Steve Carell on a well-written episode, too. It played out very much like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," in that it was a lot of real inappropriateness that had a human side to it. Makes you wonder why so few people are able to pull it off when seen so effortlessly here.

Couple observations:
1. Good job getting a casino episode in before the poker boom collapses. It's a setting that is perfect for a large ensemble cast.
2. Nice job bringing back the guy in the wheelchair who owns the property or whatever. He's great in his utter shock at anything Michael Scott says.
3. Poor Dwight does not have the hair coverage that his bobblehead does. Nor the mind powers to shake it with his thoughts. But he can raise and lower his cholesterol at will.
4. The bit with Kelly talking about Kobe Bryant. Wow. So great, and a big social statement, too. As I've said before, though maybe not here, it astounded me how many girls I knew freely admitted they thought he committed that crime, but it didn't change their view of him. Here, however, it's simply funny.
5. Jim and Ryan are hanging out a lot more, as has been hinted at in other episodes. Makes sense, and not just because the two actors went to high school together.
6. The Jim and Pam thing better not turn "The Office" into a chick-flick show. I don't think it will, and they are the two best-written characters played by the two best performers, so things should be OK.
7. I think they wanted the documentary crew to be shocked by Jim's "I'm in love with you" line, because all that camera shaking on the next shot made me feel like I was watching "The Bourne Supremacy" chase scenes. Again, not a bad thing, just another little detail that adds to the show.

Much, much better show than last week, which as necessary as it was to move plot points forward, seemed to have little or no effect on this week's episode (other than the Jim transfer). The episode was great even without the Jim-Pam stuff, which was really superb. I only say that because all the spoilers, of which I read a couple accidentally, involved them. So, if you knew basically what would happen there, you still had 25 minutes or so of excellent comedy to look forward to watching.

Fun stuff, this season. Especially with "Arrested Development" ending, it was nice to adopt a new show.

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