FOB Heads to 90210: Fall Out Boy – who recently announced a comeback album/tour after a three year break – is set to perform on 90210 for an episode slated for April 29. The performance will be a part of a big concert event on the CW drama. The band will perform their new single, "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)," off their sixth studio album, Save Rock and Roll, which hits stores worldwide on May 6, 2013. [E!]
Pilot Castings Galore: The CW cast Arrow's Stephen Amell's cousin Robbie Amell as the lead in The Tomorrow People, the drama pilot from Arrow boss Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec based on the 1970s UK series. [TVLine] Nicole Beharie landed the lead in Sleepy Hollow, Fox's drama pilot. The modern-day supernatural thriller is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Daniel Stern has been cast in NBC's single-camera comedy pilot Girlfriend In a Coma as the father of the titular woman who wakes up from a coma to discover she has a 17-year-old daughter (Miranda Cosgrove). [Deadline] Joey McIntyre and Jessica Chaffin have been cast in CBS/Sony TV single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Directed by Fred Savage, the comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. The CW is bringing back another member from the original cast of The Selection. Australian actress Peta Sergeant has been added to the retooled pilot, reprising her role as Gaia, a rebel leader who is working to overthrow the monarchy. Sean Patrick Thomas is also reprising his role. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the royal prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. [Deadline] Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen has signed on to CBS’ Bad Teacher, the single-camera comedy based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie about a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee who becomes a teacher to find her next husband. Hansen will play Joel, the shorts-sporting athletic coach at Nixon Middle School. [TVLine] Mira Sorvino landed a starring role opposite Jim Gaffigan in his CBS comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Sorvino’s Jeannie is a super-wife and super-mom. [Deadline]
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Dwight Gets a Nemesis: Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli has been cast as a nemesis for The Office’s Dwight. He will play Sensei Billy, the karate instructor who's about ready to commit hara-kiri over Dwight’s inimitable "presence" in his dojo. Imperioli’s episode is slated to air in the spring. [TVLine]
Entourage Lady Heads to The Newsroom: Entourage’s Constance Zimmer has just been cast to recur on Aaron Sorkin's drama The Newsroom. On the upcoming Season 2, which reflects on the recent presidential campaign, Zimmer will play Taylor, a press spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign. [Deadline]
VH1 Picks Up 3 New Shows, Renews 1: VH1 has ordered three news shows for spring 2013: The Gossip Game, which follows ambitious women covering the urban entertainment beat; I’m Married To A…, a documentary series that examines some unusual couples in love; and 100 Sexiest Artists, a five-part countdown special. The network has also has picked up a third season of T.I. And Tiny: The Family Hustle, featuring rapper T.I. "Tip" Harris, his wife, entrepreneur and singer Tameka "Tiny" Harris, and their six children. [Deadline]
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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In Coldplay's hit 2011 song, frontman Chris Martin crooned "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall." Okay, while that's a totally ridiculous sentiment, it may have made a little bit more sense if the band had released the song this year, considering all the movies that caused us to cry waterfall-sized tears. Even with those movies that you approached fully prepared, knowing that they would turn you into a sniffly, blubbery mess (Les Misérables, Amour, and The Impossible), it didn't make them any easier to get through.
From the movies that broke our hearts in the most wonderful way possible (Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), to the movies that just plain broke our hearts (Bully, Amour again) here are the 10 saddest movie moments from 2012. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF CRYING AT YOUR DESK AHEAD!
Fantine's swan song always brings down the house with tears, and Anne Hathaway's heartbreaking turn with the showstopper is no exception. In fact, the only thing that could hurt Hathaway's chances for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar is if voters' eyes are still too blurry and can't read the ballot.
The Beasts of the Southern Wild:
Take your pick from Benh Zeitlin's visual masterpiece, because the last 45 minutes of the film is basically one extended unabashedly crying in public session. But the scene that really hits the hardest is when Hushpuppy (the staggeringly great Quvenzhané Wallis) has to say goodbye to her dying father Wink (Dwight Henry). She may have been a strong warrior during her journey, but we were reduced to sobbing puddles.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a bittersweet anthem to the ups and downs of high school life. So when Charlie (the criminally underrated Logan Lerman) reunites with his friends after his tragic stint in the hospital and they play their anthem and drive through the tunnel once more, our own high school memories came flooding back. So did the tears.
When Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess) is finally reunited with his wife in San Francisco, he gives a stirring, inspirational speech to her father. Once you realize that Adam and his wife are past reincarnations of Sonmi and Hae-Joo, the tears can't help but flow. Quitting the slave trade is just icing on the sadness cake.
Life Of Pi:
They could have called this thing Life of Cry, amirite?! Between Pi sitting on the boat after his family has perished and the sad death of the orangutan, we were already goners. But it's when Pi's loyal tiger leaves his side after their journey at sea, without even a goodbye, that did us in.
Just...all of it.
The Hunger Games:
There were a lot of changes made from Suzanne Collins' wildly popular saga when it hit the big screen, but sadly, Rue's horrendous death remained the same in that it made fans cry a whole lot. When Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) gives Rue peace in comfort in the final moments of her all-too-short life by singing to her, we were chanting for her to win even more between bouts of weeping.
Like Rue's death, we knew the fate of poor Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). And while our hearts have gone on since 1997, watching him die an icy, watery death in 2012 in 3D made all those emotions come rushing back. We'll never let go.
There were plenty of documentaries in 2012 that struck a nerve with viewers. But hearts everywhere broke when we met sweet, quiet middle school student Alex Libby for the first time, and witnessed the hell he has endured at the hand of his bullies. Whether we were crying because we related, crying because we felt helpless to do anything for him, or even crying out of regret for the way we treated our classmates, it didn't matter: we were just crying.
As much as you try to brace yourself for The Impossible, the harrowing, inspirational account of a real-life family who, against all odds, survived the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, nothing prepares you for how emotional the experience of their reunions after being torn apart is. Don't believe us? Try to make it through the trailer without losing it, let alone a two hour movie.
[Photo credits: Universal Pictures, Fox Searchlight, Summit Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics]
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He's done it, people. Barack Obama has won himself a second term as the President of the United States of America. You probably caught election coverage last night on one of the many television outlets broadcasting the event, but those of you who prescribe to the early-to-bed maxim might not have actually seen the Commander-in-Chief's victory speech. Luckily, the bounties of the Internet allow us to view the entire video below:
The inspiring, impassioned diatribe from our newly reelected POTUS got us thinking. Not about the issues, or the state of the world, or any of that garbage. About movies. Movies with the most inspiring sports speeches in history. After all, we can only assume Obama took his oration lessons from the likes of Irv Blitzer, Danny O'Shea, and Mickey from Rocky. These are the men who taught the Prez a thing or two about delivering a heartfelt speech, and encouraged the man in charge to win a Round 2 in the Oval Office.
After all (with just a few minor tweaks), these famous speeches do seem to directly serve Obama. Check them out below!
Irv Blitzer from Cool Runnings"Winning a presidential election is about one thing: the push-start. Now, I know you dainty, little senators think you're fast. Well, let's see how fast you are when you push a six-hundred pound economy. Now a respectable unemployment rate is five-point-seven percent. If you can't whip off an even six flat, you have a better chance of becoming a municipal alderman."
Danny O'Shea from Little Giants"Who said you had to be good to run a country? You run a country because you want to. You run a country because it's fun. You run a country so you could pretend you're James Monroe writing a doctrine, or Dwight Eisenhower going for a long war. And even if those republicans are better than you, even if they beat you 99 times out of 100, that still leaves ... one time."Jimmy McGinty from The Replacements"All right, Obama. Listen up. There are some who will say that your accomplishments today will soon be forgotten, that you're not a real American, that this isn't a real country. And I say that's bulls***. Because as of four years ago, you're a professional world leader. You're being paid to lead, and I want to you to remember that, because the men whose places you've taken, like Taft, forgot that a long time ago. Let's bring it in. Let's play some democracy." Herb Brooks from Miracle"Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, Obama. That’s what you have earned here tonight. One debate. If you debated ‘em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this election. Not tonight. Tonight, you argue with 'em. Tonight, you counter their foreign policies, and you shut them down because you can! Tonight, you are the greatest presidential candidate in the world. You were born to be President. You were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done; it’s over*. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great candidate the republicans have. Screw ‘em. This is your time! Now go out there and take it!"
*Kind of confusing since Barack Obama is the standing president and Mitt Romney the challenger, but hey... that's politics.Mickey from Rocky"You're gonna eat the deficit, and you're gonna crap jobs!"
Bonus: commenting specifically on Obama's mention of his 20 year anniversary to Michelle during the first round of debates: "Women weaken legs!"The Mighty Ducks"Have you ever seen a flock of ducks flying in perfect formation? It's beautiful. Pretty awesome the way they all stick together. Ducks never say die. Ever seen a duck fight? No way. Why? Because the other animals are afraid. They know that if they mess with one duck, they gotta deal with the whole flock." (No edits necessary)Fortune from Rudy"You're six feet nothin'. A hundred and somethin'. And hardly have a spec of presidential ability. And you hung in with the best governmental administration in the land for four years. And you're going to walk out of here with a White House commemorative tote bag. In this lifetime, you don't have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself. And after what you've gone through, if you haven't done that by now, it ain't gonna never happen."Whatever your stance, you can't help but feel the magic of an inspiring sports movie speech. As such, this might be just what Obama would need to clinch his upcoming debate against former Gov. Romney. Who knows? If he does call upon the likes of Coaches Blitzer, O'Shea, Bombay, and Brooks, he might very well win just one for the Gipper. Reagan played him — it works on both levels!
[Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
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For everyone disappointed with President Barack Obama's performance in the first round of presidential debates, you seem to be forgetting a simple fact inherent in any cinematic competition: whoever loses the first round always nabs the victory in the end. Look at the Mighty Ducks, the Average Joes, the Washington Sentinels: all first-round losers who came up big by the rolling of the credits.
Yes, this might be a truth confined to the reality of the big screen, but let's face it — movies are better than real life. And if Barack Obama aligns himself with this universal maxim, he might indeed be in for a victorious next round in the presidential debates. Of course, he's going to need some help. According to The Hollywood Reporter, several of the democratic candidate's supporters have vocalized an interest in coaching the POTUS for his future face-offs with opponent Mitt Romney. But perhaps Obama will need a different kind of help. Help from the sort of forces who have pulled together the likes of professional athlete rejects, rapscallion youths, the uncoordinated attendees of rinky-dink gymnasia, or four Jamaican guys to achieve some of the greatest victories in human history. (Or at least fictional human history... but again, which is better?)
So who might be able to help the Pres make it all the way to state/earn his name on the Urbania water tower/win a spot on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish? Here are a few great men who are up to the challenge. Of course, some of them might have to change a few of their usual talking points to make their motivational speeches a bit more relevant...
Irv Blitzer from Cool Runnings"Winning a presidential debate is about one thing: the push-start. Now, I know you dainty, little senators think you're fast. Well, let's see how fast you are when you push a six-hundred pound economy. Now a respectable unemployment rate is five-point-seven percent. If you can't whip off an even six flat, you have a better chance of becoming a municipal alderman."
Danny O'Shea from Little Giants"Who said you had to be good to run a country? You run a country because you want to. You run a country because it's fun. You run a country so you could pretend you're James Monroe writing a doctrine, or Dwight Eisenhower going for a long war. And even if those republicans are better than you, even if they beat you 99 times out of 100, that still leaves ... one time."Jimmy McGinty from The Replacements"All right, Obama. Listen up. There are some who will say that your accomplishments today will soon be forgotten, that you're not a real American, that this isn't a real country. And I say that's bulls***. Because as of four years ago, you're a professional world leader. You're being paid to lead, and I want to you to remember that, because the men whose places you've taken, like Taft, forgot that a long time ago. Let's bring it in. Let's play some democracy." Herb Brooks from Miracle"Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, Obama. That’s what you have earned here tonight. One debate. If you debated ‘em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this debate. Not tonight. Tonight, you argue with 'em. Tonight, you counter their foreign policies, and you shut them down because you can! Tonight, you are the greatest presidential candidate in the world. You were born to be President. You were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done; it’s over*. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great candidate the republicans have. Screw ‘em. This is your time! Now go out there and take it!"
*Kind of confusing since Barack Obama is the standing president and Mitt Romney the challenger, but hey... that's politics.Mickey from Rocky"You're gonna eat the deficit, and you're gonna crap jobs!"
Bonus: commenting specifically on Obama's mention of his 20 year anniversary to Michelle during the first round of debates: "Women weaken legs!"Gordon Bombay from The Mighty Ducks"Have you ever seen a flock of ducks flying in perfect formation? It's beautiful. Pretty awesome the way they all stick together. Ducks never say die. Ever seen a duck fight? No way. Why? Because the other animals are afraid. They know that if they mess with one duck, they gotta deal with the whole flock." (No edits necessary)Fortune from Rudy"You're six feet nothin'. A hundred and somethin'. And hardly have a spec of presidential ability. And you hung in with the best governmental administration in the land for four years. And you're going to walk out of here with a White House commemorative tote bag. In this lifetime, you don't have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself. And after what you've gone through, if you haven't done that by now, it ain't gonna never happen."Whatever your stance, you can't help but feel the magic of an inspiring sports movie speech. As such, this might be just what Obama would need to clinch his upcoming debate against former Gov. Romney. Who knows? If he does call upon the likes of Coaches Blitzer, O'Shea, Bombay, and Brooks, he might very well win just one for the Gipper. Reagan played him — it works on both levels!
[Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
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Summer TV is going to get a lot stranger tonight, as Wilfred — the show that star Elijah Wood describes as "a guy and another guy in a dog suit sitting around, smoking pot," — makes its official return. Last week, the show aired a completely bonkers "preview episode" that featured Robin Williams (playing his Good Will Hunting character, natch) as Ryan's (Wood) dream-therapist, and answered the cliff-hanger that teased fans all summer. To sum it up, it's official: The basement that Wilfred (Jason Gann) and Ryan smoked pot in throughout season 1 is indeed real, and someone must have gone through great lengths to cover it all up. Someone who doesn't want Ryan to hang out with the all-knowing Wilfred, perhaps? Wood and Gann couldn't talk about the basement bandit when they caught up with Hollywood.com earlier this month, but they did doggy-dig some dirt on an increasingly bananas season 2.
Last year, guest star Dwight Yoakam (who will be returning this season) made a serious case for team "Wilfred is real," but Gann tells us that even he's not quite sure sometimes. "It's a constant arm wrestle in the writing room, whether Wilfred is real or not," Gann says. "[Producer David Zuckerman] and I debate as to whether he was conjured up by Ryan's madness. I come from the perspective that he's more like this magical creature. Then I started coming around and saying, 'I think it's in Ryan's head.' Then David said, 'I think I'm coming around to the magical creature thing.' So we don't know."
Real or not, Wilfred and Ryan's relationship is going to see some major changes in season 2. Ryan will have a love interest (recurring guest star Alison Mack) to finally distract him from Wilfred's owner Jenna, and Wilfred hasn't exactly been the best wingman in the past. Still, Gann thinks that Wilfred can definitely be considered man's best friend. "I definitely think he's a good influence on Ryan," he says. "He genuinely has his best interests at heart. But because he has been tricked so many times, Ryan doesn't trust him."
Wood says that this lack of trust will lead to a power struggle, and that Ryan may actually come out on top this time around. "Ryan’s a little bit more aware of the ability of Wilfred to trick him," Wood says. "I think he is constantly trying to look ahead to any of the things that Wilfred is suggesting to possibly be a trick or a manipulation. There is a bit more of a fight between them; a struggle between the two of them this time around. Ryan is a little bit less passive. He’s a lot more active in trying to almost stay ahead of Wilfred. He’s not always successful, but he has his eye out. He’s keen on where Wilfred could potentially be taking him this time around."
When asked where Wilfred actually is taking Ryan this time around, Gann said that Wilfred's needs are a lot more basic than one might think. "Wilfred has got his own agenda," Gann explains. "He's still a dog, so he just has the basics— to populate, eat, and sleep on the bed. Things like that."
Still, Gann assured us that we'll be seeing a whole lot more than just sleeping on the bed. Gann, Wood, and the writing staff put a lot of thought into out-crazying their madcap season 1. "I thought, 'How do we top Wilfred pole-dancing, and getting molested at Doggy Day-Care?'" he says. "That's really deep out there. But we did. This season goes more out there. Also, it gets darker. I think it's funnier, actually."
One element that was particularly "out there" last season was Wilfred's relationship with Bear, Ryan's potentially imaginary friend's imaginary friend. Thankfully, Gann says that Bear will be back and better than ever. "We used Bear in a bunch of really good spots," he says. "I was shooting a scene with Bear, and it just turned into really violent sex. It just happened off the cuff, and it really worked. Definitely Bear is featured strongly in season 2, and plays a pivotal role in Ryan's life as well as Wilfred's."
Sex with a "pivotal" stuffed bear, weed smoking, and power struggles between man and beast — yep, sounds like Wilfred to us. We're glad this zany series is back, and Gann says that's all thanks to one thing — your dogs. "We call them dog-isms in the writer's room," he says. "We find particular dog behaviors that people can recognize, and articulate them in the human form. It's a regular thing that audiences really respond to with Wilfred. We're being conscious of finding more things this year. Just when I think, 'That's it. There's nothing else that dogs do. We've covered it.' There's always one more thing that dogs do. As long as dogs keep coming up with crazy s**t, then I've still got a show."
Wilfred airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX. Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna Hollywood.com [PHOTO CREDIT: FX] MORE: Elijah Wood on ‘Wilfred’: ‘It’s a Guy & Another Guy in a Dog Suit Sitting Around, Smoking Pot’ Jerry Seinfeld to Guest Star on 'Louie' This Season — EXCLUSIVE Ashley Tisdale Takes Racy Role on 'Sons of Anarchy'
S8:E4 This episode of The Office was different than the other episodes we are used to, in that it had a lot more sentimentality to it. We learned a bit more of Andy’s back story and why he’s always been so eager to be a great singer, scholar, salesman (you name it, really), and it was almost heartbreaking to watch someone so harshly ridicule the qualities that make him so endearing. However, what we do recognize is that a pattern of the season seems to be developing, which is that Andy is exactly the same kind of boss – and person -- that Michael was. We also realized we've grown incredibly protective over our new regional manager in a remarkably short amount of time.
“If the soil starts to look acidic, you’ve gone too far.” – Dwight
Andy decides to throw a party at Schrute farms because he wants to impress the CEO of Dunder Mifflin, Robert California, and he holds a meeting to explain to everyone the rules of the party – which are chewing thoroughly (with your mouth closed) and speaking in turn and dressing nicely. Andy even shows the office a video of the garden party his brother Walter Jr. threw for their parents, so the group could see how amazing garden parties really were. In the video, it is clear that Andy’s father has an impeccable relationship with Walter Jr. from the way they had their arms around each other while they were singing, and it is also obvious Andy’s relationship with his father isn’t so great from the way he is excluded from the performance. Since the party was going to take place at Shrute farms, Jim thought this would be a great opportunity to mess with Dwight and so he takes a book full of instructions on how to host a medieval gathering and puts a different jacket on it so that Dwight is inclined to follow its every detail so as to ensure the garden party’s success. And so Dwight obviously adheres to the book’s recommendations and he spends the whole party doing things like announcing people’s names as they arrived at various levels of loudness according to their degree of importance and performing intricate courting rituals/movements to music.
“I didn’t know you were going to be here!” – Andy
It turns out the party isn’t just for Robert California – in fact, Andy also threw it to impress his parents and proving to them that he is just as talented and successful as his brother, Walter Jr. But within moments of arriving, Andy’s parents tell him they have to be leaving soon to go see Moneyball, and so Andy speeds up the party. He tries to introduce his folks to his colleagues, but his father (played by Stephen Collins) makes it very clear he isn’t even the slightest bit proud that Andy is in charge of the Scranton branch. Then Andy tries to establish his authority by making a toast to thank everyone for coming, but Angela interrupts him (and announces she and her Senator husband planned on naming their son Phillip), as does Pam (who announces she and Jim were also naming their son Phillip), and Ryan (who toasts to the troops (both sides)). When it is finally Andy’s turn to speak, he grabs his guitar and invites his father up to sing with him (in hopes of recreating the moment his father had with Walter Jr. at Walter Jr.’s garden party), but his father tells him his pitch is off and that it would sound better if Andy gave him the guitar and if Walter Jr. sang Andy’s part. And so Walter Jr. (Josh Groban) takes the stage and Andy is booted off to the side of the tent. Eventually, Andy goes inside the farmhouse because he is so humiliated.
“I just thought if I could show you this great garden party, you’d see how respected I am and you’d approve of me.” – Andy
When Andy’s father goes into the farmhouse to say goodbye before going to see Moneyball, he asks why his son acted like such a fool in front of all of his subordinates. Andy explains the reason he put the party together was to show his dad that Walter Jr. wasn’t the only successful Bernard child. But rather than Andy’s father feeling bad for so blatantly favoring one of his sons over the other, he scolds Andy for expecting to get his father’s approval for being in charge of a “rinky dink” paper company. What neither Andy nor his father realizes is they are in a room with the baby monitor Pam and Jim use to hear what Cece is doing, and so Daryl, Pam, Jim and Oscar all hear Andy’s father tell him what a disappointing Bernard child he is. So after his parents left, Andy tries to take off early but Daryl makes him a cheeseburger and insists he stick around to watch Dwight and his farmhouse helpers perform the Closing Ceremonies dance.
It seems that now that Steve Carell is gone, The Office will be just pulling out all of its parlor tricks to keep people invested. In a particularly strange attempt at raking in viewership, The Office is casting an entire family for Andy Bernard, played by the master comedian Ed Helms: it was announced that his parents will be played by Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) and Dee Wallace (E.T.). And now, Andy's often mentioned younger brother will be played by musician and actor Josh Groban.
Andy brought his family up many times over the fast few seasons; we know that he comes from an affluent line of Cornell men. We also know that his younger brother has always been, very unsubtly, regarded as the family favorite, so much so that once he was born, he usurped the name Walter Jr., formerly attributed to Andy who didn't exemplify the title to his parents' standards.
The storyline devoted to the revelation of Andy's family has yet to be revealed, but one would suppose it has something to do with the floundering romantic arc between Andy and Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper). Perhaps Andy's inferiority complex will reign supreme when Erin meets his talented, handsome younger brother? Perhaps Groban will take the managerial seat in the Scranton office, if only for a short while? Perhaps Dwight will find a new foe in Groban—or perhaps an ally, perhaps revealing the dark side to Groban's character, to the Bernard family, to Andy himself, that has up until now, perhaps, been hidden? Perhaps... in meeting the seemingly perfect Groban, we will have finally been introduced to the Scranton Strangler? Perhaps. Either way, there's DEFINITELY going to be some singing.
S07E25/26: The Office usually manages to pull off incredible season finales. Jim rushing in to kiss Pam at the end of season two. Jim bursting in to ask Pam out at the end of season three. Actually the fourth season wasn’t that good. Five was decent with their pregnancy. And season six? Nope. So basically, what we’ve learned in this opening paragraph is that if The Office doesn’t have some big story involving Jim and Pam in its season finale, it’s not a great finale. And this season is a perfect example.
There were plenty of funny moments in the hour-long episode but from a narrative standpoint it was inconclusive in the worst way. Take the second season-ender; Jim rushes in to kiss Pam, they pull back and BOOM: end of the season. That’s inconclusive, but it also leaves you wanting more. This season, sure we didn’t find out who the new boss is, but we didn’t care. No one appeared competent enough nor was there obvious competition between anyone. So with no tension or conclusion drawn, the episode pretty much failed as a whole.
"As a gay man, I’m horrified. As a friend of Angela’s, horrified. As a lover of elegant weddings, I’m a little excited. But overall, horrified." - Oscar
The episode failed and so did all the guest stars. I know NBC had to advertise them because they weren’t confident anyone would be paying attention after Steve Carell’s exit, but they completely ruined it. Ricky Gervais didn’t even appear in the office, he sent in a video CV. Why? We’d already seen him on the show earlier this year, his interview added nothing, and it wasn’t funny or interesting. What about Jim Carrey? He was barely in it until the very end and we had already seen the punch line about his voice (also he seemed like he was on a green screen; did anyone else notice that or was that just me?). Even though there were rumors about Catherine Tate getting the job, her character wasn’t that interesting nor competent. Buffet was fairly funny as a penny pincher, but really only if you knew it was Warren Buffet. The only guest star that managed to save grace? James Spader. Holy hell was he funny. So intense and creepy. I have no idea if he would work on the show but he was the only guest that made me laugh.
But they weren’t the only ones applying for the job, some internal candidates applied as well. I know I've been saying Darryl would be the one getting the job but dammit, he disappointed me. He got in his own head and thought he could ride on being chummy with the committee. I was genuinely disappointed in him, especially when he brought in his own daughter to try and play the cute card. Andy tried but didn’t really try and somehow managed to come out as the best candidate? Dwight went so far as to bribe everyone and nearly had it despite Jim’s complete abject disagreement. And Kelly showed a lot of balls though she isn’t the most qualified. So yeah, the season ends with Jim having a pool of incredibly unqualified candidates with no hope in sight. Again, it's not the best way to end the season.
And then there was all that stuff with Erin. Actually wait, great news first! Fucking Gabe is going back to Florida! Yay! Jo finally realizes that he got too involved with the people in Scranton for him to function properly so she’s shipping him back off to Florida! Yay! The open puss wound of the office is finally leaving! Hooray! Unfortunately, this doesn’t immediately solve everything for Erin and Andy though since Andy “moved on.” It’s quite obvious they still want to be together but whether the writers can keep up a decent will they, won’t they plotline remains to be seen. Especially since we’ve already gone through that before with them. I just want them to be happy together, I mean, if Erin is willing to give an impromptu puppet performance for him, you've gotta respect that. However, I will say the bit about Kevin not knowing the alphabet is the classic case of extending something too far into unbelievability. I’m willing to believe he’s the biggest idiot in the world, but to not know the alphabet? C’mon.
"Bread is the paper of the food industry. You write your sandwich on it." - Dwight
Also, someone really called Phyllis and Erin thinking they’re birth mother and daughter separated. Making the move of Phyllis not being Erin’s mom was the absolute right move. For starters, had they actually been mother-daughter it would’ve made the show way too soapy. By having Phyllis let Erin believe there is a chance for a bit longer is not only much sweeter, it forces them to create a situation where Phyllis has to tell Erin. I don’t know how it will go but it’ll be very emotional and despite all the flaws of this episode, I still think The Office knows how to deliver some emotionally awkward situations.
Having said all of that, the absolute BEST thing about this episode (and definitely in the top ten moments of the season) was Creed running the place. Oh my God. Just, everything about it was the absolute pinnacle of absurdist humor. Amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing. And then we see Pam stepping in to save everything by having him compare two identical photos and pretending to be the various clients in a long charade. It was genius, perfect, and it almost saved the entire episode from being a complete disaster. Just go watch the beginning again; it’s that good.
So we’ve reached an important turning point for The Office. Next year is going to make or break the show. Either it will find its voice again and the show will continue on or it will fail spectacularly and be canceled. Honestly, I want to see it keep going. I really like these characters and there are plenty of stories left to be told. We’re no closer to knowing what happens next season, especially who will take over as manager, but while this episode shook my confidence a bit I still have the faith. It wasn’t the best episode, but next season is a whole new year. Let’s see what happens.
S07E23: Strange times we be having in The Office and not just because I be talking like a pirate for some reason. With Michael Scott out of the picture and apparently never to be mentioned again (this is a good thing; focus on the future not the past) we’re supposed to see what life is like now that he is gone. But things haven’t quite settled back to normal. Instead of a Michael Scott-free episode we instead got a let’s-replace-Michael-with-an-unhinged-Deangelo episode.
"Did you get that Ma? Your boy, Kevin Malone, is in the inner circle. Which doesn’t exist." -Kevin
Did it work? Kinda. Will Ferrell finally got to be Will Ferrell despite all previously laid character traits for his characters and the rest of the ensemble stepped up to take part of the burden. It was a funny episode and we met a new character but it was by no means an indicator of what the rest of the show will be like. And judging from the promos, neither will the remaining episodes. Next week sees Dwight as the interim manager ruling in his typical fashion and the following week has a bevy of guest stars. Each episode is trying desperately to keep you hooked in enough to keep you watching until next season when things will finally calm down into something resembling normalcy. It’s a tricky, but clever, plan by the producers of the show and it’s working out as well as they could hope.
So what was wrong with Deangelo this week? It turns out that along with being an incompetent moron on the same level as Michael, a brown-noser, and a recovering fat guy, he’s also sexist. Deangelo was never allowed to explore one single weird characteristic and it seemed like this week he was given something that would make for the funniest scene instead of what the character would actually do. That’s a really big complaint but he won’t be around again so I guess the writers can get away with it. Anyway, this week he’s sexist. Deangelo is an incompetent manager and invites all the dudes in the office to create his inner circle to help him delegate the tasks of the office.
But this doesn’t sit well with the other department heads, who happen to be women and who were not invited to the inner circle (which doesn’t exist). So Pam and Angela rope Jim into talking to Deangelo about it because he’s the only one with a shred of common sense about the whole thing. That backfires horribly as Deangelo is definitely one to play favorites. When he is replaced with Andy, Jim finally calls out Deangelo on all his bragging and basically demands to see him do a foul line dunk down in the warehouse. Deangelo accepts and who would’ve thought that the world’s worst dunk would end with a concussion? It was an unusual way of getting rid of a character (this was Ferrell’s last contracted episode) but was it effective? You betcha.
"This is for you, Jimmy. Also for the troops." -Deangelo
Basically, all that was wrong with The Office can be traced back to Deangelo’s story mentioned above. What saved the show was the rest of the cast. When he was doing his pantomime juggling routine it was too long and not that funny. Comparatively when Michael would do such a thing we found it more enjoyable because, first, he was a more grounded character and second, we had more invested in him. But what was funny was Kevin getting into it and Pam's recap later in the break room. Deangelo’s sexism wasn’t that funny but Kelly finally standing up to Ryan? Damn good for her. Deangelo offering his new personal assistant to Dwight (who I’m assuming we’ll learn more about in the coming episodes) wasn't that great. But Kelly claiming working at Anthropologie as her dream job? That was awesome. It seems that the best thing possible for The Office is to get rid of this new boss. For anyone thinking that they could just replace Michael with some other funny guy (Ferrell was basically doing his take on the character) it just doesn’t gel with everything that’s developed so far. Which is why I think that after the finale with every guest star known to man, someone will be promoted from within.
The only thing that bothered me about the core ensemble was Andy and Angela. They sat beside each other in the break room like she hadn’t cheated on him and ruined their engagement two years ago. Yes, I realize that was two years ago and it is seemingly enough time for the wounds to heal, but still. He talked to her as if nothing had happened and when she scolded him about joining the inner circle (that doesn’t exist) he had to defend himself by saying he’d take it down from the inside. I didn’t want to see any animosity but for them to just act like it never happened? Nah, it didn’t sit well with me.
It’s an unusual time for The Office and I really think they’re doing the best they can. It’s going to be bumpy for the next few episodes but from what I can tell of the plan for next year, things will be fine. Still, the cynic in me agrees with Jim, “Now what?”
For whatever reason, I don't exactly believe in free will or predestination. I generally subscribe to the theory that life is a giant "choose your own adventure" book: we have the free will to choose our path but each choice has a predetermined outcome. Now what does that have to do with a popular character leaving a popular mocumentary show? Well, there is a way for The Office to not only succeed, but also thrive once Steve Carell says his final goodbyes tonight. The show will just have to make the right choices after he leaves.
Focus on the ensemble.
Now, The Office has always been an ensemble show but each week generally revolved around Michael in some capacity. With Michael gone, the burden is dropped. The good news is there is already a strong group of characters there, ready to shoulder that burden. The bad news is there isn't a single character that could potentially take the reigns over the rest. The writers will have to make sure to distribute the stories around to all the various characters in order to survive and without promoting one character above the others.
Find Michael in other characters.
A lot of Michael's characteristics defined the tone of the show. He's awkward, sure, but his underlying desire to be loved was what permeated through everything he did. The writers will have to find that in other characters. Erin seems to have taken the naivety mantel and Dwight and Daryl have the corporate shenanigans covered. But a desire to be loved? Andy seems to have that in spades.
Explore Kevin, Erin, and the new cast members.
It seems that this year, they have been setting up the ensemble to share their burden once Michael is gone. Kevin has had an increased amount of screen time recently and should continue to do so. Erin has too. The Office has always grown their characters over several seasons (think Andy and Angela) so I see these two getting developed more attention in the next few episodes. Also we'll be getting two new cast members so getting to know them will undoubtedly take up some screen time. All of this goes along with focusing on the ensemble, but these four deserve a little more in depth analysis.
Avoid Jim & Pam, Creed, and Ryan
It's my belief that once Michael leaves, the other main focus of the show, namely Jim and Pam's relationship, should be removed from focus as well. It's not that it should be removed entirely, but they've reached their happy ever after, let them enjoy it. It would also be really easy to give more time to one of the fan favorites like Creed but Creed's strength as a weird character comes from only popping up once or twice an episode with something bizarre to say. Too much and he would lose his appeal. Ryan has the same problem. He's been given so much over the past seven years that he should be relegated to the background. Keep him as his current incarnation as a douche and let us openly despise him once or twice an episode.
Erin & Andy are the new Jim & Pam
While Erin and Andy have almost gone through their reservation of will they / won't they goodwill from the audience, they still have a season's worth of a relationship to explore. That should take care of the romantic underpinning that people have come to expect from the show. Besides, it's not like Angela and her Senator (State Senator) boyfriend have anywhere to go.
Don't worry about the new manager.
A lot has been written about who will replace Michael as the manager but you know what? Most of that worrying is for nothing. It doesn't matter who takes the position, what does matter is how the rest of the office deals with the new person. Take Dwight and Daryl. They're obviously invested in who gets it and if one gets it over the other there will be plenty of jealously and contempt to explore. And with all the hubbub of Carell leaving, we really haven't noticed that Rainn Wilson has expressed interest in departing as well. Not to mention that Dwight has become very unsatisfied with his treatment at the company. Now imagine that for a second. Dwight gone? Doesn't make who becomes manager seem all that important, does it?
So what's going to happen? Only the writers know. But it is possible for the show to go on and thrive. Whether they succeed or if the audience wants them to remains to be seen. But I trust the show and the talent behind it. They faced a huge uphill battle when they began the show and I think they can repeat the magic again.