September 5th, 2007

uh oh


So I have been enjoying the S3 DVD of The Office -- including the deleted scenes, which, unlike most shows' deleted scenes, are extremely funny -- while dreading every preview I read of S4. Each one I've seen indicates that they will be focusing more on Steve Carrell and less on the ensemble cast.

This is a big, big mistake.

Carrell is (aside from the interminable Jim/Pam stuff) the weakest part of the show. I'm not a Carrell hater or anything, it's just that he's fulfilling a role that was done better in the British version and which can't, alone, carry the show. The strength of the US version of The Office -- the thing that sets it apart and above the UK version -- is the focus on the ensemble cast, the development of the peripheral characters. It's always better when it does this, and always worse when it sticks to showing Carrell being clueless and smarmy. I know why they're doing it (it's because of his increasingly high profile on the big screen), but I think it's going to be a major misstep. Michael Scott isn't the power of the show. Toby, Creed, Kelly and the peripheral characters are. I hope the previews are overstating the case, but if not, S3 might end up being the last good season as well as the best season.

We'll see.

"I'm sorry. Phyllis didn't mention your promiscuity."

HA HA, HOLY SHIT: Addendum

So, in the deleted scenes (which the writers and producers go out of their way to note is 'canon' for The Office) for S3, specifically the "Product Recall" episode, Creed meets a reporter, and the following exchange takes place:

R: "Hey, I recognize you! You're Creed Bratton, guitar player for the Grass Roots in the late '60s!"

C: "Yeah, I am. How'd you recognize me?"

R: "I wrote your obituary."

C: "Oh, right! Hey, good work!"

Creed goes on to explain that in the 1980s, he faked his own death for tax purposes and for the last 20 years has been collecting insurance and Social Security benefits as his own widow.

Which, okay, that's all some good jokes and all, but it takes the wonderful insanity of Creed to an even higher level: he is not just Creed Bratton, ex-guitarist and songwriter for the Grass Roots, playing a quality assurance supervisor at a paper company named Creed Bratton who happens to be an ex-'60s hippie who enjoys singing Grass Roots songs, but he is actually supposed to be the actual Creed Bratton of the Grass Roots, who happens to now be the QA supervisor at a paper company.

Fucking amazing.