PSAs from NBC
March 31, 2006 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Public Service Announcements from the staff of NBC's "The Office."
posted by ColdChef (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
sweet. thanks.
posted by dig_duggler at 3:31 PM on March 31, 2006

He's right, you know. Nine dollars is too much to pay for a beer.
posted by ook at 3:41 PM on March 31, 2006

This show just gets better and better. Hard to believe it was so lackluster in its first season.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 3:50 PM on March 31, 2006

Very cool - I shall have to remember the advice about bears. (Dwight still doesn't compare to the genius of Gareth Keenan, though).
posted by greycap at 3:53 PM on March 31, 2006

Never, EVER tape yourself having sex. I can't stress this enough.
posted by basicchannel at 4:07 PM on March 31, 2006

I saw this show once: the episode where the staff is taken on a teambuilding cruise on a PA lake. Please tell me the show gets better than this, because I had to turn if off about 12 minutes in.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:18 PM on March 31, 2006

(because it wasn't funny)
posted by ParisParamus at 4:19 PM on March 31, 2006

The Office, like other "unfunny" shows on TV (Arrested Development, to name one) relies on character humor - we know who these people are, they are put in funny situations, the outcome seems predictable, we laugh when it turns out otherwise. This is unfortunate because viewers (understandably) try to jump in the middle of a long and complicated story arc, and then complain that its not funny because they don't know any of the relationships.

Also, that episode was pretty lame.
posted by muddgirl at 4:50 PM on March 31, 2006

LOL. Paris didn't like it. You KNOW that shit is good.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:51 PM on March 31, 2006

But he gave it 12 minutes and that's enough time to make a fair assessment.

It feels like someone reading the first 50 pages of a book and dismissing the writer's whole body of work. In public, of course.
posted by smackfu at 4:59 PM on March 31, 2006

Entire television series have tanked on the strength of twelve minutes, I'm sure. TV shows are not like books, and to make that comparison is ignoring the vast differences between the two media.

I mean, sure, I'll bet Andromeda or What Not To Wear have had one or two good episodes too, but do you really expect me to go out, buy the DVDs and watch the first two seasons of each to find out?
posted by chrominance at 5:06 PM on March 31, 2006

In fact, yes. Yes we do.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:11 PM on March 31, 2006

Nah, chrom is right. Unless it is about beautiful people in trendy places, with canned cues that let us know that it is "OK" to laugh, we really shouldn't be bothered to dedicate any time to it.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 5:17 PM on March 31, 2006

posted by undule at 5:40 PM on March 31, 2006

They played those during last night's episode. I was dying. Dwight's bear warning was the best, I think, though Kelly and the Temp's he-said she-said office romance PSA was a close second.
posted by sugarfish at 6:20 PM on March 31, 2006

I saw this show once: they played some credits with a piano song and they introduced these actors, who were apparently the main characters. Please tell me the show gets better than this. I turned it off right after
posted by ed at 6:36 PM on March 31, 2006

(because it wasn't funny)
posted by ed at 6:36 PM on March 31, 2006

When I saw how many videos there were and after the first two weren't that funny, I thought there was no way I'd watch them all. But, you know, that website works pretty smoothly and it was so painless to load and watch the videos that I did, in fact, watch every single one. They were sort of funny - but, more importantly, quick and painless.
posted by mullacc at 7:37 PM on March 31, 2006

Have you ever seen Paris and Dwight Schrute in the same place? No. Coincidence?
posted by found missing at 7:44 PM on March 31, 2006

The actor playing Dwight does describe him as a "fascist nerd," so maybe you're on to something.

Other than a very predictable joke in last night's episode, "The Office" is, with the passing of Arrested Development, TV's best comedy. I don't want to know anyone who doesn't enjoy the episode "Diversity Day."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:50 PM on March 31, 2006

It's interesting to watch the character's develop. The office romances are pitch perfect -- Jim and Pam's abortive mutual crush; Dwight and Angela's unspoken trysts; Kelly and Toby's awkward pairing; Michael's brief makeout session with his boss.

Remind me not to sleep with my coworkers. Actually, my own mistakes in this regard are reminder enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2006

The naysayers should bit torrent the "Dwight's Speech" episode. "BLOOD ALONE MOVES THE WHEELS OF HISTORY!"
posted by nathan_teske at 11:07 PM on March 31, 2006

Do you need to watch the show for this to be funny?
posted by ryoshu at 1:10 AM on April 1, 2006

i think you mean kelly and ryan, A.Z.

the american "office" has surpassed the original if only because it's had 19 more hours to develop the characters. this show has some great fucking writing and acting, and it's the character development over 32 episodes that's been the most rewarding aspect. "the office" is as nuanced and accurate a satirical portrait as can be rendered in the medium of television. even moreso than arrested development.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:24 AM on April 1, 2006

So, like, if you've already watched all the BBC ones, should you rent the US series from the first episode on up? Or should you skip the first season b/c it's just the BBC one done badly? (I'm assuming you can Netflix the US one, can you?)
posted by Mid at 5:32 AM on April 1, 2006

when i say "hours" i of course mean "episodes" of roughly twenty minutes in length. it's new slang.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:33 AM on April 1, 2006

where is Steve Carrell in all of these..? His dead-pan delivery would have made all of these incredibly funnier...
posted by WhipSmart at 5:47 AM on April 1, 2006

It's hard for me to understand how anyone could not find this show funny. I think it's one of the funniest shows on TV -- and, although I think I'm in the minority on this, I think it's funnier than the British version.

On a related note, I once mentioned something about the Simpsons in the presence of my father-in-law and he reacted with clear distaste. It occured to me later that it wouldn't be surprising for a guy like him to have a vague sense of being made fun of while watching it. I wonder if a similiar thing is happening here.
posted by Toecutter at 6:10 AM on April 1, 2006

These PSAs were pretty funny, and caught viewers completely off-guard, I'm sure. It did me, at least.
By the way, does anyone else have to type in one of those goofy letter codes every time you sign in? It's pretty annoying.
posted by etaoin at 3:43 PM on April 1, 2006

The $9 Beer ad is particularly good, but most of them are only okay. "Instead of doing 5 really funny PSAs, let's do 30 so-so ones!"

Wait, where have I heard that before...? Oh, I know! "Instead of doing 12 genius episodes, let's do two full seasons of mediocre American comedy!"
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:59 PM on April 1, 2006

mediocre American comedy

mediocre in comparison to what? Reba?

have you watched the entire second season?
posted by Hat Maui at 7:31 PM on April 1, 2006

Thanks, Ian. I sure am glad you're here to tell us that all American comedies are mediocre and that all British comedies are masterpieces.

*runs around the room sped up, to the tune of Yakety Sax*
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:53 PM on April 1, 2006

To each his own, I guess; I don't care for the show and find it really hack.

However, I did mispunctuate my earlier comment. I meant it was a "mediocre, American, comedy." That is, American as opposed to the original...I didn't mean that it's mediocre BECAUSE it's American. I'd hate to come off as one of those blowhards who's always talking about how much better British shows are or whatever.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:07 PM on April 1, 2006

actually, your mispunctuation took place only on the second try.

but if you don't care for the show, that must mean you don't watch it, right? unless you're a masochist.

so assuming you're not, i would argue that you're giving it short shrift and that it's really hit its stride this season.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:36 PM on April 1, 2006

I think it might be an age thing. I can imagine this being funny (both the PSAs and the show), perhaps at age 18 or 20. Thereafter, it should feel predictable and tired.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:45 AM on April 2, 2006

Paris, you watched 12 minutes of one of the weaker episodes. You know how in the New York Times Book Review, when a reviewer will savage a new release? Well, as it turns out, they're required to read the whole goddamn thing, not a third of it. And, when they really hate something, they'll explain why, and how, and give corroborating evidence.

It is frightening how little we have in common - it's a guarantee that anything I find funny you will not. Is it because you're a crotchety old man or there's not enough violence in the stuff I like or what's the deal?

What do you like?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:09 AM on April 2, 2006

Optimus, my comments were an invitation to explain that the show is actually good.

What DO I like? Or rather, what do I find funny? Well, I find many comments on Metafilter brilliant, and LOL funny. I find many things on the Web funny. I like absurd sketch comedy. I loved Monty Python when I was discovering it as a teen in the 1970's (especially the aspect of it being in that foreign place, pre-Thatcher England).

Honestly, I can't speak to television since I don't watch much, and don't own one at this time. But when I catch tv at others' houses or at the gym, I usually cringe.

You are perfectly free to like The (American) Office. But I think the problem I have/would have with it transcends that one episode. Watching it, it just felt like I had seen it before, in dozens or THOUSANDS of pieces of other sit-coms, SNL sketches, etc. And for me, comedy needs to feel very fresh and original, otherwise its not funny.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:10 AM on April 2, 2006

PS: I also find the comedy of Prairie Home Companion VERY funny.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:34 AM on April 2, 2006

i find the previous comment fucking hilarious.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:19 PM on April 2, 2006

Why, because PHC is very retro? True, on some level, except its sort of Vaudville with modern themes; and in any case, Vaudville is so far before my time that it feels fresh. And it's very clever, in any case.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:36 PM on April 2, 2006

Just because I see this every time The Office (US) is brought up: only the pilot episode is a re-tread of the UK version. While the show will occasionally repeat small plot points or moments from the UK version (Dawn/Pam wanting to be an artist, etc.), the only time the show lifted a script wholesale was the pilot, and even then they changed a few things around. Beyond the pilot, all the episodes are original (and damn funny, if you ask me).

The episode Paris is referring to ("The Booze Cruise") isn't the best introduction to the series, IMO. A lot of the humor and pathos in it comes from having previous knowledge of the characters (Jim and Pam's long silent moment would seem weird or off-putting if you didn't have a season's worth of pining and tension putting in context). Plus, I personally think it's one of the weaker episodes, though it has some good moments. If you're looking for a good introduction to the series, start with "Diversity Day" (Season 1, episode 2). It sums up the show's feel and outlook better than any other.

And for me, comedy needs to feel very fresh and original, otherwise its not funny.

Heh. That's the exact reason I love The Office so much: it feels very fresh and original to me. And although these PSAs aren't all stellar, they're cute and funny (and I think Ryan the Temp talked more in these clips than he has on the entire show).
posted by brookedel at 4:47 PM on April 2, 2006

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