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An exercise in forcing The Office on people
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Apr 29th 2006 edited

So last night I was hangin with a couple girls I knew from high school. Things were starting to get hot and heavy, and I was about to take one of their bras off, when I decided to put in an episode of The Office instead. Girl A's favorite show is Family Guy and Girl B's is The OC.

Pick the best 3 episodes to show to this crowd.

Apr 29th 2006

Well I used to be a fan of The OC but I still really like the Office, and I watch Family Guy every once in a while. So I would have to say, three episodes to pick are:
The Dundies
Health Care
Email Surveillance

A good mix of Pam/Jim moments and just plain funny.

Apr 29th 2006

You've got to go with "Sexual Harrassment" for the Family Guy fan.

Apr 29th 2006

I would start with "The Injury", then move to "The Dundies" and finish off with "Booze Cruise." That should have them hooked.

Apr 29th 2006

Just to clarify, I didn't mean that "Sexual Harrassment" is the best to start anyone off with, I just think that episode has the humor in it that a fan of Family Guy would connect with right off the bat.

Apr 29th 2006

For Girl B, you have to go with Diversity Day, the Dundies, and Booze Cruise.... get her hooked on the JAM drama. All three make you go "Awwwww" and make you want to root for Jim and Pam.

Apr 29th 2006

Oh, and add Email Surveillance to the list as well.

Apr 29th 2006

I'm still trying to get past the premise of this set-up...you were with TWO girls...things got hot and heavy...and you were taking off ONE girl's bra...and you were still contemplating which episode of "The Office" to air. There are bigger issues here, I think, than wondering which TV show episode to stick in the DVR.

But to answer your original question, I'd have to go with "Sexual Harrassment" and "The Dundies," like others have said.

Still, consider counseling ;-)

Apr 29th 2006

I always start with "The Fight" or "The Dundies." "Hot Girl" and "Halloween" are never far behind, and "The Alliance" usually makes an appearance in these early stages as well.

I like to show "The Client" and "Performance Review" back to back, but I hold back on that for a little bit -- it gives the Michael/Jan kiss that much more impact. Same thing with "Email Surveillance" -- I want them to experience the same gleeful shock we all did when we saw that last scene in the backyard, which means getting to know the characters.

Once I feel my subjects are sufficiently prepped, I move them up through "Christmas Party" and everything beyond.

Apr 30th 2006

Diversity Day is the episode that was first shown to me, and The Alliance was the second. I was hooked.

Those two episodes work because they're first-season, and therefore more naturally introductory. "Diversity Day" represents the show at its funniest, and "The Alliance" captures the comedy-from-the-mundane aspect of the show perfectly.

Apr 30th 2006

I have to agree with others that start with either Sexual Harrassment or Diversity Day (some un-PC humor), then The Alliance (the art of messing with Dwight), then Booze Cruise (end with a more emotional tearjerker), and you're good to go...hopefully

On an unrelated note, yesterday a coworker of mine asked me if I wanted to donate to a walkathon. I got so giddy and I asked her if she watches The Office (she actually watched Drug Testing, her first Office exposure). Then I proceeded to describe the whole episode with Michael pledging something like $25 per lap for the walkathon. ps. Her walkathon was a flat donation and not per lap.....i made sure of that... ;)

Apr 30th 2006

I always show The Injury first.

May 20th 2006

I've done my duty and have loaned my Season 1 dvd to a good friend of mine in hopes that she and her husband will see what we see. I've also recently recruited my oldest and dearest childhood friend into watching The Office and she loooooooves JAM. And since she hasn't seen much of the second season or any of the first, the good friend that I am, invited her over next Saturday. Our husbands will take the kids somewhere and we will eat junk food and have ourselves a good ol' fashion Office-a-thon.

May 20th 2006

I emailed my best friend the YOU TUBE clip of "the confession" and "the kiss"as prep for Season 3. (she is an occasional Office watcher) I subsequently informed her that she WILL watch all of season 3. She owes it to me for making me watch Buffy and Angel. After which, I was more obsessed than she was. She now knows that she will report to me every Friday for Office chat, if not sooner. Aren't I just the sweetest BFF ever? She'll thank me later. Unflinchingly rigid Pursegirl!

May 20th 2006

PurseGirl, you showed your friend the best part?! Why would you do that if you want her to watch the show? Start earlier! Get her invested in JAM!

May 21st 2006

PurseGirl, you showed your friend the best part?! Why would you do that if you want her to watch the show? Start earlier! Get her invested in JAM!

I'm also of a mind that new viewers have to earn "Casino Night"; the buildup is so crucial to getting the full effect. An occasional Office watcher may be OK for it, but without first getting to know Jim and Pam, I fear that the scene may seem...ordinary to a newcomer, better executed than most such scenes, perhaps, but you have to know what Jim's been through to get him to this point to fully appreciate it.

May 21st 2006

Absolutely. My wife is now hooked but she's only up to Hot Girl, so I have to just shut up and watch with her. She already loves the BBC version, especially the resolution of the Christmas Special, so she knows the Tim/Dawn story. All I've said is that the plot of the U.S. version diverges quite early, and that it's generally even better than the BBC one.

It would be a real shame to not let Casino Night have the full effect.

May 21st 2006

I'm also of a mind that new viewers have to earn "Casino Night"

Here here... I feel like people are cheating when they know what's happened without watching every episode. I would never let someone skip ahead to a season finale of any show, but especially not our show!

May 21st 2006

Cheating? Perhaps. In the sense that they are cheating themselves, definitely. How can you get all the emotion wrapped up in those few moments without seeing all that has gone between them over the length of the series?

So, this gives me an idea:

Question: What is the minimum that someone would have to watch in order to "get" the JAM storyline?

May 21st 2006

My best friend gave me ten episodes in which to get her hooked on the office. Knowing that she's a hopeless romantic, I went for the basic arc of Jam. I'm not letting her have Casino Night until she declares that the Office is the best thing ever, though.

Here's my prescription:

Diversity Day Health Care The Dundies Email Surveilance Christmas Party Booze Cruise The Injury The Secret Boys and Girls Conflict Resolution

May 21st 2006

J1:

I would start with "The Injury", then move to "The Dundies" ....That should have them hooked.

Absolutely. Two of your three are the ones that hooked me forever.

Hmmm. Minimum to get hooked on JAM?

Dundies, Office Olympics, Christmas Party, Email, Booze Cruise, The Secret and Basketball

Then sweep in for the kill with Drug Testing (a warm up) and then of course, Casino Night when she's finally earned it.

May 21st 2006

You know how on DVDs sometimes, in the menus, they have pictures of a scene in an episode? I really hope they don't show the kiss at all. I want people who pick it up to be surprised too.

May 21st 2006 edited

Question: What is the minimum that someone would have to watch in order to "get" the JAM storyline?

There are multiple combinations that will do the trick. They have to see some if not all of Season 1, because that establishes the feel of the romance...the little things by which Jim betrays the depth of his feelings, the pair's partners-in-crime (inventing a word here:) soulmateship, and the friction with Roy.

"The Alliance" is the best summing-up episode here, I think, because it has one of the little things (the "She is so great" line), a playfully conspiratorial screw-with-Dwight plotline, and the tense ("Tryin' to cop a feel?") ending, but they really need to see more; it's not something easily captured by one episode.

Personally, I went straight to "Booze Cruise" from there, missing the entire first half of S2, and I was as intensely disappointed as anyone by what happened on board.

Finding out about a little of what happened in the first part of Season 2, I am aware of some things that would have contributed to my understanding of "Booze Cruise"--we see Jim start to creep closer to showing his hand with his first-date overtones in "The Client" and the teapot and non-card in "Christmas Party". Other than that, "The Dundies" is a nice moment, and we get a strong dose of Pam-jealousy in "The Fire" (first suggested in "Hot Girl"); both episodes suggest a bigger place in Pam's heart for Jim than she normally lets on.

So it depends on what you mean by "get"--Season 1 alone will make them fall in love with the two, so I'd say that's the minimum in terms of capturing the essence of the relationship. Or you who know better could combine parts of S1 with parts of early S2 to give them that feel.

If you mean the story arc as a whole, it’s still essential that any of this be shown before "Booze Cruise", for the same reasons that you can’t bring out "Casino Night" too early.

After "Booze Cruise", the rules of the relationship begin to change, so a bigger percentage of the episodes from 2.11 to 2.22 is needed to build to the finale. "The Secret" is important as follow-up, and then they need to see Jim sink further and further into despair (culminating in "Conflict Resolution") and glimpse Pam almost subconsciously beginning to see the light (especially "Michael's Birthday"). "Valentine's Day" is useful for both purposes, and I'd add "Boys and Girls" as an important one to show too.

Then, if they've been good, they can see "Casino Night". :)

May 22nd 2006

hell, just strap em down and make em watch all the episodes. yes, even Pilot.

May 22nd 2006

I think the pilot gets unfairly roasted, I rewatched it a few nights back and while it doesn't hold up compared to what has come since it still serves the purpose of what a sitcom pilot should do (set up the situation, introduce us to the characters, various conflicts and so forth). And the first shot we get of Jim (as he looks directly into the camera while Dwight mangles "Little Drummer Boy") is perfect as an intro to his character. Plus, I think the US version nails the "Pam/Dawn prank firing" better than the original.

May 22nd 2006

I agree, T-HPJ. It was the Pilot episode that got me hooked on The Office, when it first aired. I still enjoy it!

May 22nd 2006

hell, just strap em down and make em watch all the episodes. yes, even Pilot.

I just got a good friend into the Office, and we watched all of Season 2 in four days, including an eight-episode marathon, culminating in the Kiss at 2:30 AM. I was very pleased with her progress. Why not just show 'em all, if you have time?

May 22nd 2006

I agree with the showing people all the episodes. There really aren't any bad episodes, just some that are less great. But I think they are each in some way pivotal to the entire Office experience. In the words of Michael Scott, "Just do it."

May 23rd 2006

In a very unCreed-like move, my friend returned the Season 1 dvd she borrowed last week and reports that she and her husband LOVE the show.

Yes!!! 2 new fans!

May 23rd 2006

Not that I have much "power" in any aspect of my life, but after one of my new employees endured diversity training (she was "deputized" to stop hostility in the workplace), I gave her the Season 1 DVD with instructions to watch "Diversity Day."

She said she enjoyed it, but performance reviews were coming up...

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