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Take this down : Your favorite writer(s)
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May 1st 2006 edited

I think B.J. is my favorite writer on the show. His episodes have that high-brow wit that I really enjoy. "That fraction doesn't make any sense." I'm kind of missing B.J. in the most recent episodes. Green pee and poopy carpet just don't do it for me.

I also like Mindy's episodes a lot because she tends to focus on relationships and ackwardness. I'm thinking the Dundies and The Injury, the latter of which split my side.

May 1st 2006

Any chance you could save me from looking them each up and post the episode writers?

The green pee was okay but I am in complete agreement with you that I do not want to see this show stoop to gutter humor to get their laughs. I can turn to any one of numerous trashy sitcoms if I want that (and I don't). So this show has mostly stayed above that and I hope they continue.

May 1st 2006 edited
  • "Pilot" - Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
  • "Diversity Day" - B.J. Novak
  • "Health Care" - Paul Lieberstein
  • "The Alliance" - Michael Schur
  • "Basketball" - Greg Daniels
  • "Hot Girl" - Mindy Kaling

  • "The Dundies" - Mindy Kaling

  • "Sexual Harassment" - B.J. Novak
  • "Office Olympics" - Michael Schur
  • "The Fire" - B.J. Novak
  • "Halloween" - Greg Daniels
  • "The Fight" - Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg
  • "The Client" - Paul Lieberstein
  • "Performance Review" - Larry Wilmore
  • "E-mail Surveillance" - Jennifer Celotta
  • "Christmas Party" - Michael Schur
  • "Booze Cruise" - Greg Daniels
  • "The Injury" - Mindy Kaling
  • "The Secret" - Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
  • "The Carpet" - Paul Lieberstein
  • "Boys and Girls" - B.J. Novak
  • "Valentine's Day" - Michael Schur
  • "Dwight's Speech" - Paul Lieberstein
  • "Take Your Daughter To Work Day" - Mindy Kaling
  • "Michael's Birthday" - Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg
  • "Drug Testing" - Jennifer Celotta

Whoo, that was fun.

Hell, I don't know, they're all golden. But I'd probably have to say Greg Daniels or B.J. Novak.

May 1st 2006 edited

It's so hard to pick, because almost all the writers have at least one standout. Mindy Kaling did the divine "Dundies," Lee and Gene produced the masterwork "The Fight," Paul Lieberstein gave us "The Carpet," BJ Novak is the man responsible for "Boys & Girls," Michael Schur could have retired after "Christmas Party" and gone out on top, Jennifer Celotta has "Email Surveillance" and needs nothing else on her resume, and Greg Daniels hits the trifecta with "Basketball," "Halloween" and "Booze Cruise."

I'd like to see more from Larry Wilmore -- "Performance Review" is one of my favorites. And I guess the writer I'm REALLY curious about... is Steve Carrell.

It's amazing that so many talented people found each other and got the creative freedom to produce a show like this.

I think B.J. is my favorite writer on the show. His episodes have that high-brow wit that I really enjoy.

I dunno, man. "Sexual Harrassment" had its share of juvenile (yet hilarious!) jokes.

May 1st 2006

I agree that it's hard to pick a fav because everyone has one or two real standouts that I like.

If forced to narrow it down, I go with Mindy and BJ... an interesting combo since they are also a love interest duo on the show.

Greg Daniels also gets mad prop's for Booze Cruise and one of my all time fav's - Basketball.

May 1st 2006 edited
To determine which writer I should rank at the top, I decided first to rank every episode, 1 through 26. This isn't entirely based on the writing, and this is the first time I've tried ranking every single episode so these rankings are probably changing by the day and by my mood, but should provide an excellent guideline.

26. Pilot (Daniels/Gervais/Merchant)
25. The Carpet (Lieberstein)
24. Hot Girl (Kaling)
23. Valentine's Day (Schur)
22. Dwight's Speech (Lieberstein)
21. Basketball (Daniels)
20. Office Olympics (Schur)
19. Halloween (Daniels)
18. Drug Testing (Celotta)
17. The Secret (Eisenberg/Stupnitsky)
16. Performance Review (Wilmore)
15. The Alliance (Schur)
14. Sexual Harrassment (Novak)
13. Take Your Daughter to Work Day (Kaling)
12. Christmas Party (Schur)
11. Boys and Girls (Novak)
10. The Client (Lieberstein)
9. The Fight (Eisenberg/Stupnitsky)
8. Health Care (Lieberstein)
7. Diversity Day (Novak)
6. The Fire (Novak)
5. The Injury (Kaling)
4. E-Mail Surveillance (Celotta)
3. Michael's Birthday (Eisenberg/Stupnitsky)
2. Booze Cruise (Daniels)
1. The Dundies (Kaling)

Paul Lieberstein has two in the top 10, but also two in the bottom 5. That can't work. I wasn't expecting Greg Daniels to fare as badly as he did. While Pilot can't really be blamed on him, he had two more in the bottom 8. Even Booze Cruise can't salvage that. Schur has a dud, a below average, and two average-slightly above average... I think this is a case where my rankings don't accurately reflect the skill.

Eisenberg/Stupnitsky have been solid, but I'm only wanting to look at individual writers.

I find myself now torn between B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling. Kaling has two in the top five, but also has a dud in there. Novak has none in the top five, but two that knock on the door and two more just outside the top ten.

The average ranking for B.J. is 9.5, while the average ranking for Mindy is 10.75. I'll chalk that up as too close to call based on the average. I'd be tempted to go with Mindy as my favorite simply because her best is so fantastic. But there's one instance where I can pit the two head-to-head.

The Dundies was the first episode I ever saw. While it's up there as my favorite now, I couldn't appreciate it without prior initiation to The Office. I decided to watch one more time, and saw Sexual Harassment. While that episode added little to nothing in the storylines, it was the kind of episode I needed to reel me in and have the desire to learn more about the characters, since the episode was so outrageous.

Advantage: Novak.
May 7th 2006

Is it too late to make a HUGE reversal? Just because I may not like certain episodes doesn't mean I don't like the writing in them. "Conflict Resolution" was huge... brilliant. I rewatched "Basketball" last night and although I'm still not a major fan of the episode, there were some fantastic lines in there and generally great writing. "Please don't throw garbage at me," for example, is one of those lines that is so simple but so great. I rewatched "Halloween" this evening and had a similar reaction... not the best episode, but solid, solid writing.

These four episodes also boast some of the best JAM moments -- not necessarily best as in positive, but best as in landmark and/or quality -- and present Jim best as a great character I'd want to create my username after. And I've got a fantastic, dirt-cheap Halloween costume for years to come.

Greg Daniels it is. Bonus points for his credits on King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and Seinfeld.

May 7th 2006

I'd have to go with Greg Daniels. Booze Cruise and Conflict Resolution were amazing, Halloween and Basketball were hilarious, and I think he did a pretty good job with the pilot considering what he had to work with. Mindy Kaling is great, too. Why so many people dislike Hot Girl, I will never understand. You just can't beat Dwight buying a purse.

May 8th 2006

Wow, if I was a teacher and "The Office" was a subject, PWJ would get an A+!

May 8th 2006

I would like to see John Krasinski write an episode. And Rainn Wilson.

May 8th 2006 edited

I would like to see John Krasinski write an episode.

I would REALLY like to see this, since he was an English major (like me!) at Brown University (like me!), and an honors playwright.

May 8th 2006

Novak or Daniels, hands down.

May 9th 2006

It's hard to say, each of the big four writers (Daniels, Gene and Lee, Mindy, and BJ) have contributed great episodes that I love. But if we're talking cage match...and I think we are...BJ wins. You can't beat unicorns and rainbows.

May 9th 2006

Mindy Kaling. With "The Dundies," "The Injury," and "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" in my Top 5, it would definitely have to be her. LOTS of laugh-out-loud stuff, and even some great JAM moments at the Dundies.

Jul 24th 2007

Killing time at work going through some old threads. I would have to say that Steve Carell has written my favorite episode, that being Casino Night. Other than that, an equal vote goes out to the rest of the crew for writing the best show on TV.

Oct 4th 2007

The Entertainment Weekly article (finally found one with the Jim & Pam cover, pretzel) said that Carell will write and direct episodes this season. Since his writing credits include Casino Night and 40-Year-Old Virgin, I'd say that's a good thing.

Oct 7th 2007 edited

I found a person's account on a writing forum that Paul Leiberstein did and it's pretty interesting stuff. (Note semi spoilerish stuff in the account..very minor). Some of the stuff that Paul said that I found interesting:

  • Jim going away to Stamford was Greg’s idea, and all the writers were nervous about it. They hated to take the heart of the show away, because Jim was what made Dwight or Michael funny, and without Jim’s reaction, there was no punch line. But as a result, they had to find new ways to make the characters funny, and finding those answers helped them expand the lore of the show, making it richer and better.

  • Having to perform AND write is difficult, because if he was away from the writer’s room for too long, he would come back and find things had evolved without him, with cliques forming to kill certain ideas...This is why they put all the writer/performers in the annex, so they don’t have to be seen in every shot.

  • After the reveal in the premiere that Jim and Pam are dating, there was a big fear among the writers that the show will lose steam, but it was something they had to do. It was the only thing that felt “real” and they didn’t want to frustrate the audience. There was really no other choice, logically. They hope to do a new take on the relationship that hasn’t been seen on TV before.

Paul said a lot of interesting stuff if you like to learn about how they came up with certain episodes or what their thoughts were when they did certain things. Its a good read.

Oct 7th 2007

Apparently I've been a fan of his for years. I liked Clarissa and the TV Weird Science a lot.

Oct 8th 2007

That was awesome. Thanks for the link.

Oct 8th 2007

Yes, that was really interesting. I've gotten really into the writing process for this show and identifying the patterns of the writers. Which is weird because I couldn't name a single writer for any other show ever. I'd love to be a fly on the wall during one of their brainstroming sessions.

I liked TV Weird Science a lot.

Me too. I thought I was the only person who ever watched that show.

Oct 8th 2007

Very good stuff. Thanks for sharing. Who do you think the cliques consist of?

Oct 8th 2007

I've gotten really into the writing process for this show and identifying the patterns of the writers. Which is weird because I couldn't name a single writer for any other show ever. I'd love to be a fly on the wall during one of their brainstroming sessions.

I feel the same way. I can't tell you the name of one writer of any of my other shows but with this one, I can tell you who wrote which episode. I want to just spend the week in the writers room and see how their brains work.

Oct 18th 2007

I've read a little bit about the possible upcoming writer's strike in EW and I'm listening to the TWSS podcast and they are talking about it there. They said this could happen as soon as November. Have you guys heard anything about this? Am I getting scared for no reason?

Oct 18th 2007

Seems like news of the writer's strike has been around for a long time. I think there is some reason to be concerned, they sound pretty serious and I've read articles about networks making contingency plans.

In happier news, Steve Carell wrote the 7th episode of the season according to Office Tally.

Oct 18th 2007

I heard on NPR that NBC, I think, is in negotiations to purchase broadcast rights to the UK version of "The Office" in case the strike occurs/lasts a long time. This is also happening with cable shows like "The Closer" and such.

Oct 18th 2007

I heard the same thing about the UK Office, griefbone.

Steve wrote the 7th episode? Wohoo! I knew he was writing and possibly directing an episode this season but I didn't know it would be in the first half.

Oct 18th 2007

So the 7th episode is...listed on OfficeTally. If I post the name, is that too spoilery for the Nerks?

Oct 18th 2007

Watch out! The Nerks might attack you, but the episode description had been posted on the spoiler page here.

Oct 18th 2007

I decided to err on the side of caution and not post the name, even though I don't consider it a spoiler.

Oct 18th 2007

I too, feel the same way as you do, also.

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