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Do you want to talk about it?: This season's slowdown
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Oct 16th 2006

The spoiler discussion got going about Season 3's lack of spark. I didn't want to be the one to bring it up, but someone has to.

My main point: Jim is missing from our office. He is the center of all relationships and interacts with all of his coworkers. Dwight needs an anti-Dwight. Jim is the anti-Dwight. We miss Jim.

Oct 16th 2006

Maybe I'm shamefully easy to please, but I haven't noticed any lack of spark. I've been perfectly happy with every single episode thus far, and I am disappointed that I'll be missing this week's because...

...as you know, I am going on a Hawaiian vacation and they just don't have television at the volcano hotel we'll be staying at. And though the beach hotel will have one, the week after is a rerun.

Oct 16th 2006

How about we just compromise and change the name of the thread to "I don't approve, I don't: Let's all complain about change"

Oct 16th 2006

For me, Jim's temporary absence is the least of my concerns about this season. Something seems "off" about the writing, but I admit I can't quite put my finger on it. The plots have all been a bit too outlandish and over-the-top. Mind you, some episodes from last season were the same way and were still quite good, such as "The Fight." But the first two seasons also contained many more down-to-earth plotlines where the characters stayed in, you know, THE OFFICE, and did office things, and those are generally my favorites: "Health Care," "Diversity Day," "Sexual Harrassment," and "Conflict Resolution," to name a few. The well-known difference in tone between seasons 1 and 2 is dwarfed by the difference in tone between seasons 1-2 and season 3.

It's still far too early to tell if this is just a slump, or if the show has lost that je ne sais quoi which made it so great last year.

Oct 17th 2006 edited

How about we just compromise and change the name of the thread to "I don't approve, I don't: Let's all complain about change"

Not a valid thread title because it's not really a "complaint" (I think it's funny that when people on the board dare to be remotely critical of the show, they're immediately labeled as complainers who are unsatisfied mostly because Jim and Pam aren't together). I think it's a valid point, and it has nothing to do with resisting change or just being unhappy with plot choices. Jim's gone, but as someone in another thread pointed out, there's a missing spark that's hard to define. Even many die-hard fans of "Arrested Development" were critical of its uneven third season, so this isn't being disloyal to the show. Obviously, not everyone feels this way, but some do.

Hey, KarenM, is your vacation still a go, even after the earthquake? Did you have to change anything?

Oct 17th 2006

Maybe I'm shamefully easy to please, but I haven't noticed any lack of spark. I've been perfectly happy with every single episode thus far

I'm with you on this one KarenM, however...

The plots have all been a bit too outlandish and over-the-top.

I have noticed this as well. Perhaps the Emmy (or maybe just the nomination, I don't know if the episodes were written before the win...) has given the writers big heads? Maybe they're trying too hard? I think it's possible that with the Emmy recognition, they are now trying to appeal to a broader audience in the hopes of picking up (and keeping) some extra viewers. Hence the outlandish plotlines, the bizarre over-the-top behaviour of some of the characters (namely Michael, Dwight and Angela)and the generallly more sitcom-ish feel to the show that some people have mentioned previously.

I know a lot of people here are upset at the turn the show has taken (if you could call it a turn) but we here must only be an infinitesimal fraction of the show's total veiwership. Let's face it, the vast majority of people out there (outside of the NA fora, of course) are morons. And those are the people that NBC will want to add to The Office's ratings tally. I guess the writers have to bow to NBC's wishes to some extent.

But it's still my favourite show (out of the 2 TV shows I watch!) and I will watch it to the (hopefully not) bitter end. Just like I did with Alias. Sigh. Oh God, why did I have to mention Alias again... The tears are coming back.

Oct 17th 2006

For many people, including myself, The Convention is the best episode of S3. It's no coincidence that was the episode with the most Jim and the only episode where Jim interacts with Michael & Dwight. As Cat Party said, he is the center of all the office relationships, and almost everything that happened in S1 & 2 involved him in some way. Him not being in Scranton is just...weird. I understand why the creators sent him to Stamford, and I don't think it was wrong to do so, but until they figure out a way to get him back to Scranton, the show seems a bit off.

What's affecting me more, and having me only liking S3 a lot, as opposed to loving it, is the lack of an ongoing storyline. One of the things that separates this show from other sitcoms is the continuity and how they build on several different plots as the season progresses. So far S3 hasn't had that. The events from the time we found out Pam wasn't married through the end of Grief Counseling could have happened in any order. It seems like they're just throwing out random stories until they can figure out a way to get Jim back to Scranton.

Oct 17th 2006

Vacation is still a go... the only plans we might have to change are whether or not to go out of our way to snorkel in a bay that had a landslide (but we think the dust will have settled) and whether or not my husband and I go to a particular restaurant for our anniversary (roads are bad) (third anniversary--coincidence timing... not the reason for the trip). The pot stickers are supposed to be really, really good but that town got shaken up. Still, it's a week away.

I didn't think about there beingno continuous storyline right now, but that's true. No characters have mentioned anything about previous episodes, and you'd think there's be at least an Angela/Dwight disappointment conversation, or Michael mad at Dwight, or where's Oscar/How's Bob Vance, or Jan commenting on the phone about Michael's sale. The only thing I'll claim for sure is continuous is Ryan's development. He's definitely loosening up. You can practically plot his progression on a line graph (though I haven't).

I have a terrible confession--there are key episodes from Season 2 that I haven't seen yet (like Halloween and Booze Cruise) AND I've only seen these episodes once each. I'm used to watching this show out of order, having only been catching it on TV (instead of watching the DVD). This is the first season I'm going out of my way to record and watch, instead of hoping I catch it. Maybe that's why the disparate episodes haven't bothereed me. Still, I'm mostly a sucker for one-liners, and all four shows have had good ones. Maybe I'm still attracted to the "love to hate work" mentality of my entire checkered career. The moments are adding up to enough for me.

Oct 17th 2006

Someone mentioned this in the spoiler thread and I want to pick up on it here. Jim truly is the anti-Dwight and he needs to come back because without him, the Scranton branch just feels off balance. Imagine how much different, and less over-the-top, things would be if Jim was 1) in the conference room when Michael outed Oscar, 2) in the office when Dwight was plotting against Michael, 3) at the bird funeral last week. Each character brings a certain dynamic to that office and it's why I want Jim back so badly and why I'm not looking forward to the Stamford people coming in. I liked my old Scranton branch the way it was.

So I don't think anything is wrong with the writers or the show itself or any of that. I think something just seems off or unbalanced with it, and I think that's because of Jim. Why is it that so many people loved The Convention? Alot of it was because of the interaction between Jim, Michael, and Dwight. The sooner Jim is back in that office, the happier I think everyone will be -- and by everyone, I mean the characters AND the viewers watching those characters.

Oct 17th 2006

Jim truly is the anti-Dwight and he needs to come back because without him, the Scranton branch just feels off balance.

I couldn't agree more. Jim doesn't have to be with Pam, but he does need to be in Scranton. He's left a gaping hole and Ryan can't fill it. Plus, everytime they switch to the Stamford scenes I feel cheated. The show is too short as it is. Dwight desperately needs Jim. I am borderline not liking Dwight this season b/c there is just too much of him without someone there (Jim) to balance his ridiculousness.

Oct 17th 2006 edited

I have a hypothesis as to why some of the secondary characters have had parts that felt forced (Creed "just looking"; Meredith and the hand sanitizer)...Perhaps the writers were attempting to re-establish each character's quirk for the new season (and, presumably, new viewers) and thus worked in bits that would normally have been cut.

Oct 17th 2006

I agree with sharky, the spark that is missing this year is Jim in Scranton. He is the rope that ties all the other characters together in my opinion. I think once he's back in Scranton things will pick up, with or without JAM.

Oct 17th 2006

Why is it that so many people loved The Convention? A lot of it was because of the interaction between Jim, Michael, and Dwight.

Exactly.

Oct 17th 2006

While the last two episodes made me laugh very, very hard, I too agree that something is off, that the show feels unbalanced. Hopefully this will be remedied when Jim comes back. It is still heads and tails better than anything else on tv.

Karen, I feel your pain, and have a pathetic story to add. I was just in France on my honeymoon for two weeks, and the absolute first thing I did when I got home-before I even showered off the grunge from 20+ hours of travel (from the doorstep of the rented Paris apt. to our house in Seattle) was download the Office episodes I missed from ITunes. Oh, and I checked this site for show synopses when I had computer access over there. Sad sad sad.

Oct 17th 2006

Is this season really out of order? I've heard that Grief Counseling was after Initiation, and so since we know there's JAM in Initiation, but have seen GC, then we know it doesn't go anywhere. The Convention, I've heard, was supposed to be episode 6.

But yeah. This season is a bit blah. Something is off about it.

Oct 17th 2006

I must say I'm in active wait mode.

I hated Gay Witch Hunt. Hated, hated, hated it. Hated. I never thought that was possible with an "Office" episode, considering how much I respect and love the show. (It came down to feeling angry on Oscar's part -- I couldn't handle the kiss in the conference room, it seemed too much for me.)

Jim. I miss Jim. Painfully. Not even Jim with Pam, but Jim being in Scranton. Ironically, I like Jim in Stamford. I'm proud of him. But I miss him in Scranton -- I'm just waiting to see how this resolves.

BUT -- huge BUT here. I am ECSTATIC over Pam. As a woman in her 20s, I have never seen such a true-feeling exploration of what it really means to "find yourself." Most of the characters in the TV world are too pretty or rich to ring true, and Pam is blessedly weak....She's so much more like the people I know, if not me myself, and to see her growing makes me proud in a way that no other TV character has made me. I do think it's exceptionally brave of the writers to let her go through this and to not cover it up with a new boyfriend or a new job or some other distraction.

I love it that Pam is slowly adding things to her life -- makeup, a shirt, a car, an apartment. She's not completely fixed and she won't be put-together for a while yet. But I'm so GLAD to see it be slow and stumbling.

It alllllmost makes up for Jim not being in Scranton.

As I said, I'm actively waiting.

Oct 17th 2006

I think the show is doing great. If Jim did not go to Stamford, then there are many things we would miss:

-- Pam coming out of her shell -- Roy making an attempt to win her back -- Andy played brilliantly by Ed Helms -- seeing that Josh is not so perfect as we thought

I love the show, but change is vital if we want it to stay fresh. JAM had a GREAT run in Season 2; I'd rather see closure on that relationship rather than have it drag out for years on end until everyone is sick to death of it.

Oct 17th 2006

Ditto Baric,

I'm looking forward to Jim's eventual return to Scranton, but without him leaving, plot lines would have gotten stale. This opens up so many more options! Although the feel is different than season 2, it is still very funny, and it will make Jim's return that much better!

Oct 17th 2006

I don't have much to say on the subject (as I rarely do), so I'll just state for the record, as eloquently as I can: Office good. Season One good, but short and without direction. Season Two good. Not perfect, but good. Season Three still starting, but still good. Not perfect, but good. Still better than Earl. Me like. Continue watch TV set Thursdays at 8:30.

Oct 17th 2006 edited

Pan, really liked and agree with everything you said about Pam. I said after Gay Witch Hunt that her storyline was the one I was looking forward to the most this season. I thought the portrayal of her date in The Convention was great because it was extremely realistic. The fashion show in The Coup was kind of a let down, but as many here have said, she was a superstar in Grief Counseling. Really looking forward to seeing what happens with her character for the rest of the season, especially how she reacts if Jim does come back to Scranton.

On that note, I have been disappointed in the lack of acknowledgment of the Jim/Pam relationship. I have no problem with the fact that they aren't speaking, I can think of a million reasons they wouldn't be. But this relationship has been established, both from Greg Daniels' point of view and the pretend documentarians' point of view, as the heart of the show. Wouldn't it make sense to have had the following talking heads at some point this year?

IMPLIED QUESTION FROM CAMERAMAN: Jim, you've been in Stamford for a few months now, do you miss anything about Scranton?
JIM: Generic answer
CAMERAMAN: What about Pam? You two seemed to be close, have you talked to her since you left Scranton?

CAMERAMAN: Pam, you and Jim seemed to be close friends. Have you talked to him since he left Scranton?

Even though their answers would probably be stuttering nonsense, at least it would be something to tide us over. But, there is a lot of the season left for awesomeness to happen. I haven't wavered from my prediction that they are together by the end of S3.

Oct 17th 2006

Exactly, JLJ.

Oct 17th 2006

Yes! Jenna Loves Josh, I totally agree.

Give me a few stammered answers! That would please me muchly. We're all about subtext -- I'd love some awkward pauses to read into!

Oct 17th 2006

I third that sentiment, JLJ

I've tried to say what you said a bunch of times but probably not so clearly. I think the last four episodes would have been better received if they'd just give us that acknowledgment so we can move on, either temporarily or permanently, from the JAM they sold us on. Instead it just hangs out there like a great big distracting WTF!?!!?

Oct 17th 2006 edited

Zen and the Art of Television Watching

Oh ye of little
faith! Just enjoy the moments.
All will be made known.

Oct 17th 2006

*Zen Shmen

Moments, shmoments. The
show's JAMmed with 'em. But when's the
hero get the girl?

(Are we on the right thread? I'm so confused.)

Oct 17th 2006

Haikus are taking over. You can't shake em.

Oct 17th 2006

Haikus in three threads today. How frickin cool.

Oct 18th 2006 edited

Wouldn't it make sense to have had the following talking heads at some point this year?

Yes, it would make sense, and I'm sure most of us agree (myself included).

However, the thing with the talking heads is they are always about what's happening on the show. A scene plays and a talking head talks about it. They aren't just random topics. Since there's been no Jam interaction, it would be very difficult to add one of your talking heads to any part of any episode, and keep the general flow of things. It would just sort of be stuck in there awkwardly.

Oh ye of little
faith! Just enjoy the moments.
All will be made known.

My sentiments exactly! (I palindrome I... (I hope I'm not the only one who gets that reference!))

Oct 20th 2006

Redacted! Redacted! This week's episode was great, and not just because of JAM interaction. It was brighter and back on track. Yay!

Oct 20th 2006 edited

(I palindrome I... (I hope I'm not the only one who gets that reference!))

I love They Might Be Giants :-)

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