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[Closed] SUMMER 09 CONTEST WEEK 4: REALITY TELEVISION — WELL NOW THAT'S FAIRLY EMBARRASSING
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Jun 22nd 2009 edited

Believe it or not, we're four weeks into this thing and the quality, if not quite the quantity, of the entries has been stellar. Let's keep it up. (TWSS.) This week's prompt comes from, well, me. polite but embarrassingly prolonged applause I set out to avoid any pooch-screwing, but I'm not making any promises. Make of it what you will.

In other words, good luck.

Prompt

It's been trickling out, bit by awkward bit, for a while, but Wednesday's episode of the hit reality show "The Office" promises to be epic.

The documentary about a regional paper supply office in Scranton, Pa., has captivated America since its debut, from that time early on when boss from hell Michael Scott challenged Americans to rethink their racial and ethnic preconceptions with his approach to workplace diversity to a few weeks later, when dapper young salesman James took home the purse girl, leaving lovelorn receptionist Pamela behind.

The documentary, which has won wide critical acclaim as well as ratings dwarfing those of competitors American Idol and Lost, is condensed from literally years of footage into captivating and all-too-real half-hour blocks. (Word from insiders it that much of the footage shot after the first year and a half was trashed because the material had become predictable and uninteresting.) The upcoming sweeps week episode promises fireworks.

Your assignment

Pick an event (interaction, incident, scene, exchange, etc.) from the show's second season and detail in a generous 350 words or less what the fallout is among those involved. Note: How you detail it is up to you, and creativity is encouraged. But the emphasis should be on the fallout, i.e. the reactions and the reactions to the reactions, as opposed to simply the event itself.

For further clarification, click here.

Judging Criteria

  1. Overall impact
  2. True to characters
  3. Appropriate to challenge prompt
  4. Creativity

Reminders

  • Deadline for submitting entry #3 is 10 pm EST on Sunday, June 28.
  • Voting for challenge #2 begins Monday, June 22.
  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the general contest thread for questions/discussion.
  • No editing allowed on entries once submitted. Double-check your entry in the general contest thread before posting it in this thread.
  • Please review contest description for other details.
Jun 22nd 2009

The Proposal

(Michael is in his office)

(Phone rings. Michael hits speakerphone)

Michael: Yes?

Pam: (On phone) Michael, you have a call.

Michael: Tell them I'm in a meeting.

Pam: It's from London.

Michael: London? Who's calling from London?

Pam: He didn't give a name. He just said "Tell him it's the funniest man in England."

Michael: Ok, put him through. (To camera) I can't believe Crocodile Dundee is calling me!

(Phone rings)

Michael: G'day Mate!

Caller: Hi, is that Michael Scott?

Michael: By Crikey it is!

Caller: Right...Anyway, Michael I'm David Brent.

Michael: Who?

Caller: David Brent

Michael: You don't hunt crocodiles.

Caller: Um, no...I saw you in the documentary.

Michael: Oh right! The documentary. I must be very famous in your land.

Caller: Not really. Everyone here thinks your version is just a shoddy ripoff of the documentary I was in.

Michael: I see. (Disgusted) So, what do you want Frenchie?

Caller: Well, I was watching and I couldn't help but love your screenplay for 'Threat Level Midnight'

Michael: How did you know about that?

Caller: Your workers acted it out.

Michael: Oh God! (Looks out window, scans the office. Long Pause)

Caller: Michael?

Michael: Yes Dundee! I mean David...yeah I'm here! So, you liked my script?

Caller: I thought it was one of the funniest spy comedies I've ever heard.

Michael: Under his breath It's not a comedy, genius.

Caller: What's that you say?

Michael: I said, I'm a comedy genius. So, what do you want with it?

Caller: Well Mikey...after I left Wernham-Hogg, I started my own Production Company - 'Juxtaposition Films'

Michael: Wow...complicated name. That's brilliant marketing!

Caller: The way I see it Michael, you and I stand to become the greatest middled-aged British/American comedy duo the paper industry has ever produced.

Michael: Kinda like a mix between between 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' and that fat guy from 'Extras'?

Caller: Exactly! Are you in?

Michael: You had me at "shoddy ripoff"

Caller: This is huge Michael! Bigger than anyone could imagine! Hangs up

Michael: That's What She Said.

Jun 24th 2009

Dwight's Speechless

Dwight Schrute hadn’t bothered to watch the reality show about his workplace, Dunder Mifflin. He didn’t receive a good television signal at his beet farm, and he honestly wasn’t very interested in watching things that had already happened to him. However, when he heard that the next episode was titled “Dwight’s Speech,” his interest was peaked.

Dwight asked Michael, his boss, if he could watch the episode at his condo. Michael had been faithfully tuning in each week. He had even invited everyone from Dunder Mifflin to his house to watch it week after week, to no avail. So, when Dwight asked him, Michael was pleasantly surprised.

As the episode began, they sat on Michael’s futon with a big bowl of homemade guacamole in front of them. Michael had forgotten to buy chips, so he made some toast instead. There was also a jar of pickled beets that Michael refused to touch.

Dwight smirked at the screen as he teased Jim by asking if a Cugino’s pizza could play a DVD. He cringed when he mentioned the spelling bee. He yawned during Pam’s wedding planning. He left the room to get a second jar of beets when Jim started talking again.

He returned to the futon just in time to see himself and Michael enter the Radisson. The details of that day came flooding back to him. The way his stomach felt, the way his palms sweated, and then how Michael went on stage and made a fool of himself until he was ready to take the stage.

He watched himself take the stage and was surprised at how authoritative he sounded. He saw Angela sneak in the back with her video camera, and he remembered how they rewatched the speech when they got back to her place that night and how they…well, it was a good night.

Dwight was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t pay attention to the end of the episode. He told Michael goodnight, and as he got in his car, he received a text: “D, please come over. –Monkey.”

Jun 24th 2009

The Day After “Conflict Resolution”

Conference Room. Michael glares at Ryan. Toby sits to the side. Papers are everywhere. Ryan has his head down.

Michael (to Ryan): I just don’t understand. I thought we were buds. Why are you squealing on me? [shuffles papers] You think I’ve been making harassing phone calls? Really? We were just messing around, right? Didn’t you like my Whitney Houston impression?

Ryan: No. I mean, yeah. I mean . . .

Toby TH: Michael got into the Ryan Complaint Box, after he saw where I kept his files. We’ve been in here for hours. Michael’s almost cried himself out.

Michael: You think . . . that I made you go to Dixon City to meet my mom? She wasn’t supposed to be there. What’s wrong with my mom?

Ryan: She answered the door in her bikini.

Michael: So? She was at the pool.

Ryan: She’s 74, Michael.

Michael: My mother, Ryan, can wear whatever she wants! When she was young, she was like a Mad Men girl. [to the camera] Not the redhead. Flat-ski. Right, Ryan?

Ryan: I really don’t--

Michael: And I let you have the run of the office that morning! You could have run around in your underwear! You chose to go back to your car! That was supposed to be fun!

Ryan: The sun hadn’t even come up, Michael.

Michael: So? We got worms, Ryan. You and me. Together. The two stooges. [shuffles papers again] And, since when is asking you to rub butter on my foot sexual? It was burned. And, b t-dub, you turned me down. No harm, no foul, right, Toby?

Toby: Michael, I think---

Michael: Shut up, Toby.

Ryan: You made me fail a test by forcing me to go on the Booze Cruise.

Michael: But you learned about leadership! Remember? “Ship”? Boat?

Toby: Michael, you awarded him Hottest in the Office. And you said you wanted to have sex with him.

Ryan: Jesus, Toby, shut up.

Michael lights up.

Michael: All is forgiven.

Michael hugs an unwilling Ryan. Ryan looks at Toby, who writes it down.

Jun 25th 2009

Pam and Jim Halpert have just watched an episode of the documentary which included scenes from a Christmas party.

Pam (to Jim): The note, in the teapot…

Jim: Yeah, I sort of wondered if that might come up…

Pam: Well? What did it say, Halpert?

Jim: You know, I may still have it. Hold on.

Jim returns with a folded paper. Pam slowly opens it and reads.


WARNING:

If you trade this teapot
for another less sentimental
yet more expensive gift,
a large elf may haunt your dreams
committing repugnant teapot acts.


Pam (laughs): Totally true yet that’s so not the note.

Jim: Oh, you don’t think so? (smirks) Ok fine – I’ll look for the real one.

The next morning Jim leaves something on Pam’s nightstand. She finds and unfolds it to see a page of sheet music (O Little Town of Bethlehem) with a handwritten note at the top.


I told you it wasn’t “How still we see the line.” You owe me $5, Beasley!


The next day another paper appears.


5 Things To Do With This Teapot

  1. If you hold it to your ear you can hear the ocean.
  2. Classic still life object (stays put unlike your latest feathers fiasco.)
  3. Fun party song if everyone sings and gestures.
  4. Whimsical vase for all the flowers you receive from Roy at work (ouch – moving on.)
  5. Tea for two? Creed goes gaga for Darjeeling.

Pam finds Jim and protests: Seriously! Completely not it! You said something about Christmastime and feelings…

Jim: Fine… you win, Sherlock.

A little while later Jim returns and hands Pam a note.


Pam,

This time of year we should think about what is important
in our lives, drop our guard and let others know exactly
how we feel. I would like to share with you, Pam, that
the cough I’ve had over the past week is improving, but
my knee is still tweaked from that pickup game and I have
a blister from my run with that thing stuck in my shoe.

Happy Holidays!


Pam: I hate you. Come here.

Jun 25th 2009

“The E True Hollywood Story.”

Don Morrow: “Since Survivor, reality shows have permeated the airwaves; but never before has a show blurred the lines between reality and documentary like Mike Judge’s “The Office.”

He’d strayed away from directing since his cult hit “Office Space.” In 2005 he returned to the big chair and introduced us to characters more fascinating than Michael Bolton, Peter Gibbons and Bill Lumbergh; and Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert and Michael Scott are all real.

Join me for the next two hours as we get to meet the characters and learn about the impact the show has had on their lives since it began airing a year after they started filming.”

Minute 85 of the show: Outside the “Interview Room” of the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Morrow: “As we have previously said in this special, the subjects of the hit documentary were told not to comment on the fact that the documentary had started airing during filming. As such, one of the major mysteries on the show wasn’t really a mystery at all but merely a well kept secret. One of the conspirators is inside this interview room.”

Don sits down at a table across from Roy Anderson.

Roy Anderson: “Yeah despite what you saw on film I didn’t really handle my second break up with Pam well. After I got canned from DM I couldn’t get a job and I racked up a couple more DUI’s and ended up in here."

Morrow: “Mr. Anderson, I wondered if you could tell us about the first break up. What caused Pam to call off the wedding days before the event?”

Roy: “Our wedding date was the 10th of June. On the 7th of June they aired an episode they called "Boys and Girls." I call it "Roy is an Ass on TV." Anyways after she saw that episode and what I said to Halpert, the relationship was pretty much over. Jim, Pam, if you are watching this I wish you all the best in your marriage and make this one suggestion, Royal Halpert is a great name for a boy.”

Jun 25th 2009

Hey there! IAmKellyFierce is using Twitter.

OMG!!!They just showed that 1 time at the dundies!!!i cant beleif i used 2 wear thos lame clothes!!!still waiting to here from u HOLLYWOOD!!!LOLOL!!!! :) ;)

8:27 PM Jun 17th from web

Jun 26th 2009

Narrator: Welcome to The Office, The Aftermath. Joining us are Jim, Pam, and Roy, who are watching Christmas Party for the first time. Roy, no hard feelings now that Jim and Pam are together?

Roy: No, none at all. I hope for the best for them.

They all watch the show, and it is uncomfortable at times. Jim squirms as he’s shown loading the teapot, and his disappointment when Pam doesn’t get the gift is pretty transparent. Pam is amazed at the lengths Jim went to. Roy, however, remains stoic…until the scene where he’s talking to Darryl and Pam realizes she should have taken the teapot instead of the iPod. Then he begins to quietly sob.

Jim. Wow…uhh…Roy…I’m sorry it happened like that.

Roy: Sniff…yeah…I’m just know realizing how I lost something that meant so much to me.

Pam: Roy, it wasn’t working the way it was. Something had to change.

Roy: You’re right. I had to make some changes.

Jim: You have to know when someone’s not the right one.

Roy: He had so much promise, though.

Pam: He?

Roy: Yeah, he.

Pam: I’m not a he.

Roy: What the hell are you talking about?

Pam: We’re talking about how you lost me!

Roy: Oh, that? Ahh, who cares! I’m talking about how I traded with Darryl for Sean Alexander on my fantasy football team. That guy has been injured ever since. I’m just realizing that this was the point where I lost everything.

Jim: So…you’re not upset that I was trying to steal Pam away from you?

Roy: That’s what was happening there? I thought you were gay?

Jim: Umm…we are getting married soon.

Pam: Roy, aren’t you getting anything that the show is about?

Roy: Yeah, I understand it! It was about Michael’s awesome idea for Yankee Swap! And I think something happened between Michael and Meredith. And Oscar has the hots for that blonde chick.

Jim and Pam look at each other and smile.

Pam: Yeah, you’re pretty perceptive as usual, Roy.

Jun 28th 2009

Everyone is working when Michael walks into the office carrying a newspaper. He opens it, then holds it up to everyone. There's a large picture of Michael as Ping below the headline "Nauseating Comedy Act."

Michael: They love me! I'm a star!

Jim: Um, I don't think that's a compliment.

Michael: Of course it is, Jim. Making an audience laugh so hard they feel like throwing up is what every comedian perspires to.

Dwight sticks his finger in his mouth.

Michael: No, dummy, I didn't tell a joke. Say, Pam... (Michael looks to reception, then turns to Pam and sees she's on a sales call.) Nevermind, I'll do it myself.

Michael goes into his office.


Tom,

The documentary I wrote you about before started airing recently. Last night's segment was our annual Dundie Awards from several years ago. Watching my performance made me realize that I'm ready for the big time. So, I hereby request from you the honor of hosting the Academy Awards. Unlike some past hosts I have experience handing out trophies. A few ways I'd spice things up:

  • I'd announce a few fake winners during the ceremony. When they* got up to the podium I'd shout, "Gotcha!"
  • Instead of winners giving acceptance speeches, losers would have to give speeches explaining how the winner was better than them.
  • One of my employees is named Oscar. Instead of the trophy, I'd present him to one of the winners* and say, "Here's your Oscar!"

I have many more ideas, but I'd prefer to tell you them in person. Let me know when you'll be in Scranton and we'll set something up.

Smiles,
Michael Scott

P.S.: No one knows this, but I've written a screenplay. If things go like I expect them to after the Oscars, I'd like you to audition for the role of my sidekick. Based on your performance in Forrest Gump, you'd be perfect. Just know that I am also interested in playing the part, similar to how in Austin Powers Mike Myers also played Mini-Me. Wasn't he amazing?

*Preferably Russell Crowe or Christian Bale

Jun 28th 2009

Jim (talking head interview): I always wondered what Pam' mom told her that night. She and I get along great now, but she'd known Roy a long time. I was just some guy Pam knew from work. Turns out the camera crew salvaged some missing audio. Can't say I was surprised by it, knowing what I know now. Still, it probably would have been better if we hadn't invited both our families over to watch the episode, though.

cut to the Halpert's house, a crowd is gathered around the TV in the family room watching the reality show's final scene

Pam: About ten minutes ago.
Mom: Shut the fuck up! Did you shit a brick or what?
Pam: No, I didn’t know what to say.
Mom: Your poor father will be so relieved. He'd rather eat a turd than give you away to Roy next month.
Pam: Yes, I know.
Mom: Pammy, you're not thinking of staying with that son of a bitch Roy, are you? This Jim fella seems nice, right?
Pam: Um, I don’t know, Mom, he’s my best friend.
Mom: And he's hot too, if I'm thinking of the right one. He's not the Mexican, is he? No wait, Jim's the tall white guy. Nice ass on him.
Pam: Yeah, he’s great.
Mom: So you're going to do the right thing and not break your poor mother's heart, right?
Pam: Yeah, I think I am.
Mom: Thank the lord. I can cancel brunch with that cow Lana Anderson. You can see which parent Roy got his body type from.
Pam: Um, I have to go.
Mom: Remember, if he buys you dinner you'll have to put out.
Pam: I will.
Mom: This one time, after a date with your father--
click

Pam (talking head): Mom's always been the type to say what's on her mind. I'll be honest. I wish they hadn't found that missing audio.

Michael (talking head): She seems a lot like my mom, only not as hot.

Jun 28th 2009

Watching The Carpet
Michael has a weekly routine where he invites the whole Scranton Business Park to view the episodes in the conference room during work time the day after they air. Usual attendants include the whole Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch (mandatory) and some of the security and cleaning crew (trying to sneak in a paid break).


Michael: [as cleaning lady with mask leaves] Here she comes. All cleaned? Great. [walks into office]
Dwight: [coughing] It's still stinky.
Michael: That is worse.
Dwight: She probably scrubbed it into the fibers of the carpet. Total permeation.

Michael: Why would somebody ruin a perfectly good carpet? I don't know. It could be done out of hate. It could be done out of love. It could be completely neutral. Maybe somebody hates the cleaning lady. And, well, she doesn't do a very good job, obviously, because my office still reeks like you would not believe. I hate her.


Maria’s first talking head ever: [tries to hide smile from the camera] I guess I shouldn’t feel so bad for taking all that stuff when that jerk and his little girlfriend forgot to lock the door that one time.

Jun 28th 2009

Jim and Pam are watching the airing of “Casino Night” in their home, together. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for both of them, and especially so when they come to the closing moments.

Pam: Did you wanna do that now? We can go inside. I'm feeling kind of good tonight. Jim: I was just... I'm in love with you.

Jim pauses the DVR.
“Pam, you look so beautiful!” He says to her.
Silence fills the room. Pam leans over and kisses Jim.
“I can not believe you said that then. It’s obvious you weren’t intending to, were you?” she asks with a smile.
Jim laughs. “To be honest, I had a whole other speech planned, because I’d been walking around the block for about half an hour, and Jan had told me I needed to tell people I was leaving, and I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how…”
“So instead you told me you loved me?”
“Pam, I had been telling you ‘I love you’ for a long time before that. Remember the Booze Cruise? Remember when you ‘jinxed’ me and told me I cold tell you anything? I came very close then to telling you then, but I knew I couldn’t. Right here, at this moment, in the parking lot, I…I had nothing to lose…“
They watch the rest of the scene in the parking lot, and tears begin to stream down Pams face as she watches Jim walk away from her on the screen.
“Oh Jim. I’m so sorry.” It’s all Pam can manage to say between quiet sniffles.
“Pam. It’s okay. It’s done. That was almost six years ago now. It’s in the past.”
“You know, it was all I could do to not break down there. I couldn’t believe you actually said it. I knew it. In my heart I knew it because I loved you, too. But I was scared, and I…”
She pauses as they watch the final scene. As it fades to black, Pam turns to Jim.
“I’m really glad they didn’t show us having sex.”

Jun 28th 2009

(Friday morning. David Wallace speaking to Michael in his office.)

David: I assume you’ve been watching the documentary program about the Scranton branch?

Michael: Of course, I never miss it! I have all the episodes saved on my Devo machine! You know which has been my favorite so far? The one a few months back when I made out with Jan. (He snickers, then quickly adds...) I mean the one where I closed that big sale with Lackawanna County.

David: That’s great, Michael. But I’m more concerned with the episode that aired last night. I believe it was entitled “Drug Testing.”

Michael: I saw that one too. Wasn’t Dwight a total wacko interrogating everyone in the office? And it turned out that the dope head was one of the warehouse guys! Who would’ve thought? I hope that guy lost his job.

David: I’m not that concerned with the warehouse or with Dwight’s interrogations… although those were a bit disturbing. What I’m here to talk about is the fraud you committed by substituting Dwight’s urine for your own to pass the drug test. That was a very serious violation of ethics and the law!

Michael (suddenly flustered): But you don’t understand, David. I was at this Alicia Keys concert, and--

David: I’ve already heard your reasons, but I need to protect the company from any lawsuits or accusations of wrongdoing. I talked our corporate lawyers out of pressing charges against you, on one condition: You must take a drug test right here, right now.

Michael: In my office?

David: (sigh) No, take this cup to the men’s room and give me a urine sample. I’ll have to stand there with you to make sure it’s authentic.

Michael (TH): Houston, we have a problem. I ate three lemon poppy seed muffins for breakfast and I’m feeling high as a kite!

(In bathroom, David standing awkwardly beside an occupied stall.)

Michael’s voice: Can you tell Dwight I need him to… fix this… loose handle?

David: Absolutely not. I’d better hear some liquid flowing soon. (gives uncomfortable look at camera)

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