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8.04 Garden Party
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Oct 8th 2011
  • Season 8 : Episode 4
  • First aired on October 13, 2011

Summary courtesy of NBC:

ANDY THROWS A GARDEN PARTY AT SCHRUTE FARMS- JOSH GROBAN, STEPHAN COLLINS AND DEE WALLACE GUEST STAR—Andy (Ed Helms) decides to throw a garden party to impress Robert California (James Spader). Dwight (Rainn Wilson) researches how to host a garden party and thinks he has made it a very classy event. Meanwhile, Andy’s parents (Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace) and brother (guest star Josh Groban) attend but make him feel self-conscious. John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.

Oct 9th 2011

Is The Office going to do what is usually does, and cast completely different people than Andy's parents that we met in Goodbye Toby?

Oct 9th 2011

I hear they're going to bring back Michael for the Christmas episode. He'll be played by Kevin James. Or Dick Sargent.

Oct 9th 2011 edited

I went to a garden party to spend time with my old friends
A chance to see Pam's giant belly and Kevin being dumb again.
When I saw Andy's family, I knew all their names
But no one seemed familiar, they didn't look the same

Oct 9th 2011 edited

But it's alright now
I've learned my lesson well
If I don't expect past excellence
Sometimes I'm pleased, myself.

Oct 9th 2011

cast completely different people than Andy's parents that we met in Goodbye Toby?

Yes

Oct 9th 2011

Another promo that made me go "Ugggggggggggghhhhhhhh".

Oct 9th 2011

Hey, it had Mose in it.

Oct 10th 2011

They should have Pam's mom played by a third actress. And every episode she's in should be a different actress. Kind of a running gag. That makes us gag.

Oct 10th 2011

it had Mose in it.

So did Will & Grace.

Oct 13th 2011

Shrute Farms has potential and Dwight has been one of the better parts of this season for me. This could be ok. Or it could be completely cartoonish and lame. I won't be surprised either way.

Oct 13th 2011

I thought the one where Andy got a tattoo was actually really funny. It might not totally suck.

Oct 13th 2011

This is on tonight.

Oct 13th 2011

This is going to sound sarcastic, but it's not: you can never go wrong with dick jokes.

Oct 13th 2011

Okay, I laughed.

Oct 14th 2011

I enjoyed the episode, for the most part, but hope the show doesn't devolve deeper into the "Andy feels bad about his inadequacies so the office makes him feel better." They've been down that road with Michael and did it much better.

Oct 14th 2011

Okay, I laughed.

Same here. Several times.

hope the show doesn't devolve deeper into the "Andy feels bad about his inadequacies so the office makes him feel better."

Yeah, that makes three of the first four episodes. Maybe they're just trying to establish why they would actually work for this guy. But it's time to move on to other things.

Oct 14th 2011

They've been down that road with Michael and did it much better.

I don't think it was that good, then, even.

But I thought overall it was pretty good.

Oct 14th 2011

Episodes like this make me wonder why we sticky Office episode threads but not the threads of other, better shows.

Oct 14th 2011

SHOULD I START A WHITNEY THREAD?????

Oct 14th 2011

I'm pretty sure that's what Bri was after.

Oct 14th 2011

Well, they had awkward going. Man, Andy's parents are not very supportive. That was pretty uncomfortable. I really felt bad for him.

I laughed a few times. I liked that Andy's family knew "Tuna". Jim's garden party book was pretty cool. I laugh almost as much at TO as any other show, it just isn't special.

Oct 14th 2011

Why did they line up Dee Wallace for the role and then give her fewer lines than the pizza delivery kid from Glee who Michael kidnapped? Was she playing Andy's deaf mute mom? The dad from Seventh Heaven was a nice touch.

Oct 14th 2011 edited

Mindy Kaling's line "What's the reason for the garden party? What's the reason?" Followed up by Andy saying "Why do we need a reason for a garden party?" was definitely loaded, methinks.

Oct 14th 2011

The way I see this, is that this episdoe is a great example of the writers manipulating the audience at this point. Work with me, people...

Why is the show less urgently watched than it used to be? Because the Jim/Pam "yearning for love" angle is pretty much played out. Not that Jim and Pam still can't be interesting, but there is nothing as urgent as unrequited love. Most folks wanted Michael and Holly to get together, but never as much and as badly as they did Jim and Pam.Then they tried to make Hamnard the unrequited love arc last season, and that didn't work so well.

Why? I think it's because to really feel the brunt of the conflict, you have to care about and at least somewhat identify with the character(s). Michael was not normal - you didn't think "there but for the grace of God go I." Andy either. He had always been used as first a foil, and then later a bit of a likable buffoon, but I never identified with him or cared about him a fraction of the amount I cared about Jim and Pam.

So how do they regenerate a lot of interest in the show? If they're going to make Ed the star you care about, you're going to have to somehow identify with him. So what better to use than the old "I always wanted more affection from my dad/he liked my brother better" ploy that millions of people can relate to.

Sadly, at the same time I was thinking this is what the writers were doing, I was also enjoying the episode. I laughed a lot. Gabe was awesome - loved that line about Andy's wardrobe. Darryl one upping Andy. Mose. The same names for the new babies I thought was hilarious and was something I have seen happen in real life.

So while I felt manipulated, I also laughed a lot. I think I'm okay with that. Baaaaa.

Oct 14th 2011

I agree, just go with it. Sure, it's not what it used to be. But there are plenty of funny lines in there. I forgotton about Gabe. Has he been in the last couple episodes? I don't notice when he isn't around. Darryl arguing with Oscar about rosebud was pretty good, too.

Why did Mose plow Toby's car into a cornfield while everyone else's was neatly lined up?

Oct 14th 2011

Then they tried to make Hamnard the unrequited love arc last season, and that didn't work so well.

Hamnard!

Also, I really enjoyed Gabe in this episode, particularly since I also forgot he was a character.

Oct 14th 2011

and that didn't work so well.

That is an understatement. Especially since they had been doing it since Season 5.

Oct 15th 2011

Why did Mose plow Toby's car into a cornfield while everyone else's was neatly lined up?

I believe the joke there was that he drove all the cars through the corn field to get to the neatly lined up lot.

Oct 15th 2011 edited

Also, I'm just pleased they used "More Than Words" in the episode, as it was used in my very first Summer Contest entry

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