23 September 2011

What Did I Watch Today: Quick Thoughts on the Difference Between Averageness and Mediocrity

This is not a formal review, but quick thoughts immediately upon watching.

The Office s08e01 ("The List") – okay-good

Hulu! Wuhu!

The episode started out with me thinking it would be quite a disappointment — the "planking" tag (The Office has never been so good at being au courant (remember all the viral video dances?) (and except for a few 4Chan people, no one actually does this!)); but then proceeded to become, even without Michael Scott, the sort of epitome of an Office episode: the office becomes divided (this time literally) over some non-issue (once again: literally a conflict about nothing, just semantics as to who is in an arbitrary column, later revealed to be the useless designations "winners" and "losers"), and then harmony is regained after some sort of speech in the conference room; this was a nice, comfortable first episode after all the tumultuous changes at the end of last season; felt very The Office, when the show hasn't felt like itself in a while.
-I do like Stanley's "new thing" (though Alan Sepinwall's right that it's out of character)
-"I can always unframe."
-Myles McNutt's review of this episode is as analytically brilliant as ever

Whitney pilot – ugh

She's so tall!! These characters are so bland that I actually got ginger and black-hair confused, and then was unsure as to why in the next scene Whitney was wearing a wig.

How did this get picked up?? I don't even know what the premise is... "like all those shows about middle-aged married couples who hate each other... except this time they're a young, unmarried couple who hates each other!"; these are just the worst people, whose dialogue consists of bad jokes ("If the cave men had been monogamous, there'd be like six people.") and telling each other what other is doing ("You date that photographer girl who's really loud." "You can't wear pants to a wedding."); this episode is the most overused, trite plot (they haven't had sex in a while and so start to be afraid they'll get divorced... except they can't get divorced cos they aren't married!! so hip!!) that I can see this show being on for seasons and seasons, because everyone just assumes it already has been on forever; terrible fake-looking, restrictive sets; the lowest possible form of boring mediocrity, with a few jokes that would have been "edgy" maybe ten years ago, but still told in the corniest possible way ("What're you closing with, blackface?"); I would say I wish I could unsee this, but it's so mediocre that it's pretty much already been forgotten.
-weird that the laughtrack started after the opening montage
-what twenty-something couple has a landline?
-only someone very drunk would think of and think it's amusing to have a "hammer in the underwear drawer" gag
-I didn't post a video so as not to encourage anyone to self-harm by watching


  1. I was looking for a connection (a la Julie Chen) to an NBC executive that would have made sense for Whitney having made it to the air but have found none.
    I agree about The Office, I was a little unsure, but thought it unfurled itself well. I think that Andy makes sense as the branch boss, although I'm not sure how long he will be in that position.

  2. I'm confused as to how Whitney got picked up, but even more perplexed as to how two Whitney Cummings shows are on right now...

    I watched some of her standup to see what the deal was, and she's not unfunny... but just very hackneyed. Like her standup special is from 2010, and she's talking about "nurse" fantasies like no one has ever joked about them before, and explaining to the audience what Twilight is. The networks probably like her just because she's an attractive woman who does comedy, but urgh, there's no reason for her on my television screen.