One Nominator to Rule Them All – A #SmashBash Gif-Cap

Posted by Kim

“The Nominations”

#SmashBash 2×16

Here we are.  The series finale of our beloved #SmashBash.  Since NBC decided to burn off…erm…super size the finale, I am here to guide you through the first hour where we anxiously await the Tony Nominations while Sage will bring it home in a second post covering the actual awards day.  Double your #SmashBash pleasure, double your fun!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

First shot is of Ivy’s glorious cleavage. Seriously, Megan Hilty. Congrats on your rack.

Hit list gets 11 Outer Critics nominations, Bombshell 10.  Congrats Hit List for getting the most nominations for awards no one cares about.

“She’s sensational Derek.” Fact: I once dated the guy who said that line.

Tom.  YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER WITH THE PHONE.

Scotty from Brothers and Sisters looking FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE.

“Have you ever been to the theatre before??” I must admit, Scotty showed more restraint than I ever would have in that situation.

Karen won the Outer Critics. Vomit.

Jimmy planning on campaigning for Kyle.

Ana filing for wrongful termination.  You go, girl.  Take a stand against that casting couch!

Oh, so we’re supposed to care about Julia’s divorce again? If it is so contentious, you would think we would have heard more about it.

“We have lost SO MUCH for this show.” So have we, Eileen. SO. HAVE. WE.

“You need to leave the show.”  I am amused that Karen thinks this will work on Daisy.

“I worked my ass off.” Shut up, Karen.

MICHAEL MUSTO.  Too bad he has since been fired from The Village Voice, which is a damn shame.  That was an unintentional hurt, Smash.

“She is sabotaging our show.” Yes, Brooklyn Jimmy, Julia is clearly out to get you.

And we’re back with calling a dramaturg a script doctor. IN THE SAME SENTENCE.

annoyed Rose Tyler

Shouldn’t Tom, after all these years of working in theatre, understand how the Tony Nomination process works?  I mean if Tom and Julia are as successful as they have been made out to be, surely they have dealt with this before!  Isn’t Heaven on Earth supposed to be a massive hit?

I love that Sam thinks that the stage door is an appropriate place to ask Ivy if she is on pills again.

“Karen should not have beaten you.” Best fangirls ever.

Donald Glover Yes

“The only reason Hit List Made it to Broadway is because Kyle Bishop died.”

Ana singing “If You Want Me” from Once. Great, now I want to go see Arthur again.

Ana sings it well, but wouldn’t they need to see her playing the piano before casting her? Silly me.  That is asking a bit too much accuracy from Smash. 

Mariah Carey Peasants

“Are you sure it’s Derek’s?” Way to call her a slut, Sam.

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And The Tony Award Goes To… – A #SmashBash Gif-Cap

The Office One Delicious Moment

#SmashBash 2×17

“The Tonys”

– Posted by Sage

Before the curtain comes down on this well-intentioned, ill-advised series, we’ve got one more #SmashBash to go. Kim recapped the first hour of the grand, two-hour series finale. Now it’s my turn to take us out.

Spoiler alert: the entire series was not revealed to be the dream of a little future sociopath named Ellis. Unfortunately.

The entire cast meets onstage for a metaphysical singalong of your gif-capper’s favorite song, “Under Pressure.”

Happy Endings That Ish Cray

That’s quite a Freddie scream, Brooklyn Jimmy.

Anchorman I don't know what

“Tom, ready to work? Only twelve hours till the Tonys.” And the brand new number you’re writing isn’t finished yet? Who you think you is, Lin Manuel?

Ghostbusters Everything You Are Doing

“My future husband was sitting behind me.” “Your future husband isn’t even gay!” “Tell that to his upper arms.” BOOM.

Vader dance

“You see how appropriately gracious I was.” Well done on using real footage of Queen Bernadette’s Tony win for Annie Get Your Gun.

Princess Diaries People Just Fawn “Have you been stress-eating again?”  The Big Bang Theory Watching My Figure

“I told you I was bringing supplies.” “I thought you meant more booze.” Stop playing mom, Karen. The man has a plan.

Terrible Plan

“It’s disgusting.” Again, let’s just remember that Derek promised this girl a part for sleeping with him, she did, HE did, but she’s the only one we’re supposed to hate.

Doctor Who toothpick

“Where should I send your deposit?” Could Brooklyn Jimmy be leaving the mean streets of Greenpoint and setting out for Santa Fe?

Benedict Oh my god

Eileen goes to get her man.

Almost Famous It's All Happening

“They refuse to do the number.” Because professionalism is out the window at this point anyway.

Castiel ROTFLMAO

“He really liked you.” “I really liked him too.” Poor Tommy.

GOB Hello Darkness

“Are you not going to be there?” Okay, enough hinting – let’s just get to the part where Brooklyn Jimmy tells Karen that he’s not going to the Tonys and she makes a blandly inspiring speech to get him there.

Charlie Day I ain't got

“Oh yeah, for sure, yeah. Spending an evening in a room of sanctimonious pricks who’ve got it in for me. Yep, I’ll be there.” <—How I feel about my high school reunion.

Bill Haverchuck laughing

“For much of our marriage, he was there.” Well, that’s not something you wanna hear.

Batman Ouch

Jimmy shows up in a tux and he’s actually looking pretty adorable. So let’s get that thing off, shall we?

John Krasinski take my clothes off

Lillias White presents the Featured Actress Tony. Leigh and Ivy both lose.

George Michael Charlie Brown walk

Daisy wins. We do hate her. We hate her a lot.

13 Going on 30 Rude Mean

Kyle wins the Tony for Best Book. AND BROOKLYN JIMMY INSISTS ON USING HIS SPEECH TO TALK ABOUT KAREN.

Nick Jonas fork bending

Tom and Julia win! And I realize that this show has tricked me into actually caring.

Dean Awesome

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“The one who broke the promise.” – Doctor Who Recap

John Hurt as the Doctor

Doctor Who
Season 7, Episode 14: The Name of The Doctor

– Posted by Sage

Soooo, that happened.

At least some aspects of the leaked 50th Anniversary details were accurate, as the seventh series finale of Doctor Who introduced John Hurt as the Doctor’s greatest secret: a secret Doctor. How we doing so far? You guys with me?

Moffat has been winding us up for months with promises of revelations that would change the very course of the show. Add those to the reveal of the cheeky episode title and baby, you got a troll in the dungeon. Thought you oughta know.

So, it was with breath more baited than usual that we clicked over to BBCAmerica or pressed play on our slightly left of legal mp4s last Saturday. Had the powers that be really decided that it was time to reveal the Doctor’s given name? The very idea is fandom sacrilege.

Put your pitchforks down everybody, ’cause our man’s Gallifreyan identity is still as hidden as Strax’s mood levelers. As promised, the episode DID end with a pretty massive reveal – even bigger than the origin of The Impossible Girl. But let’s back up for a mo, shall we?

The Scooby team of Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are back for the finale – no surprise considering how linked they’ve been to a post-Manhattan Doctor and the mystery of Clara Oswald. Vastra comes into contact with Clarence DeMarco, a condemned murderer who tries to buy his freedom with some critical info about the Doctor and his enemies. He also knows a nifty little rhyme about the Whisper Men, a pretty blatantly Whendon-esque group of villains who are somehow involved. Who is Clarence DeMarco and how does he know these things? We don’t get an explanation, but Vastra finds the information trustworthy enough to place a “conference call” with Strax, Jenny, and “the women” – Clara and Professor River Song. Hello, sweetie.

Doctor Who met your dead wife

The “conference call” is essentially a group lucid dream. “Time travel has always been possible in dreams,” says Vastra, so all the gang has to do is knock themselves out to meet up for a non-corporeal tea party. But wait: why doesn’t the Doctor use this method of communication ALL THE TIME? It seems dead useful. The Moffat era is known for rewriting some rules and introducing devices that service the story at hand, but, in the dubious tradition of Hermione’s time turner, never are mentioned again. Think of what he could do with this though. I doubt it’s limited by the barriers between universes, so the Doctor could have a standing date with one Rose Tyler. He could even visit Donna Noble, who would awake to her average life with a lingering suspicion that she might just be more important than her circumstances suggest. He could check in on a pregnant Amy and Rory and see how things are going with Mickey and Martha. Maybe it IS possible. But – as we find out when the Doctor shows River that he can always see her – it might also be too painful to even consider.

Anyway, some shit goes down when Jenny realizes that she forgot to lock the door and the Whisper Men are attacking their physical selves. Clara wakes up to find the Doctor playing a game of Blind Man’s Bluff (in a very jaunty blindfold, I might add) with Angie and Artie and tells him what she heard. And it makes him do this:

Eleven crying

Can you not.

Whatever your opinion of this season, it’s almost impossible to deny that it was a tour-de-force for Matt Smith. For every monster speech, there were ten tiny moments like this one, where he gets right down to the heart of the Doctor. This scene reminded me of Ten’s conversation with Wilf in “The End of Time.” No matter how many friends he surrounds himself with, the Doctor is completely alone in the world – especially when he faces death. And it terrifies him. Of course, he’ll be brave and take the TARDIS to Trenzalore to rescue his friends. But he needs this moment to break down and pick himself back up. He asks Clara is there’s any point in telling her how dangerous it will be, and his little grin in response to her answer is everything. He will always be surprised and humbled by the lengths that people will go to to protect him. Maybe he’s not so alone after all.

Trenzalore is an awfully pretty name for an awfully ugly place. Pretty much the worst place in the world, in fact, since it’s where our Doctor is buried. (This was a rough episode for me, as my throat starts to close up any time anyone alludes to him being dead.) As if the burned-out, battle graveyard wasn’t a depressing enough setting, Dr. Simeon (aka the physical form taken by The Great Intelligence) shows up with the Whisper Men, who are essentially TGI’s muscle. There’s something in the grave that they want, and the grave can only be opened with a password. The answer to the eternal question. Doctor who?

Doctor Who his name is please

It’s not, though you know we all wildly thought so for one frantic second. No, while the Doctor was begging for mercy (ouch), River’s echo said the name. (And I assume that River herself created the secret entrance to the tomb, using her name as a clue.) The party moves into the overgrown, dead TARDIS (ouch again) and we see the final resting place of our Brave Little Toaster. It’s not a body. “Bodies are boring.” It’s the Doctor’s timeline – everything he was and will be. The Great Intelligence is not just going to kill him. It’s going to take out his entire history and future, reversing every good (and bad?) deed he’s ever done.

And now, we learn two things about Clara Oswald:

#1: She looks fantastic in clothing from any period.

Clara in timeline Doctor Who

And #2: She was born to save the Doctor.

Thanks to her second journey into the centre of the TARDIS, Clara remembers what the Doctor told her about meeting her other selves in her first. Smart cookie that she is, she realizes that, just as Simeon can destroy the Doctor at all points in time, she can rescue him in the same way. And actually, she already has. She’s not the little girl from the Library. She’s not the Bad Wolf. She’s not the Doctor’s daughter. In the end, it turns out that Clara IS just a regular human girl who did an extraordinary thing. And it’s pretty bad ass.

Which is one reason why the Doctor politely ignores everyone who warns him not to go back into the timeline to save the one, true Clara. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on the fact that he didn’t hesitate for one second in the decision to rescue her, despite what must have been his CERTAINTY that the trip would result in him coming into direct contact with a part of himself he is so ashamed of that he doesn’t even consider it to be his true identity. Could John Hurt’s character be the true Ninth Doctor? If he is the one who destroyed the Daleks and the Time Lords (“in the name of peace and sanity.”), it makes sense that our Nine started his adventures in such a dark place. (It also makes Rose’s influence on him even more remarkable. #shippergoggles #doesntmakeitanylesstrue) Nine’s sole purpose of existing was to EARN back his chosen name. To keep the promise that his last self broke.

I wish I were more well-versed in Classic Who, but I do know a bit about the Valeyard, who was mentioned as another name for the Doctor in this episode. If the true Ninth Doctor didn’t end with his regeneration into Eccleston, is there a version of the Doctor (without that name) who, as the result of some very un-Doctorlike decisions, BECOMES the Valeyard who testifies against Six to the High Council?

Doctor Who I don't know

Whoever this guy this, the Doctor sure isn’t happy with him. And with that, the stage is set for the epic 50th Anniversary special. Which is SIX MONTHS FROM NOW. SIX MONTHS. SIX. MONTHS. Seis meses. And normals wonder why Doctor Who fans are so slap-happy most of the time.

Timey Wimey Observations:

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To 3-D or not to 3-D? That is the question. – Head Over Feels on The Great Gatsby

Posted by Kim and Sage

On Friday, Sage and I both saw The Great Gatsby…but not together.  Gasp!  Sage saw it in 3-D while I stuck with 2-D.  We thought this would be a great moment to not only discuss our thoughts on Gatsby (as we are both unabashed Baz Luhrmann fangirls) but the whole 3-D craze in general.  It seems like most of the event movies for the summer are in 3-D…so when should you pony up the extra $5 bucks and when should you see movies the good old-fashioned way?  And if stories like The Great Gatsby are not being made in 3-D, what’s next?  A 3-D adaptation of a Jane Austen novel?  Seriously.

I had always been hesitant about seeing Gatsby in 3-D.  What was the point?  I tend to be 3-D skeptical anyway.  Yes, it works BEAUTIFULLY in movies like Avatar, Life of Pi, and basically any animated film.  I quite enjoyed the 3-D conversions of Titanic and Jurassic Park.  But did the final Harry Potter movie need to be in 3-D?  No.  For every movie that looks stunning in 3-D (usually because it was MADE for it) there is a movie where the conversion looks shoddy and cheap and basically feels like a money grabbing move by the studios.  I go to the movies a lot, and they are expensive in New York City, and the audiences are less and less respectful of the whole experience.  I nearly MURDERED the couple sitting next to us in Gatsby last night.  From climbing over us to get to their seats and then immediately getting up to go get snacks to talking to each other loudly in Spanish through the whole movie to constantly pulling out phones to the noise the woman’s ten million bangle bracelets made every time she moved, they were without a doubt the worst people in the world and I had had it with them after two hours to where I finally told them to shut the fuck up.

They didn’t.

I digress.

Anyway, once I had heard from my friend Chelsea that the 3-D in Gatsby gave her a migraine and made her vomit, my choice was made.  I would be seeing Gatsby in 2-D, even though Baz had clearly shot it for 3-D.  Do I think I missed anything?  I could definitely tell the difference in the first half hour.  The movie LOOKED a little flat and a bit fake at first.  It felt like watching an older movie on a super high-definition television.  I was hating the movie in general the first 25 minutes.  I was worried my friend wanted to walk out (which I would have NEVER let happen, but still).  That is a Baz Luhrmann signature move.  The first half hour of all of his movies tend to be incredibly frenetic and overwhelming and then a moment happens that grounds the movie.  Think of the fish tank scene in Romeo + Juliet.  Think of the moment Christian starts singing “Your Song” in Moulin Rouge.  Up until those moments, both movies had been quick-moving, hyperactively edited and you barely have a moment to catch your breath and truly CARE about anything but the moment the lovers meet or the hero is revealed changes everything.  And so The Great Gatsby settles down the moment we meet our titular character and my opinion of the movie completely changed after that.  Much of that is clearly thanks to a brilliant performance by Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Dunder Mifflin Infinity – Our Top Ten Episodes of The Office, Part Two

 

Posted by Kim and Sage

One Christmas morning in the early aughts, I unwrapped a DVD set given to me by my brother because “you like British things and I heard this is good.” After one viewing of The Office (UK), I was baffled. After two, I was infatuated.

Please now join me in virtually yelling at Kim, who has never seen it. WATCH IT, KIMMIE. The entire series will take you half a day, at MOST.

It all seems so standard now – the mock-doc style, the cringe comedy. Single-camera, non-laughtrack sitcoms have become the norm, but it’s the original Office that deserves every shred of credit for that. But we’re not here to talk about Gareth Keenan, the beginnings of my lifelong crush on Martin Freeman, or how hard I cry every time I watch the Christmas special. We’re here to talk about the American adaptation – those very words that strike fear into the heart of any Brit-com fan. (Sorry to bring this back up, but I have to say it – Coupling.) I was cautiously optimistic about The Office as a midseason replacement and a vehicle for The Daily Show‘s Steve Carell. But then the pilot was a shot-for-shot, not-as-dark and not-as-funny remake of the first episode of Ricky and Steven’s show, and we almost lost hope. Didn’t we? And then something miraculous happened – The Office (US) became its own show.

While the network intention may have been to bank on the reputation of the British version, the creative team behind the American series was, bless their hearts, more interested in creating something unique and lasting. The outlook at Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin has never been quite as bleak as that at Slough’s Wernham Hogg, and Michael Scott is just as pitiable but vastly more lovable than David Brent. The six-episode first season of the US Office was an exercise in finding a balance between the UK inspiration and a humor more palatable to an American audience. Greg Daniels & Co. made short work of developing that voice, because (she confidently declares), year two of The Office is a perfect season of comedy.

The accomplishment is even more commendable when you consider that the second season was ordered piecemeal by the network. The original renewal was for another six. Then seven more. Then three more. (Who orders THREE episodes of a half-hour comedy at a time? NBC, that’s who.) It’s a marvel that the eventual 22-episode season was so seamless and established such strong characterization and relationships. So, it should be no surprise that it dominates our favorites list.

On the eve of The Office’s final sign-off, we look back at our Top 5 episodes. Here’s to the moments that made us laugh, cry, and flail about our rooms. Here’s to a scrappy cast of mostly unknowns and a young creative team who threw everything they had into a show that wasn’t supposed to survive beyond the spring of 2005. Here’s to the fans who’ve stuck with it. This is our Office. They make paper. And we are very proud of them.

– Sage

5) “Branch Wars” (Season 4, Episode 10)

The Office we will burn Utica

“Branch Wars” is as close to an action movie as The Office would ever get (Hush. We pretend the second “Threat Level: Midnight” episode never happened.), and thus, was a perfect guest-directing job for the incomparable Joss Whedon.

The A-story is an Office-style homage to caper films: Karen is now the Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin’s Utica branch and is poaching Stanley, Scranton’s strongest salesman. Michael won’t have that, so he and Dwight kidnap Jim on a “panty raid” to Oneida County, NY, where they will enact a “nebulose” revenge plan. (“Dwight, nothing with the eyes. Please?”) We’ve seen broad Office comedy gone awry – this is broad Office comedy at its most controlled and effective. It’s also fun to see Joss work within the confines of a mock-doc workplace comedy. The shot of a stone-faced and mustachioed Michael, Dwight, and Jim clad in warehouse uniforms and driving to Utica is a simple but great one.

Branch Wars Karen

We were aware of other Dunder Mifflin branches before, but season 3 and 4 made expert use of them to liven things up. Jim’s transfer to Stamford opened up the show to new storylines and recurring characters beyond the office park. Michael is usually happy to exist within the Scranton bubble; his sense of branch rivalry is only ignited when his own employees are involved.  Michael doesn’t need to run the most successful branch. He doesn’t need to run the most efficient branch. But by god, he’s going to have the most FUN branch. And his employees are going to like him the best.  I’m sure Karen made the offer to Stanley mostly because of his sales record, but I’m ALSO sure she didn’t mind that luring him to Utica would also mean sticking it to Michael and Jim. But to Michael, the offer is a threat to STANLEY (“And if you so much as harm one hair on Stanley’s head…”), because who would ever want to leave his branch family? Michael is on a rescue mission to save a vital demographic in his beloved cast of characters.

The Office Branch Wars wanted

Of course, it’s the whole thing is a ploy on Stanley’s part to try to negotiate a raise. “How on Earth did Michael call my bluff? Is he some sort of secret genius?”, he asks the camera. Then laughs, “Sometimes I say crazy things.”

 Before my rewatch, I had completely forgotten that “Branch Wars” also contains one of the most memorable B-stories of the series. Back at the Scranton branch, Toby, Pam, and Oscar are holding a meeting of the Finer Things Club, a tradition that many real-life offices, including mine, have adopted. Their efforts to carve out a tiny corner of culture and class are, of course, consistently thwarted by their coworkers. Andy wants to break into the “most exclusive club” in the office (“Kevin’s band is my safety.”); Phyllis wants to make her popcorn in a microwave that doesn’t smell like popcorn; and Jim wants to show up unread and show off his Irish accent. The office-bound story and the road trip adventure make for a solid episode composition.
This is a standout episode for our JKras, especially as he tries (unsuccessfully) to hide from Karen and then has to sheepishly face her. He doesn’t even finish that last, awkward sentence as he backs out of her office. “Branch Wars” is also chock-full of lines that have become a part of my everyday lexicon. Should I ever feel like I’m in danger or likely to die of boredom, I text my BFF to “host the Dundies for me.” And the aforementioned threat to “burn Utica to the ground” is frequently referenced among my Twitter pals. We can thank writer Mindy Kaling for those, and I have a feeling we’re going to run into her again on this list.
– Sage

Best Line:

Michael: You cannot take the hilarious black guy from the office. Stanley is part of what makes this branch extraordinary. The bluesy wisdom, the sassy remarks, the crossword puzzles, the smile, those big watery red eyes. I don’t know how George Bush did it when Colin Powell left.

4) “The Dundies” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Yep, another episode penned by Mindy Kaling, and we’re only at our fourth favorite episode.  There’s a reason why The Mindy Project was so highly anticipated, and why (for me) it was a bit of a let down at first…though I hear I should give it another shot.  What say you, readers?

“The Dundies” kicks off season two, and as Sage says in the intro, sets the stage for one of the most perfect seasons of comedy ever.  Everyone has had to go to an awards banquet at some point in their life.  The annual end of the year banquet for my theatre department in college was called “The Bonies” (Tonys + our mascot was a bulldog.  Who eats bones.  You know.) and much like Michael Scott, the seniors always had to come up with a script and awards for everyone in the department (the awards were dog bones.  My college was better than your college.).  So whenever I watch this episode, I smile.  Because this episode gets everything SO RIGHT.

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The Loneliest Job in the Universe – Doctor Who Recap

Doctor Who 7×12

“Nightmare in Silver”

Posted by Kim

To say that Neil Gaiman’s second episode of Doctor Who was highly anticipated is an understatement, especially when it was released that he was penning an episode for the Cybermen.  While “Nightmare in Silver” wasn’t as feels heavy as “The Doctor’s Wife”, it was still a cracking good episode of Doctor Who and one hell of an acting showcase for Matt Smith.

Yet, despite me thoroughly enjoying the episode, I have found myself staring at my computer screen over the past few days trying to come up with what the hell to write about this episode.  And I think that speaks to the problem with this series of Doctor Who.  It has felt a bit soul-less and forgettable, has it not? The Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who has been characterized by its cleverness and whip fast dialogue, but as of late, that cleverness has come at the expense of emotional impact.  Doctor Who has also always been, as Darren Franich put it in his EW recap this week, like an anthology of short stories.  It can take on a different genre each week, yet still always be the same show.  Series 7 as a whole (including the five episodes with Amy and Rory)  has really felt like this.  There have been no two-parters and each episode has been billed as its own “mini-movie” down to the way the marketing team promoted each episode.  While it is a cool idea in concept, there has been no through line for the series.  Think about it.  Series One had Bad Wolf.  Series Two had Torchwood.  Series Three had the return of the Master.  Series Four was the Universes collapsing.  Series Five had the crack in time and the Pandorica.  Series Six had the mystery of River Song.  What is the through line for Series Seven???  The Impossible Girl?  The Great Intelligence?

To be fair, we don’t always know what the through line for the series is until the very end (this was especially true in series three).  But still, they always FELT like there was something tying them together, and it hasn’t felt this way in series seven.  Maybe that’s because of the first half with the Ponds and the second half with Clara.  Maybe it’s because the mystery with Clara has been teased on, but not developed fully.  All I know is the series has felt unsatisfying, and that makes me sad.

Sage touched on this in her recap last week and Franich touched on it in the EW recap: the Doctor/Companion relationship has always been the grounding factor in the modern era of Doctor Who and the fact that Clara has not been developed very well as a character is a problem.  Sure, she’s adorable.  She’s always ready with a clever quip and she has spunk to spare.   But that’s about it.  As Sage said last week, “Clara has really only been good for punch lines.”  We keep HEARING that she is impossible, but that is it.  There have been no other clues as to what MAKES her impossible or what drives her and what makes her tick.  The writing and under-development of Clara has been a great disservice to Jenna-Louise Coleman, as she has been fantastic performance wise and has a lovely chemistry with Matt.  We, the audience, just don’t care enough yet.  At least that’s how I feel.

And again, I could take this all back after the finale on Saturday.  We shall see.

I felt physical pain when he said this.

Anyway…back to the episode at hand.  One thing Neil Gaiman has always been good at is making things accessible to new comers while still peppering in references that make geeks lose their minds.  There were a lot of classic episodes and motifs that were referenced in the episode (the opening scene on the moon, for one) that would make classic Whovians squeal yet not alienate newer viewers.  I really liked what he did as far as upgrading the Cybermen as well.  When we saw one move at super speed for the first time, I gasped “Have they always been able to DO THAT?” (no, they haven’t).  I liked how they were capable of upgrading their defenses mid-attack and how they were able to detach body parts at will.  They were truly terrifying in this episode and I thought it worked wonderfully.

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Dunder Mifflin Infinity – Our Top 10 Episodes of The Office, Part One

 

Posted by Kim and Sage

In 2005 The Office premiered and changed the landscape of the American Sitcom.  That’s a bold statement, but I firmly believe it is a true one.  It paved the way for 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Community, and Modern Family.  It gave us the likes of Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms and Ellie Kemper.  It will forever be responsible for etching “That’s what she said” into our everyday  lexicon.  While it waned creatively in its later years, The Office has given us countless laughs, many tears, and made us cringe with embarrassment on a weekly basis for 9 seasons and I will forever hold it very dear in my heart.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Dunder Mifflin forever.  I’m ready to say goodbye, but at the same time I am not ready.  It’s a very strange feeling.  The show did a LOT of damage to its legacy the season after Steve Carell left the show.  Many, including me, felt the show should have ended there.  The Office was not The Office without Michael Scott, no matter how much they tried to make Andy into the new Michael.  I was damn near close to breaking up with the show in season eight.  I’m glad I didn’t, as despite 11th Hour Trickery, season nine has been a return to form, especially in these final episodes.

Well.  Aside from “The Farm”.  It really upsets me they wasted one of their final episodes on that piece of crap.

As the finale loomed on the horizon, Sage and I knew we had to do something special to celebrate the impact The Office has had on us.  So we set out to choose our top ten episodes.  I initially thought it would be quite an undertaking, but Sage and I separately made our top ten lists and when we compared them, we automatically agreed on five.  We debated on the other five episodes until we had a list that we felt showcased the best of what The Office has done.  And when we set out to RANK them, which we both did on our own, and then compared notes, our rankings were almost identical.

It’s a little scary how much we share a brain.

So here we go…episodes 6 -10.  Our top 5 will be posted tomorrow for finale day.  Enjoy and please share your thoughts in the comments!

–Kim

10) “The Search” (Season 7, Episode 15)

The Office The Search

This episode is the most recent you’ll find in our Top 10. As Kim said in the intro, the show struggled in later years, even before Michael Scott left Dunder Mifflin for good. “The Search” isn’t the episode where Michael says his goodbyes to his beloved work family; rather, it’s the episode that makes us realize that he’s going to be okay when he does.

Michael goes out on an easy sales call with Jim, sulking the whole time because his ex-girlfriend Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) won’t get back together with him. He demands a gas station pit stop ten minutes from the office, and a panicked Jim is forced to leave him there when his mother-in-law calls with a CeCe emergency. Dwight, Erin, and Holly set out to look their cell- and wallet-less boss. Despite Dwight’s finely honed tracking skills, it’s Holly who leads the group straight to Michael, just by following her own impulses.

What a perfect device to bring those two back together. As much as Michael wants to fancy himself a leader, there’s a part of him that’s adrift and needs to be found. Earlier in the episode, he asks Holly why she’s resisting when she knows they’ll start dating again. (“Why is it such a certainty that we are supposed to be together?” “Why does the sun rise in the morning? Why do magnets stick together? Because everybody says so. Everybody.”) Holly is so right for Michael: dorky enough to find him dashing, yet ever so slightly more grounded than he is. (And come on, Amy Ryan is an absolute treasure.) By this point, we’ve seen Michael pursue plenty of ill-fitting relationships, just for the sake of being successful – for the sake of HAVING a girlfriend, no matter who it is. But when Holly walks out onto that roof, Michael’s face shows that he was expecting to see her, because he knew it would be her who eventually found him.

Most of Michael Scott’s mistakes are made in the wild pursuit to have a family – his most desperate dream. Without a biological one, Michael has thrown all of his energy into creating one at work. And he’s successful! But what’s bittersweet about Michael Scott’s last few episodes is that his more astute coworkers realize that he just doesn’t need them as badly anymore. They’ve been rooting for him as hard as we have, and hopefully tomorrow’s finale will bring us all good news from the Flax-Scott family.

– Sage

Best Line:

Michael: [to puppies] Hey you guys. Listen to me. Don’t get hung up on just one girl because there are a whole lot of other girls out there. Look over there. See? They look cute. [to parrots] Hello! You guys are so beautiful. You’re so colorful. I wish I could understand you. That’s a metaphor I guess. [To snake] You are disgusting. You’ll never find love. Yeck. [To puppy] Do you think she needs more time or is it never going to happen?

Michael Scott with puppy

I’m serious. Seriously.

9) “Office Olympics” (Season 2, Episode 3)

“Office Olympics” is a perfect example of what season two of The Office was so good at: making the mundane funny.  This episode is pure fluff, in the most delightful way.  After all, who doesn’t have some sort of game to keep them entertained at work? Who doesn’t want to blow off work and goof around the moment their boss announces that he is taking a personal day.  I love how the episode builds from Jim merely trying to avoid working while Michael is out of the office all day to getting the entirety of the office (save for Angela, quietly judging in her corner and adding to her Pam-Pong tallies) gleefully involved in a full-out day of fun.  Season Two is where we really begin to see all the supporting players of Dunder Mifflin (Stanley, Angela, Phyllis, Kevin, Oscar, etc…) come into their own as fully realized characters.  They are what has made The Office so rich throughout the years.  They aren’t faceless drones, they each have their quirks and personalities and the show would not have made it nine seasons without them.  One of my favorite moments in “Office Olympics” is when Phyllis oh so shyly volunteers to compete against Kevin in Flonkerton…and then WINS.

“Office Olympics” is also a great episode for Jim.  Up until this episode Jim had been a sly commentator but we hadn’t seen him get truly enthusiastic about anything.  As Pam puts it so perfectly, “The thing about Jim, is when he’s excited about something, like the Office Olympics, he gets really into it and he does a really great job. But the problem with Jim is that he works here, so that hardly ever happens.”  Even back then Pam saw that Jim’s potential far exceeded what Dunder Mifflin was capable of giving him.  I felt like last week’s penultimate episode, “A.A.R.M.” had some wonderful callbacks to this episode, from Jim setting up an obstacle course (that Phyllis gamely participates in) in the warehouse to Pam expressing her fears about Jim again.  The difference between “Office Olympics” and “A.A.R.M.” is that Jim now has HER, and as he touchingly said, “that is more than enough”.  I DO hope though that we see Jim and Pam moving on from Dunder Mifflin in the finale though.

I would be remiss in not discussing the perfect Michael and Dwight storyline that involved Michael closing on his condo.  I love the Michael/Dwight dynamic and Dwight’s utter devotion to him.  Michael acts all the time like he is exasperated by Dwight, but deep down, you know he loves him.  Dwight may tap into all of Michael’s fears about closing on his condo, but he was also the best person to be there for him in that moment.  Dwight wants the best for him, even if it often comes out in the wrong way.   Dwight’s talking head at the top of the episode sums up the relationship perfectly: “I have been Michael’s #2 guy for about 5 years. And we make a great team. We’re like one of those classic famous teams. He’s like Mozart, and I’m like Mozart’s friend. No. I’m like Butch Cassidy, and Michael is like Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart; you’re going to get a bullet in your head courtesy of Butch Cassidy.”

And the end of the episode is what The Office does best…showing this dysfunctional family rally around one of their own.  Closing on a home is a big deal and Jim creating a medal ceremony (complete with paper doves) for it is the perfect way for all of them to celebrate with him.  As Sage just said to me,  everyone so quickly shifts from having it be about them to being about him and they’re happy to do that.

– Kim

Best Line: 

Dwight: A thirty year mortgage at Michael’s age essentially means that he’s buying a coffin. If I were buying my coffin, I would get one with thicker walls… so you couldn’t hear the other dead people.

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The Norma Jean/Marilyn Complex – A #SmashBash Gif-Cap

Felicia Day hating something
Smash
Season 2, Episode 15: The Transfer
– Posted by Sage

Our worst nightmare is coming true. Smash has been officially canceled.

Despite our organized campaign to send “Save Our Show” self-throwing, Eileen Rand martinis to NBC execs, this little disaster couldn’t survive the network massacre. And you know what that means…

We’ll never be graced by Ivy’s pregnancy bosom. Le sigh. On to the gifs.

Well, that was quick. Hit List transferred to the Barrymore. Because it’s so ~transcendent.~

Doctor Who give me a break

“Pretender” isn’t a Broadway showtune. It’s an outtake from a very special musical episode of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody.

Empire Records listening to this crap

“Where’s the Diva?” Ann Harada would NOT STAND FOR THIS.

The King's Speech shit

“Good lord, I hope that thing’s insured, Lindsey.” Pleasure to see and hear you, Ms. Mendez

Gaston fabulous

“This is all about the Tonys.” Eileen means business.

Empire Records the time to hesitate

“Karen, oh!” Oh. We’re friends now. That’s…nice.

Nick Miller ick face

“Can we just promise that whatever happens we’re going to be adults about it?” 

30 Rock crying laughing

“Oh look, there’s mom with her new family.” Tom’s got jokes.

Indiana Jones laughing

“I know and understand the business of theater.” Well if this is what’s passing for “knowing” and “understanding” these days…

Missy Elliot come on

“What behavior? I’ve been a saint.” Ivy DID miraculously cure herself of depression AND addiction to an ambiguous brand of prescription pills.

Dead Man on Campus can't be suicidal

“He’s made it perfectly clear. He’s hyper-focused on the show.” Karen remains blissfully unaware of her surroundings and the emotions of other people.

Clueless Tai falling

“It’s taken care of.” Isn’t that the devil from Damn Yankees? Also, wait, what?

Hey Hey Boo Boo Alison Janney

“Oh yeah, the internet? A lot of helpful information there.” You’re welcome.

Joel Gabourey fist bump

“You know, it hit me this morning. Off-Broadway the theaters are small.” Well, whadaya know?

Surprise motherfucker Dexter

LIN-MANUEL IS IN THIS EPISODE?!?

House Bunny I'm in love

“This is what Kyle was good at. These big ideas.” That’s so funny, because until he died, he was an incompetent book writer.

21 Jump Street I will punch you

“You don’t know Derek like I do.” Karen is that insufferable girl who thinks that she exists solely to play muse to every tortured artist in a 40 mile radius.

Aladdin l'amour

“Oh my god – you ARE replacing her.” A few episodes ago, Karen was ready to Nancy-Kerrigan Ana right out of the show.

Scrubs begging me

SHE GOT A NATIONAL COMMERCIAL? And now Ivy Lynn will be a household name in all the flyover states, just like Alice Ripley, Sherie Rene Scott, and Joanna Gleason before her.

What the fuck

“I’ll be the emcee, NATCH.” Tom, you’re my favorite.

Fassbender laughing

“It’s everywhere – the boards, the blogs…” Mimi lives in a delusion wherein news about Bombshell and its cast is reported and discussed like it’s actually set in Benghazi.

Fuck ya'll Michael Jackson

“Oh yeah, commenting on fame was, like, Kyle’s thing.”

Really bitch? Dumbledore

“Live updates during the show. Wow. I like it.” Words can’t express just how aggressively I would loathe the “social media assault” they’re suggesting.

Departed smash

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