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Big Tuna Vs. The Big Bat!!
Joss Whedon Directed The Almost-Last OFFICE Of Sweeps!!

I am – Hercules!! Not only has Joss Whedon directed tonight’s installment of “The Office,” J.J. Abrams has directed next week’s. (“Groundhog Day” mastermind Harold Ramis directed the series’ Christmas episode.) Here’s how NBC describes tonight’s installment:
"Business School" MICHAEL GOES TO BUSINESS SCHOOL WITH RYAN-- Ryan (B.J. Novak) invites Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) to be a guest speaker at his business school. Meanwhile, Dwight battles a bat that gets loose in the office while Pam (Jenna Fischer) invites co-workers to her first art show. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Melora Hardin, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Paul Lieberstein and Mindy Kaling also star.
If you’ve never heard of this Whedon guy, he wrote “Toy Story” and “Speed” (and a spectacular screenplay for “Alien Resurrection” that was never used) before he wrote and directed TV shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” and the movie “Serenity.” (By the way, I just purchased the latest issue of Whedon’s “Astonishing X-Men” this afternoon. The Angry Colossus cover is supercool, man.) If you don’t know who J.J. Abrams is, he wrote the insanely underrated “Regarding Henry” before he created “Felicity,” “Alias” and “Lost.” He also wrote and directed the last “Mission: Impossible” movie and is said to be hard at work on a new Kirk/Spock “Star Trek” movie and an adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower.” My pal Kristin Veitch over at E! just called Whedon and Abrams “the two best TV directors alive.” Who are you to argue? 8:30 p.m. Thursday. NBC.





Ack!! Season-Sets Winging Furiously Toward Us!! Batman Beyond 3.x * Bosom Buddies 1.x * Bullshit! 4.x * Columbo 1989 * The 4400 3.x * Justice League Unlimited 2.x * Hawaii Five-0 1.x * The Larry Sanders Show: Not Just the Best Of * The Loop 1.x * Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Vol. 1 * Michael Palin: Around The World In 80 Days * Moonlighting 5.x * NewsRadio 5.x * Northern Exposure 6.x * The Odd Couple 1.x * The Rockford Files 3.x * The Rockford Files 4.x * Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Complete Collection Megaset 2007 * The Shield 5.x * South Park 9.x * Twin Peaks 2.x * The Venture Bros. 2.x * WKRP in Cincinnati 1.x

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:10 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by whatyoufear

    but.. who cares?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:12 a.m. CST

    and BTW

    by whatyoufear

    the fact that you are explaining Whedon & Abrams... I mean.. WTF??!? shit. no faith. fuck, this is AICN! we know who's who!! shit shit.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:16 a.m. CST

    um

    by whatyoufear

    i take back my previous posts. EVEN MY FIRST!!! not worth it. fuck.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Herc - Alien4?

    by TheBigDogg

    Herc, if Whedon's script was never used, why does he have writing credit? Or do you mean there was an earlier, better script that was replaced by his script for the final movie? Looks to me like the script was 80% the problem with that movie (the other 20% being how crappy the hybrid looked). You can give Whedon credit for the good things he does but at least be honest about the cack too.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Joss rhymes with what?

    by bioforge

    The Office kicks ass on multiple levels .

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Whedon...

    by nalapou

    owns all our asses. This will rule.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST

    if you consider David Lynch a TV director...

    by nalapou

    cause of Peaks, then he gives JJ and Joss a run for their money... But they are definitely the two best ACTIVE tv directors.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:25 a.m. CST

    "...insanely underrated 'Regarding Henry'..."

    by CatVutt

    How the hell did you get through that line with a straight face? Horrible, horrible film.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:31 a.m. CST

    BiggDogg

    by CatVutt

    The ending was changed, but Whedon mostly complained about the execution. Whedon: "It wasn’t a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines...mostly...but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There’s actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they’d changed the script...but it wasn’t so much that they’d changed the script; it’s that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable."

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:50 a.m. CST

    CatVutt

    by TheBigDogg

    Thanks for the explanation on that. I didn't know the end had been changed or his point of view on it. Given that Whedon has proven time and time again that he can deliver quality writing, he could be right that the film didn't best represent his writing. Nevertheless, I would say the root of the problems in that film lay in the writing - like much of Whedon's stuff, he tried to write cool. He's very good at that but it just didn't suit Aliens. He comes across in that quote like he's trying to blame everyone else and not take on any of that responsibility. Given that it had a great cast, some excellent set design, some fantastic shots and much more and yet was still pox would have me believe that the problem lay exactly where it appears to lie - the script. But, hey, that's just my view.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:04 a.m. CST

    whedon wrote and directed the firefly movie.

    by dr.bulber

    embrace the thud.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:07 a.m. CST

    BD

    by CatVutt

    What he's really saying, in 3X as many words, is "I should've directed it." Would it have been a better film had he directed it? I think it's probably safe to say it couldn't have been worse, and as writer/director, he would've been been able to tweak and fix things he felt weren't working. I dunno. I honestly saw the film once and forgot most of it, so I can't really offer much of an opinion on the script itself. I do recall being struck by the awkwardness of a lot of line deliveries, though, and rather static direction.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:25 a.m. CST

    alien ressurection?

    by BadMrWonka

    who cares? the office is hilarious, that's what we should be talking about...<br><br>and here are some pics of Jenna Fischer (pam) dressed up as the only reason I'm seeing "Blades of Glory" when it comes out:<br><br>http://tinyurl.com/2zawxa (scroll down, you'll see what I mean)

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Regarding Henry

    by Salamander

    Have to say I enjoyed that film and didnt realise JJ wrote it.As for JJ / Joss being uber, i agree we should mention some of the not so good stuff they do/involved in ala mission impossible 3 was a good film but not great and alien3 was crud

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:36 a.m. CST

    So this is what it takes to get an Office talkback?

    by BLWiseass

    Funniest show on TV at the moment. Right up there with Arrested Development among my favorite TV comedies ever.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Minority opinion on Alien4

    by johnnyangelheart

    I honestly think that Alien4 is a very fun action movie. Obviously it is not a classic like Alien and Aliens 2 and suffers in comparison to their greatness, but taken on its own, it's a solid little flick. The special effects are a little weak, and the ending is pretty bad starting at the point where the hybrid alien is being born. The casting of Winona Ryder was insane. She must have given someone one hell of a blow job to get that part, but the Whedonesque elements of the movie, such as the setup, the introduction of the space bandits (precursors to Firefly) and the super Ripley are all pure gold in my book. I think people rip on this movie way too much. It is more fun than Alien 3 (which also suffers in comparison to A1 and A2) and it is more solid than a lot of crap that gets praised pretty regularly around AICN.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:56 a.m. CST

    The Office... you've been Whedonised!

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Will Jenna Fischer kick seven different flavours of ass and then get very, very upset about something?<p>I hope so.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Boy, Joss Whedon Sure Likes to Blame Other People...

    by tonagan

    I like his work and all, but heck.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST

    The Office... you've been Abramsised!

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Will Jenna Fischer wear fourteen different wigs and then find out that Jim is actually a double agent?<p>That would also be good.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:06 a.m. CST

    A little love for Alien Resurrection

    by Buffalo500

    I also enjoyed the film. I don’t think the director was the right man for the job, the quirky tone that it had did not suit the overall tone of the series, but taken on it’s own it was a pretty decent sci-fi action film. Must watch it again.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Alien: Resurrection

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Terrible film, and it's a little disengenuous of Whedon to shirk any of the responsibility. I can't blame him entirely, though, because I never understood why the producers chose him in the first place (not to mention Jeunet). A comedy writer and a quirky French director? What did they think was going to happen? Clearly, some asshole in a production meeting put up his hand and said, 'Why don't we make this next one a great big joke?'

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:30 a.m. CST

    I say it again: The Office sucks in every version!

    by DerLanghaarige

    The UK-version, the US- Version and the German version named "Stromberg".

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Wankwankwankwankwank

    by Aquatarkusman

    Wankwankwankwankwankwank

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    BLWiseass

    by Frijole

    There is an Office talkback pretty much every week... And DerLanghaarige, thanks for showing us the light. Your bluntness and bravery in pointing out your feelings on the Office and its different incarnations will shine like a beacon to tv viewers everywere for years to come. I for one, know that I will not be tuning in tonight now that I know what you think about the show.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Frijole, you are welcome.

    by DerLanghaarige

    But at least I tried to find a good version of The Office. (The surprise is that Christoph Maria Herbst is better than Ricky Gervais!)

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:23 a.m. CST

    To be fair to Abrams, ZombieSolutions

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    The compliment was that he was one of the best TV directors, not TV writers. Regardless of his abilities as a storyteller (and I tend to agree with much of your post, although in a less angry way), the pilot episode of Lost is a beautifully made thing, and an example of TV direction at its best - it looked better than a lot of cinema releases.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    HERC! Speed NOT written by Whedon...

    by Mistahtibbs

    It was written by a Canadian. Graham Yost. You will call me MISTAHTIBBS!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    He fucking DID pen Resurrection!!!!!

    by performingmonkey

    So stfu.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    JJ wrote Regarding Henry?!

    by slicksean36

    I totally never knew that! That is a great movie! Afte I read Hercs little blurb about JJ and how he wrote it I ran to my parents DVD collection and found it and indeed it says "JEFFREY ABRAMS" under "written by" that's so cool.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Alien Resurrection

    by Strabo

    Anyone who doesn't understand why Jeunet was picked for Alien Ressurection is a moron who has never watched The City of Lost Children. It's very similar, tonally, to Brazil and Time Bandits. That same quirky brilliance is on display in AR...if you can recognize it.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Calm down, Strabo

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Also, get down off your high horse. It is entirely possible to have seen everything Jeunet's done (which I have) and still think he was a bad choice to direct Alien 4.<p>Jeunet's French films are works of genius - I just don't think his sensibility was appropriate for the Alien series. Quirky brilliance can be a very good thing, but it's not particularly frightening or exciting.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    C'mon Whedon

    by skimn

    give a cameo to Marsters..you know the fans demand it.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    The Office is getting annoying...

    by Slugworth

    No more Pam/Jim. Who gives a rip anymore? This same storyline has been done about 50 billion times, and it has always been boring and irritating. The show needs to go the Jerry/Elaine route and not the Sam/Diane route. Less Dwight. I guess an unrealistically crazy character is standard issue in every sitcom. I'm okay with that, but in smaller doses. More Kevin, Toby, Ryan, and Stanley. The supporting cast is what makes this show great. This is the one area where the original British show can't compare. A Muzak version of "Up Where We Belong" when Michael rescues Dwight from Staples = Funny. Over the top wacky gags like Diwght in a bra = not funny.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I'm Sorry..

    by Redbox

    Was "Toy Story" a really great script? Would you put Buffy and Angel Against "House of Cards", "The Sopranos," or "Homicide: Life on the Street?" We know who Whedon is. Stop selling him so much. It smacks of insecurity. He is certainly capable of some success, I kind of liked him beginning on X-Men (the comic, not the eletrified frog) and I thought that Serenity was 3/4 of a kick ass film, before it ended like a bad TV show (better than most Star Trek movies really). Just because most folks see him as slightly mediocre, is no reason for you to proselytize so much. If you like self aware camp, he's definitely better than Joel Schumacher. But to compare him to the profound art of the medium is rather silly isn't it? The Office is a wonderful show, with a tremendous cast and funny, funny writers. Being a director in that gig is not like helming your own show or a movie. It's like substitute teaching. Clark Directs on "Smallville." People direct the office the same way that people guess star on LOST. It's a great show and people want to be a part of the cream when they get the chance. The Office certainly doesn't need Whedon or Abrams or Ramis.. None of them can touch Gervais...

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Seen as a quirky action flick Alien Ressurection

    by CrichtonAstronut

    is pretty fun. The uberRipley with Alien powers was pretty cool. The mercinaries were fun, but seemed like they had stepped out of another movie and sort crashed the Aliens scene. Like a comicbook crossover. The part that kind of fell apart was when it tried to be a horror movie. Unlike the briliantly evocative since of dislocation in the first film. Or the creepy conspiracy angle in the second, the efforts at horror and suspence seemed to never rise above the simple cliches of the genre, that seemed out of place in the better action movie evolvingb within the hackneyed horror.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Mr.Mean Gaius

    by TheBigDogg

    I think Whedon was one of seven people to contribute to Toy Story's script - four people are credited with story (Whedon not one of them) and four credited with screenplay (one of the story guys also wrote on the screenplay which is why it's only seven people). So, yes, saying Whedon wrote Toy Story is as misleading as the Alien4 claim. But, hey, at least he didn't say 'colorcast'.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Look, I'm a HUGE Whedon fan, but...

    by Z-Man

    calling him (or JJA) the best director on television is pretty absurd. Compared to the work that is done on The Sopranos, for instance? Not even in the same league. I could see calling him the best writer on TV (so many different kinds of writing are done on TV that it's hard to really make a comparison), but even that would be a stretch.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Why the heck is Ryan inviting Michael anywhere?!

    by SPECTRE Agent

    But thank goodness they got rid of Ed Helms. He was ruining the show.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Whedon's got an entire season

    by skimn

    of episodes dealing with interoffice politics with Angels' last season in Wolfram & Hart.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Slugworth

    by Redbox

    See that kind of talk is really silly. The new show, while fresh and wonderful in it's own right, started strongly in the template of the original show. The biggest difference is the British show was crueler and the Pam, Tim story is much sadder and more realistic. The boss is less sympathetic and likable, but it is a brilliant show. The fact that they actually created such a great American show based on it is really a miracle (see Coupling). The American version has won me over, but it's greatness stems back to the original BBC ground breaking show. Gervais is the genius behind both shows and the reason why "Extras" is so damn uncomfortably funny.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I think, directors do have more creative control in a

    by CrichtonAstronut

    movie than screen writers. I really don't think it's dodging blame to point out that fact. Look at the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. the television series. There's a reason the movie wasn't a bigger hit. It shouldn't have been. It was good silly fun, but it hardly had the epic or emotional punch that the series had. And little, someone else directed it, someone who focused mostly on making the 80s teen comedy elements with a little horror spoofing ala Saturday the 14th. In the series of course Whedon was the executive producer, and the director for many of the episodes as well as being the writer, or concept creator. Here he had an opportunity to develop his own concept and he took full advantage of it.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Alien 4

    by Defunct Gamer

    I agree with a few of the other people on this talkback, I actually enjoyed Alien Resurrection. I'll agree that it's not the best of the series, but it was certainly better than a lot of the sci fi crap that is released. Going back and watching it again (in that HUGE Alien box set) I see a lot of aspects to the movie that would later be used in Joss's other works, such as Firefly. It is in no way either the writer or director's best work, but I still have a good time watching it from time to time. Also, instead of Speed maybe Herc should have mentioned Titan A.E.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Bad News Spectre Agent......

    by Merlox

    Ed Helms has been tapped for a regular...I dunno if that'll happen towards the end of this season or the next but...yeah I'm with you on that one...he was funny at first and then just became too much to take

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Redbox, I think you misunderstood me...

    by Slugworth

    I was comparing the supporting casts. That's all. The American version interesting supporting characters. Whereas I can't remember any of the supporting characters in the British version. I guess there was The Fat Guy. And I think there was the Tech Support Guy. And of course there was the Slutty Girl. But those don't really count. I think the British version is a superior show, but the one area where the American version is clear and unquestionably better is with the supporting characters. When the American Office is at its best, it has relied on those characters.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    See what's uncomfortable is..

    by Redbox

    This talking about the greatness of "the Office" and shows like Buffy in the same sentence. One is a highly original idea of form (dramody) and perspective (mockumentary) that is really new to the mainstream culture and the other is a genre show that many people think is cleverly written. "The Office" works because it seems sincere, and not contrived. Like of loathe, Whedon is certainly writing with older forms and formats. (please don't mention the musical episode)

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Slugworth

    by Redbox

    I cannot lie, you are correct. Love the whole cast on the American show..

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    whedon

    by Daphmax

    Psyched about tonight’s episode. The Office is so an example of how a good show can grow an audience (and grow as a program) if a network just puts their faith where the money (already) has been invested. You know, a little patience. The whole “if you build it, they will come” thing. Arrested Development, Wonderfalls, etc ... if only the suits trusted in the good shows a little more. Also, Michael in B-school sounds deliciously intriguing. Since this is an Office talkback, I can only assume some of the readers here aren’t pyscho What-Would-Whedon-Do fanboys, so I’ll provide this link re: the “who authored Speed” queries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joss_Whedon, and then I’ll note that Whedon actually doesn’t like to answer questions about older work. I’ve read a lot of interviews with him, and he’d often kind of deflect questions about his post Roseanne, pre-Buffy rewrite gigs, but eventually I think the fanboy brigade broke him down. There was an online interview that coincided with either the film or DVD release of Serenity when he finally got a little blunt about both Alien 4 and Speed and cleared things up ... but it seemed to be a reaction to always being asked about those projects, and wanting to finally stop the questions. And I know I read an interview (Premiere, maybe?) eons ago with Sigourney Weaver where she admitted the original script was what made her and Winona agree to #4 and then the entire thing got totally castrated (my phrase, not hers) by the end.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Roseanne??

    by Redbox

    Did he write for that? I loved that show!! See, that gives him more cred with me than "Toy Story" or Buffy. Also, something people should know about "The Office" surviving Season One. It was the success of "The 40 year old Virgin" and the lack of any quality shows at NBC that lead to the renewal of "The Office." That show was shit-canned as unwatchable during its first season by the programming Doctors. An Earl was the run away hit they attached it too that allowed it to grow on people. We are very lucky it made it to Season 2!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I may have heard this wrong, but.....

    by Barry Egan

    didn't Whedon originally write Alien 4 without Ripley in it? And when Weaver decided to return to the role he had to write her back in? And didn't he have to incorporate some of her weird demands? Like Ripley having sex with an alien? This may be total bullshit but I have heard it.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, that makes sense

    by Engineer_at_peac

    Give Joss full and total credit for things he did some rewrite work on, and completely absolve him for all blame of a script he did that did not turn out well. Jesus Christ Herc, you are such an annoying fanboy. You can appreciate a director's talents without being a total asshole about it and darkening all your credibility.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Why are you picking on The Jaybrams ...

    by Daphmax

    In his defense, I'm pretty sure he directed the sprawling pilot for LOST, which introduced a bajillion characters, set up an entire show with an elaborate mythology, and remained largely kick ass and fast paced. Plus, it sold me on what looked to be a pretty lame show idea. It was effective, entertaining, and did everything a good pilot does ... can't direct? Are you kidding me? Sopranos takes its sweet time with its cushy programming schedule, so I expect each episode to have its act together, but Abrams is making equal (if not better) quality shows on a much larger/faster network scale, and he can't fall back on excessive violence/nudity/cursing for effect. If he's not one of the best directors working in TV, please tell me who is ...

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Whedon - The Director

    by Outrider304

    I'm a big Office fan, so I'll have to reserve judgement until I see it tonight. I'm just happy he's only directing, because he can't write himself out of a paper bag. Kudos to WB for kicking him off Wonderwoman. He probably wanted to cast a 5'2 blonde in the roll who "kicks butt!"

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    The Problem With The Alien Resurrect Script ...

    by Red Lantern

    Is that it introduced nothing new to the series. It was like Whedon made a checklist of all previous Alien movies to make sure he recycled everything we had seen before. Android? Check. Evil Company/Military? Check. Tight confined quarters? Check. Chestbursting? Check. All he did was try to do spins on existing situations without adding anything new. What made Aliens such a good film, was it was true to what had been established iin the previous film AND added some new elements. Neithsr ALien3 or Alien Resurrection did much of that. WHedon has no excuse, because he SAW Alien3 and should have seen why that film didn't work. Whedon has done some inventive things, but he was clearly writing a "safe" script for Alien4.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    grr and argh

    by Daphmax

    Wondering when The Office will ask Cameron to direct an episode ... ha. Oh, and: http://www.natoonline.org/infocus/05augustseptember/whedonuncut.htm (Speed, Toy Story, Alien R pretty much explained ... and in context).

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I saw alien Resurrection and it made me

    by emeraldboy

    want to throw up. Bloody, gruesome, disgusting mess. Horrible just horrible. Gervaise is overrated. But i have to say on sunday night the lashing he gave bafta host jonathan ross was by far and away then funniest thing on a dull and drab evening and to put the boot he said " poor Stephen fry, you nicked his job as well"....I would not be one of Gervaise fans but he was funny on sunday night. They should give him the gig. Fry now lives in america and I guess they werent going to give it to him after he did that documentary on Manic Depression.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Franklin T Marmoset

    by Strabo

    Sorry about that. I was, perhaps, a bit vague on my phrasing. I wasn't calling people who don't like (or at least appreciate) AR morons. I was calling people who haven't seen City of Lost Children morons.<BR><BR>Anyway, I kind of look at AR as being a farce on the Aliens series. The first three movies were completely grim, nearly humourless (with the exception of some gallows humor in Aliens), horror stories...particularly Alien 3. Alien 3 was an attempt to pull back from the action oriented Aliens, and restore some of the cerebral horror of the first film. I see AR as being a satire on those films. Any serious film would automatically be compared, and undoubtedly found lacking, compared to the earlier films, as Alien 3 was. Continuing this theory gives us the Alien Vs. Predator film. They turned that film into a complete action-fest, rather than try to make a serious film.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:28 p.m. CST

    The curse of Joss Whedon has returned!!!!

    by J-Dizzle

    Run for your lives!!! The Whedonites are attacking!!!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:32 p.m. CST

    I love The Office, but...

    by DanielKurland

    I was always impressed about how the plots were actually things that would happen in an office, and it was still interesting, and now we have "Dwight tries to get rid of a bat in the office".

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Cringe humor...

    by Billyeveryteen

    I didn't want to like The Office. I generally hate uncomfortable-situation-comedy. But damn, it's funny.<p>As a devoted Browncoat, I'm looking forward to tonights ep.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Mistahtibbs, Whedon did write Speed, sort of

    by jim

    Same as he "wrote" Toy Story. As I have come to understand the story, Whedon was one of several writers on Speed, but it was Yost alone who got the credit. In Hollywood, whether you write a script all on your own, or are one of a dozen writers doing script revisions, it all shows up on your resume. Whether or not you get the screen credit, nevertheless everyone takes credit.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Good point DanielKurland

    by jim

    but it's not that far-fetched. Just last fall we had a pigeon in our stairwell. One of my co-workers was assigned to shoo it out.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Big Jim, aaah. Script Doctor

    by Mistahtibbs

    Uncredited but somewhat common knowledge? Gotcha. Understood. Mt

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Not common, but not impossible...

    by Frijole

    Bats, pigeons... whatever. We've had critters make their way into our office too... So while the string of things that happens to the folks and office at Dunder-Mifflin, may be improbable (more in their frequency than anything) they're certainly not out of the question or unheard of.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Let's not forget...

    by Frank Black

    How badly Whedon and Abrams f*cked up their shows. Buffy was a mess after she "died" and the ending was a huge let down for devoted fans and Alias started as one of the most promising shows and ended like the Titanic! Keep these jackasses away from my favorite comedies thank you. I don't deny their talent nor do I ignore how the studios probably played a bigger part in the decline in quality of their shows but it is unforgivable just the same.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    "introduced nothing new to the series."

    by splungiest

    if you read Whedon's original script for "Alien 4," you'll discover the final act was set on Earth with Ripley trying to stop an Alien before it could infest her home planet. Fox thought it would be better to end the movie by having the hybrid sucked through a tiny hole in some ship's hull. <br> <br>Check out that link Daphmax posted above for more on Whedon's original "Alien 4," plus more on what he did on "Toy Story" and "Speed."

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The Alien series was dead when...

    by rbatty024

    they killed off Newt and Hicks in Alien 3...off screen with no fanfare. Aliens expanded not only the Alien universe but also set up a different side of Ripley. She became more than "the bitch," and we started to see a domestic side of her. The famous line at the end of Aliens is well remembered because its delivered like a mother protecting her cub. Any sort of family connection touches a deep chord in a viewer, and instead of expanding on that even further, they just rehashed the first movie with different special effects. Oh, and I love Whedon, but that doesn't mean Alien Resurrection didn't suck.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    The Office is not a Director's Show anyway

    by Larry of Arabia

    The shows brilliance lies in the writing and acting. The actors have the characters down. Watch the "busy work" and reaction shots that happen in the background of most scenes. The relationships are playing out in every inch of the frame. That's what makes it a great show. Cheers had it in spades, everyone reacted to everything in character even when it was unimportant. Mary Tyler Moore, M*A*S*H, the Bob Newhart Show... and The Office.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Whedon also wrote Casablanca and the Bible.

    by Flim Springfield

    And, of course, "Titan A.E."

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST

    *crying*

    by buffywrestling

    I forgot to set my VCR & I'm at work! Does NBC.com show the eps the next day??

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Larry of Arabia

    by BadMrWonka

    (great name by the way, my favorite film of all time) it's subtle, but different directors really do bring a different feeling to the show. I just got out of film school, so I can't stop my brain from nitpicking and noticing little differences, but the are there. if you watch some of the second season episodes with the commentary, you can discuss how different directors made different choices, not just for the acting and delivery of lines, but in terms if where the "film crew" that is supposedly filming this should be, and where they would or would not have access to, etc. as I said, subtle, but important.<br><br> and seriously, Jenna Fischer is hot, look at these pics form the new Blades of Glory movie...<br><br>http://tinyurl.com/2zawxa

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:34 p.m. CST

    buffy, only Heroes is on NBC.com in full

    by BadMrWonka

    but hey, limewire usually has the office and scrubs up the next day. just don't type in "NBC" when you search, just "the office" and then the episode number. I don't like to download movies for free, I feel like a jerk, but if it's on broadcast TV and I jsut have to miss it for work or something, it's not really hurting anyone, is it? I don't have a neilson box in my room, ;o) it's like ghetto TIVO, right?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:21 p.m. CST

    So I gave Earl another chance tonight...

    by DanielKurland

    Only saw maybe two episodes in the first season, but I thought I would see if it had improved at all, and I didn't laugh once. I don't see why everyone was praising this show when it first came out for being so edgey and such, it's formulaic as hell, and were people only secretly watching due to Jason Lee? How it won best writing AND best directing at the Emmys last year is beyond me. Anyways, I know some people do like the show, and that's cool, but personally, it doesn't seem to be any better than Greg Garcia's other show "Yes, Dear". How I Met Your Mother, and The Class are both LEAGUES above this. Have either of these shows in the 8PM slot on NBC and I'd truly be excited over this lineup.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Prior Walter, Andy's disappearance...

    by DanielKurland

    Yes, a deleted scene on NBC reveals that he has been in anger management training, and it would have been a lot more useful had this scene not been deleted. Also, pretty much every reference to the subplot of Toby liking Pam (which I think is a terrific idea) are contained in NBC's deleted scenes, which is upsetting, as it makes me feel that they'll probably drop the idea entirely.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST

    "You realize that no one is graduating..."

    by DanielKurland

    I love this show.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Jeez, this Monday is the last Studio 60 until...

    by DanielKurland

    those remaining episodes get scheduled? These new episodes just flew by.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Fucking Dead Poet's Society...

    by DanielKurland

    Michael Scott is such an oblivious asshole.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:39 p.m. CST

    I apologize for attacking the bat plotline...

    by DanielKurland

    as this Jim as a vampire stuff is gold.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST

    "Good night Mary Beth"...

    by DanielKurland

    This has been a great episodes. But where are all the comments!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:51 p.m. CST

    I also didn't even notice the vampire/Whedon connection

    by DanielKurland

    Sorry for all the posts too.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:59 p.m. CST

    A nice combination of the absurd and the real

    by FluffyUnbound

    The Jim as vampire and Dwight vs. Bat stuff neatly balanced the kind of painful Pam at the Art Show stuff.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Great Episode.

    by CatVutt

    Loved the shots of Michael's candy bar flinging and Jim's over-the-shoulder glance back at Dwight with his collar up. All the Jim-as-Vampire stuff was hilarious. "But that garlic bread is cold." And the ending was the kind of oddly affecting bit that this show does really well when it wants to, usually because it's earned. Unlike, say, 'Earl', which I also caught tonight for some reason, that has no clue how to avoid telegraphing every single beat.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Rip Torn!

    by DanielKurland

    It has been too long since The Larry Sanders Show

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Joss Whedon owns all your sorry asses

    by BrowncoatJedi

    I think I'm starting to love 30 Rock as much as The Office.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Big fan of Whedon, but...

    by Wungolioth

    This show's documentary style doesn't serve guest directors very well. I really couldn't pick out any difference between this ep and any other. The vampire references were cute and all, but not as funny as it could have been. Perhaps try guest writers next time.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST

    "Ebony tower..."

    by Billyeveryteen

    This show makes me feel so dirty for laughing.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Wrongda's opinion is a ringing endorsement.

    by AnnoyYou

    That said, I'll skip the Whedon episode (I'm already spoiled for it and I'm sure he had some input into the turn it takes -- it's so like him) and watch the Abrams episode. Him I still respect.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Great Episode

    by Hamtaro_Hentai

    I still think Whedon is overrated, but man that was a funny half-hour. I was wondering if there would be a vampire reference, and was actually dreading it, but it was classic. It was mostly the acting, but I gotta give it to JW for bringing the funny. I just hope that NBC doesn't get so caught up in guest directors that the show loses its way.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Best. Episode. Ever

    by BLWiseass

    so suck on that

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:53 p.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by BLWiseass

    regarding the bat in the office being over the top, i actually once had to catch a bat in the lobby of my dorm with a button down shirt during move in day, so it isn't exactly out of the question. Sure a lot of the Dwight stuff is over the top, but sadly a lot of it is just slight exagerations of what imagine a kid i grew up with being like if he were working in an office instead of working as a landscaper. And for the record i am not Whedon fan. I enjoyed firefly, never watched buffy or angel and have no strong opinion of the guy one way or another.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11 p.m. CST

    Why can't all sitcoms be this well-written.

    by Lovecraftfan

    That would be great.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11 p.m. CST

    Andy...

    by nemov

    It's strange how the show left w/o telling the audience what happened. For the fans it was included on the "producer's cut" that was available online on the NBC website. Andy will be back, Ed Helms has signed on as a regular. http://tinyurl.com/2u495u

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Be fair Mean

    by Banky the Hack

    Who doesn't?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Wonka

    by buffywrestling

    You're a sweetie but I was able to get someone to tape it for me. Yay! I just finished watching it and I liked it but it perhaps it wasn't my fav ep. Karen/Jim pranks seem so forced to me compared to the Jim/Pam hi-jinks. I just finished watching S1 and all the commentaries, plus S2 of the Office but not the xtras as of yet. It's my fav show right now and that mostly had to do with the casualness of Jim and Pam interactions. Thier friendship plays real for me. What I liked: Stanley's "Goodbye", and Creed's "Good-bye, Mary-beth!" respectively, Kelly's yelling at Creed not to hurt the bat, then instantly, "KILL IT!", Jim's reading of the tingly and strong line, Angela's horror at POOP raining down from the ceiling, Dwight's wooden stake from the broom handle that still had the bristles attached to one end, Oscar and his boyfriend's depiction of Pam passiveness through her artwork (works well with the comfortable decision of Pam taking Roy back) and Micheal almost getting the repectful idea that art can begin with a blank sheet of paper but of course going that one step too far. Didn't like: Karen's stilted reading of every line, the glowing cross, the garlic bread jokes were unsubtle and I felt Dwight should have seen through that, although he did shoot a dog because he thought it was a werewolf, so who knows? And the bag over Merideth's head with the bat inside was meh. Perhaps if Dwight started hitting her over the head with his broom? Also I was hoping for a, "It's in my hair!" joke a la Homer Simpson and I didn't get it.Ï

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    And I forgot...

    by buffywrestling

    I named my beagle "Buddy" because of "Regarding Henry". Sweet story. Although I wouldn't recommend trying to change your boyfriend or husband's behavior by shooting him in the head..

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Pam/Jim

    by Elohim

    I would like to echo the sentiment that the whole Pam/Jim storyline is starting to feel tired. The first two seasons they played it perfectly. Their chemistry was great, but they had some convincing obstacles in the way. Now we've lost the one thing that made their relationship worth rooting for: Pam and Jim's great, natural interactions, and we're left with longing glances and the same "I'm fine" speech with the same "I'm not fine" expression every week. You can only sit through that so many times before you start hating those characters. That's why Oscar's line about "courage and honesty not really being Pam's strong points" was the biggest laugh of the night for me. So true. And it looks like the writers at least know what they've done to these characters. Now whether they're going to do anything about it.... Also, am I the only one hoping Toby's going to make his big move sometime soon?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Metalwater!!!

    by NNNOOO!!!

    I resent your over-usage of triple exclamation points!!!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:02 a.m. CST

    "No fat chicks. I'm kidding, I love fat chicks!!!"

    by tonagan

    I love Beau Bridges.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Earl

    by BizarroJerry

    The first season of Earl was so much better than the current one. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, but it's just not the same. There's too much reliance on recurring outrageous characters. Last night was an extreme example of it. And the writers seem intent on showing us a lot of "bad Earl" flashbacks. I like the show, but it was much better at the start.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Office and stuff

    by BizarroJerry

    I figure that the problem with the Jim/Pam thing when compared to the British variation of the same plot is the long-running, 20+ episode seasons. The plot has to be dragged out longer, but they still needed to have some "event" happen or people would grow tired. And everyone knows that you can't put people together permanently on these shows, because it just ends the story. I believe Karen's stilted "acting" in the vampire incident was done purposely to show us that Karen's trying, but Jim and Pam work better together on these pranks. I love this show, but I must say that lately, the insanity of Michael is starting to annoy me. It's becoming increasingly absurd, to the point of him needing some therapy. I kept waiting for his scenes to end tonight.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST

    How to resolve Jim and Pam...

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    don't put them together. Not everybody hooks up and gets married. They were only into each other, pretty much because they're the closest in age in the office, and they have a similar sense of humor. If Pam worked as a waitress, she's just as soon be flirting with the 27-year old bartender. Have her get married to the nice-but-oblivious Roy, and have Jim end up with Karen or single. Don't cater to the lonely office women of the country who have a crush on Jim. Thank you.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST

    More on Pam/Jim

    by Slugworth

    I think its obvious that they need to just end this storyline much much sooner rather than later. It is making the two characters unlikable, self-centered, drama queen, douchebags. Well-adjusted adults don't sit around moping and pining.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Andy - Creed - Deleted Scenes

    by Hagakure

    I was lost when it came to Andy not being around until I read about it online, but I can't say that I am surprised that it moved to a "deleted" scene that will probably be on the DVD. Season 2 of "Office" on DVD has tons of deleted scenes, and a lot of them add so much to the stories and go into detail about some of the characters with less airtime. Since watching the deleted scenes for S2, Creed is now one of my favorite characters of the show. The deleted scenes reference his time spent as a musician while playing guitar on the booze cruise, his problem with remembering names, the fact that he used to be a DJ named "Wacky Weed Creed". His character is so much more defined and only the people watching the deleted scenes would know that. Maybe the producers are going to be doing that a lot with Andy this next time around?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Agree re: Deleted Scenes

    by buffywrestling

    They are an awesome edition to the dvds that flesh out some of the supporting cast. I keep forgetting to google the Grassroots! In regards to Micheal last night, I did think to myself at the time that it seemed out of character for him to be so angry and forceful when in situations of embarrassment for him are usually more awkward and sheepish. But then, this was a outward betrayal from his man-crush Ryan, over who he had sort of appointed himself mentor. I'm not sure how I would like to see Pam and Jim resolved - sometimes I am rooting for them, other times I want them to be just BFFs. I'm taking a "wait and see" approach to that one. I think it's funny comparision to Dwight and Angela's office romance though. Lastly, regarding some of the comments made about not be able to tell that Whedon was directing, I have only watched the ep once so far but I'm sure I saw Joss's hand in the shot where Micheal is leaving the seminar and he bursts out the door, "Suck on that!" walking into the strong, light flare. Whedon lurves his flares. He also likes his long, extended takes (The opening, non-cut of The Body ep of Buffy) which I thought would fit in perfect for this show.É

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Scrubs is better:)

    by S-Mart shopper

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Dwight

    by StubePT

    What are you talking about? Dwight is retarded. This is the same Dwight who thought he was getting faxes from his future self (hilarious) and thought he was been secretly recruited by the CIA. Dwight just thinks the world is more interesting than it really is. That's his character. That's why he's highly susceptible to such rouses. He WANTS to believe.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I'm amazed at the amount of hate going around here

    by Lovecraftfan

    I thought the episode was great.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 2:50 p.m. CST

    NBC's must see comedy done right TV-tacular

    by skimn

    I'll agree with the general consensus that this season of Earl has lost some of the luster of its first year. And please limit the guest stars, don't turn into Will & Grace, please. 30 Rock is getting better week by week, although Paul Ruebens character last week was a bit much for a show that works better with sly humor,instead of over-the-top stuff. And last nights Office was one of the seasons best, and the scene between Michael and Pam at the art show was actually, dare I say, touching. Despite my love for Scrubs, this season just ain't doin for me either ( "Guy Love" song a classic though).

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Actually, the episode was written before Whedon

    by Frijole

    came on board. Whedon did not add the bat/ vampire joke, nor was it added specifically FOR him. IT was a coincidence.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Whedon "wrote" Toy Story like he "wrote" X-Men

    by thelivingdoll

    I'm getting sick of guys like Whedon getting credit as having written the screenplays to things they merely contributed to. Remember the first X-Men film? Supposedly he "wrote" the screenplay with a few others, while later it came out he only contributed the lines: "Prove it...you're a dick." and "You know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." Whedon's got talent, but let's not credit him with more than he's actually done.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 7:43 p.m. CST

    You know, X-Men wasn't THAT good.

    by Cotton McKnight

    Why doesn't anyone remember that it was largely maligned when it came out? I DO like it and I absolutely love that franchise, but the fanboys are just downright retarded. They hate the 3rd installment not on it's own merits, but because of the politics that went into its production. They do this for EVERYTHING. Brian Singer does Superman so they "love it". George Lucas makes Star Wars 3 and they "hate it". Joss Whedon does last night's office and that makes it one of the "best ever". Ridiculous.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST

    TV directors

    by INWOsuxRED

    Office regulars Paul Feig and Ken Kwapis have both done a bunch of great episodes and have amazing resumes. Whendon did a good job of not changing the structure of the show to fit his "style", which was good.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST

    NBC Thursday

    by INWOsuxRED

    I'm glad people are picking up on the problems in the 2nd season of Earl. The first season wasn't good because it was the funniest show(it wasn't even the funniest show of the night on its own network), it was good because it had charm and a refreshing spirit to it. This season has been sleezy when it is in the present and lingered far too long on Earl before he started trying to be a good person. Did anything good happen last night? The show should be moderatly uplifting, mildly quirky, and have a few good lines from Randy or Crab Man. This season lingers on the mean. The Office and 30 Rock can do that, but Earl can't. The people making most episodes this season don't seem to understand what was good about the show.</br></br>While in Canada last week I got to see half an episode of the French Canadian Office (La Job). I recognized it just by the David/Michael character standing at the front desk. Without understanding the language I could spot just about every character, and the Todd Packer/Finch character was there too. The Jim/Tim character seemed like a depressed homosexual, but my wife told me thats just because he is French. As for the NBC Office, I was also annoyed they didn't even mention Ed Helms character again. Maybe a talking head of Jim not sure if he should feel bad for making him go crazy or Michael babbling on like an idiot who thinks he is a hero, like whenever he gets involved with an issue he things is important. They revisted Toby liking Pam last night when he got angry he had to miss her art show for his children. It is a good storyline that I hope they don't drop, especially for Roy. They have already made me not want to root for Pam and Jim. Oscar was exactly right about her, and I tend to think Jim would be better off without her, but since they set up this series to end with them together, NBC won't change that path. Kinda the way Ed(from Ed) ended with Carol, even though Ed dated a series of women who were better human beings than Caraol and he would have been better off with any of them.</br></br> I hate Scrubs. It is just consitently horrible.</br></br> 30 Rock was good again. I don't know why that still suprises me, since it is pretty much always good and always getting more interesting.