We very clearly remember the moment that we fell for The Office, the NBC stalwart that closes up shop at Dunder Mifflin tonight after nine mostly great seasons. It was the fall of 2005, when The Office was starting to find its legs after a rocky and uneven six episode first season, and we in our first autumn post-college, back at our parents’, and for the first time since we were four-years-old not attending school. We were at our best friend and future roommate’s house, hanging out, maybe barbecuing, maybe drinking a few beers, maybe watching the first season of Lost on DVD, which dominated much of our time (and thoughts) during that period. We knew about the The Office, another blatant attempt to import a UK hit stateside, but missed its brief run earlier that year, as was the case with the aforementioned Lost, as the only shows we watched religiously during our final year of college (and last few months before true adulthood) were The Simpsons and Survivor. We did, however, recall reading that it was an imperfect translation of the original, and the Steve Carell-led vehicle – who was then best known as the other Steve from The Daily Show – was not likely to resurrect NBC Thursday night Must See TV, let alone make it past Season 2. So with the middling reviews in mind, and the fact that we were unfamiliar with the original Ricky Gervais version, we didn’t go out of our way to watch the show. But that night changed everything.
Tag Archives: LOST
On Survivor, such as in life, if you don’t learn from the past then you’re doomed to repeat it. We see this time and time again, as if to illustrate to young, aspiring players what not to do, teaching us lessons while we watch from our couches. Don’t get involved romantically, don’t go home with an Idol in your pocket, don’t throw challenges. Watch, observe, absorb, and if something doesn’t work, don’t try it again. However, while the power of history is strong, it is no match for hubris; it cannot outlast, outwit, or outplay the person who believes that they can go right where others have gone wrong.
Last week on Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit, Corinne believed that she could turn the game on its head, upend her alliance and install herself as new Queen of the island. But, even with the numbers already in hand, she got too confident, too sure, and talked too much. She flew too close to the sun and not only were her wings burned, so was her blue bikini. She had the opportunity to make a gigantic move, but overreached, talked to Dawn, and became the author of her own demise. Hopefully, one would think, that the other players would take notice and not commit the same mistakes. However, this is Survivor. History repeats itself. But, thankfully, in oh so different and mind-blowing ways.
Before we dig deep into this week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit, we owe you, the loyal reader, an apology. You see, we had gotten so wrapped up in the sad, soul-sucking sagas of Shamar and Brandon that we had forgotten about Former Federal Agent Fillip(?). Specifically, we had forgotten how capable he was of equal soul-sucking, his stewardship of an imaginary corporation (painfully imaginary to everyone else but him) serving to dominate camp life and suffocating other players. We had hoped – erroneously – that the exit of Shamar and Brandon, two divisive but attention grabbing personalities, would open the game up. Instead, it just passed the speaking baton to the equal of three evils. Not that FFAF is complaining, being the singular intolerable, maddening, petulant male personality left only enhances his chances of making it to the end.
However, Fillip has some flaws in his game. Namely, he thinks he’s running some kind of top secret covert operation and explains this to every player he encounters, creating something more akin to a completely obvious overt debacle. But in addition to his delusions of grandeur, FFAF is also incredibly sensitive. He is easily rattled when someone challenges his leadership and integrity, and he demonstrates this trait when the Favorites returned to camp after they evicted Brandon from the house. Wearing the classic tucked in poncho characteristic of all great CEOs, Fillip was so hurt that Brandon said such mean, unprovoked things about him, and no one stood up for poor FFAF. Corinne jumped in too, saying how uncool it was for Brandon to only pick on her and Fill, that she sympathized with Fill’s frustration and anger with the rest of BeKool for not stepping up to the plate. And this made up The Specialist’s mind once and for all: he needs to get rid of Corinne, because her commiseration clearly makes her the biggest threat, for some reason entirely unclear to us. But that’s why he’s The Specialist and we’re just a dude writing a blog and not running a made-up paramilitary organization.
Today we bring you the final entry in our “Must Flee TV” series, our thoughts on the end of ‘Community’ Season Three, and, well, the end of an era.
Full disclosure: when we wrote our Dan Harmon obituary earlier this week we had not yet had the chance to view the final three Season Three Community episodes. We felt comfortable going ahead with the in memorial post because there would be nothing in those final episodes of the Harmon run to change our opinion of his work and influence on Community. Unless one of the episodes was a shot-by-shot remake of an unremarkable episode of Friends, he could do nothing to tarnish his legacy, and, actually, they probably could pull that episode off (and by Season Six he probably would have gotten to that too). But, as it turned out, the show had still yet another level to go, there were still recesses of our mind left to blow.
Perhaps only when Fox burned off the last four Arrested Developments against the Olympics has viewing a block of episodes felt so bittersweet, such a painful joy. But unlike the Arrested finale night, the last three episodes of Community left us with little closure, and much uncertainty. If anything, we’re sadder now than we were at the end of Arrested (obviously we could not know that it would eventually come back on Netflix, and we would have been foolish to pin our hopes on such a thing, especially since Netflix was in its nascent stages then). We know our show is coming back, but we don’t know in what form, if it’ll continue on the same genius path, if it’ll forge something new and different, or if it’ll be a morbid a shadow of itself, a crushing reminder of what was.
A quick one tonight because we need to get to the Survivor: Redemption Island recap straight away.
Looks like some of you have gotten to our little site from using the term “last supper imagery.” We’re assuming this contingent was a mix of bible scholars and Lost fanatics. But our post tonight is going to address neither of those groups (and possibly offend the former). Tonight, this one’s for people who like to dip their balls into things.
We like to think that Jesus would find this sketch pretty funny. Because if you can’t laugh at one of your apostles betraying you and delivering you to crucifixion, then what can you laugh at?
This is it, folks. We estimated it would take us about two days to get to this point. Instead it’s taken 3 weeks. But, nevertheless, we’ve arrived. And the end. Well, the beginning of the end.
6:14pm, Season 5, Disc 1, Episode 1: ” The Fight”
00:10: Well, right out of the gate we have to compliment the DVD menus for this season. MUCH improved.
01:49: My school never had the “pool on the roof” gag. I kind of regret that. Feel like I didn’t have a proper high school experience.
02:32: Fun Fact: Elizabeth Berkley turned 44 during this season.
First, we freely admit that Facebook Questions is an asinine feature of a site that is continuously populating itself with unnecessary clutter. But still, unless your sole purpose is to shame Facebook Questions into submission, don’t ask questions like these. “Why do people watch Lost?” That’s like asking a writer “Where do you get your ideas?” Why do we watch Lost? We just do, OKAY?! And the second question, “How did LOST end?,” c’mon! You have enough motivation to post a question on Facebook about the subject, but not enough to just find the last episode online? Or simply Google the answer? That couldn’t take more than twelve seconds.
What is this world coming to? We guess Armageddon is coming.
Whatever you do, DON’T ANSWER! We’ve gone ahead and given this enough legitimacy as it is.
Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence. It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week). In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better. Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:
1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer. Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010. It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special. When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week. Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black, “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).
Note: We began this post the day after Lost’s series finale. Unfortunately, do to a series of fortunate events, we became otherwise occupied, and soon a Lost finale review seemed rather dated. But with the end on the year quickly gaining on us, we thought we’d finally finish that piece, perhaps all the wiser for having an extra half-year to let the series’ end sink in.
For most of Lost’s final season (and for the first five) we’ve offered little, if any, commentary, instead leaving the expert analysis to the experts. In fact, besides a couple of links and a few Jimmy Fallon videos we’ve only really spoken in-depth about the season premiere. However, much in the fashion of Lost, we feel compelled to call back to that post and close the circle.
However, before we delve into the finale, the series, and the nature of season finales, I think it’s necessary that we first outline our particular history with Lost. The show premiered during my senior year in college, the four-year period when I probably should have been OD’ing on television, at least on the Mr. Show DVDs, but instead foolishly focused on my studies, only making time for The Simpsons, Survivor, Friends for some reason at beginning and, thankfully, Arrested Development towards the end (talk about growing up). Lost premiered during the fall of my Senior year, but I was far too wrapped up in my penultimate semester, and getting in as much Mario Tennis as possible, to pay it much mind (plus, it seemed like a risky venture to get involved with such an ambitious show that likely wouldn’t make it past its first season). During winter break of that year, I did record a couple of episodes on VHS (the dark ages!), and found it interesting, intriguing and definitely full of potential. But without the benefit of having seen the pilot, and understanding the context of those episodes, I was, in essence, lost. So it wasn’t until the following summer when, on somewhat of a whim, I just went ahead and purchased season 1 on DVD. And that basically changed my life.
With the snow keeping us indoors we thought it might be a good time to go through our drafts and let some of these long-languishing, somewhat unfinished posts see the light of day. First up, our best shows of the 2000s, which we held off publishing until we could embed some video evidence. But, at this point, we’ll put that responsibility in your hands.
My belated best TV shows of the 2000s! (in a semi-particular order)
1. LOST: For the reasons I outline here.
2. The Sopranos: The Godfather of dark, fearless cable shows with flawed central characters. Might be responsible for killing network TV.
3. Arrested Development: Simply the smartest sitcom of all time. It was probably to clever for its own good. It was basically teaching a master class in comedy while throwing out an impossible amount of sight gags, call backs and cutaways. We should just be thankful that we got 3 seasons of this masterpiece.
4. Veronica Mars: Could have put it below Freaks and Geeks, but I give it the edge for somehow making it to season three (even if that was a neutered, watered-down version of VM). I’d put the first season up against any season from the last decade.
5. Freaks and Geeks: The most gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of high school ever. 18 episodes of achingly beautiful growing pains [editor’s note: just watched much of IFC’s Freaks and Geeks Holiday Marathon, and if we revised this list today we’d be tempted to put this show at the top of this list. It’s that fucking good].