Friday, March 25, 2005

The OC Season 2 Episode 17: Welcome to the PA, bitch!

Previously: Season 2 Episode 16

First, let's talk about The Office on NBC. I, like most fans of the BBC original, was skeptical whether the writers could replicate Ricky Gervais' brilliance.

Well, I gotta say, it's not bad. The first episode was, almost shot for shot the same as the British series premiere with some Americanizing and 2005ing. Steve Carell was great - not quite the same as Gervais' David Brent, but he still captured the same smarminess and the likable-because-he's-despicable thing.

The rest of the cast, not so thrilled about. Jim is too pretty to be Tim, and Pam doesn't seem to have the same cheekiness that Dawn does. But all in all, not a bad start. Next week's ep should be fun for the whole family. From Dana Stevens of Slate:
In next week's, "Diversity Day," a racial-sensitivity training session degenerates into an ethnic-slur-slinging free-for-all. The superiority of the second episode to the first is an indication that this show may get better with time. NBC must be betting that The Office will attract the kind of viewer that used to watch Seinfeld (and is now failing to watch Arrested Development); it's a sitcom for people who are totally over sitcoms.
Ouch on the Arrested comment.

In any case, I'm pleasantly, albeit only mildly, surprised. Hope this gets picked up beyond this season - I'm hoping, praying that there are enough people in America who can get a joke without a laugh track to make more shows like this possible. It will never be as good as the British Office - it's just impossible with the way the networks work here and doing 25 episodes a year. But there's a lot of room between brilliance and utter crap, and I think this new Office is closer to brilliant than utter crap.

Now, The OC. Ryan's brother gets out of jail but has nowhere to go so ends up staying with the Cohens. Ryan doesn't trust him and accuses him of stealing a watch from a store - turns out, the big bro paid for the watch and was going to give it to Ryan as a thank you gift. Big bro totally divas it and storms off, Ryan feels guilty and goes to look for him in a dive bar, gets into a fight with the other bar patrons, natch, but they have each other's back. They kiss and make up. Oh, and Marissa's tagging along with Ryan the whole time.

Zach is back from Italy and taking the break up really well. He's also a Vespa riding Eurotrash. He tells Seth that he met a girl in Italy but Seth can't tell Summer because she won't take it well. Seth tells Summer anyway, who finds out that a) there is no Italian girl, and b) Zach didn't get over Summer and c) he told Seth knowing he couldn't keep a secret and hoping to make Summer jealous.

Carter, the magazine editor, confesses to Kirsten that he was turning on the sexual tension-o-meter a bit and apologizes for making her totally have the hots for him. Or something.

Julie fesses up to Caleb about her porn star past. Caleb seems to takes it well, goes over to the porn guy, ostensibly to pay for the rights, but instead, doesn't give up the half mil and lets his thugs deal with the porn guy. The night of the magazine launch, Julie plays a promo video for her magazine, except the porn guy snuck in and put in the porn tape. How devious. So all of Newport Beach gets in on the dirt, except the kids - Ryan and Marissa were getting into a barfight while Summer and Seth were arguing about him telling her about Zach's imaginary girlfriend. Or something.
  • Okay episode. Some good stuff - Ryan finally getting into a real fight, the video switcheroo at the magazine launch, Marissa not being annoying - and some bad - the forced end to the Carter-Kirsten affair that never happened, the contrived Seth-Summer fight, Zach.

  • And yeah, another new character. Granted, Ryan always had a brother and it's good to see The OC getting back into the class issues, but it adds another distraction to the core of the show.

  • And who the fuck goes to Italy and comes back with a Vespa? Did he not know that Italian scooters existed before? Do people ride scooters in the Tsucan countryside? Blah.

  • So Caleb knew Lance the Porn King would somehow get back at Julie? I like Evil Caleb, as long as he's clever evil and not one dimensional evil.

I wish I had something more substantial to add, but other than a couple of scenes, it was a pretty blah episode. Also, no new OC next week. The Office is on Tuesday at 9:30ET after Scrubs. C'est cool, especially since it'll be the first new Scrubs in a couple of weeks.

Also, go Heels.

<< Home