Friday, October 22, 2004

TV: The Office Special

THE OFFICE is the only TV series I own on DVD. Nothing in any other medium has been able to capture the feel of the modern workplace in such excruciating detail. The grudging accommodations you make for your coworkers, the way petty events can overwhelm your day simply because they’re the only interesting things happening. There have been many “bosses from hell,” but Ricky Gervais’ David Brent is so singular and so finely observed that I feel like I’ve actually put in time with the wanker.

Season two closed on such a note of melancholy that I knew it would never stand as the series finale. This special, airing throughout the weekend on BBC America, is as cringingly funny as any episode of the show while still providing a happy ending that feels earned. There’s even a ray of hope for Brent.

Gervais and co-creator Stephen Merchant insist that this marks the end of THE OFFICE. The seed is planted for a 28UP-style reunion a few years’ hence, but I take them at their word. So the entire run of what is arguably the funniest show ever is only eight hours long. You could watch it all in a day. All you’d have to do is call out sick from work.

Sports: The World Series

New York sports rules are unforgiving. I’m a Mets fan, which means I hate the Yankees. Which means I root for the Red Sox. That made the ’86 World Series tough, especially because I was living in Boston in the time.

In the NLCS, I started out rooting for Houston. In 40+ years of existence, they’ve never made it to the Series. And I was a big fan of their universally reviled jerseys from the ‘70s and ‘80s. But once the Red Sox clinched, I changed my mind. A team from Massachusetts versus a team from Texas in the run-up to the election? There are enough labored sports metaphors in politics as it is.

Stephen King, who’s co-writing a book on the Red Sox season, was wise enough to put an escalator clause in his contract giving him a bonus if the team goes all the way. He doesn’t need the money. I still hope he gets it.

Miscellaneous: Link

What can you buy for a penny on eBay?

Miscellaneous: Quote of the Day

“Hollywood is a cold-blooded motherfucker. It’s easier to bone the President’s wife than to get a movie made. So I say God bless these cats.”

- The late Ray Charles on his upcoming biopic