Saturday, May 21, 2011

Why it's time to shut down "The Office," plus a visit from Conan O'Brien

"If you're going to jump a shark, jump a big one."

Say what you want to about Ricky Gervais, but as easily one of the funniest people on the planet, he certainly should know when something is genuinely funny and when, well, it simply isn't. And, unfortunately, as he correctly pointed out, the latter was very often the case with Thursday's "The Office" finale.

It wasn't just the piling on of guest stars and giving them each about two minutes at most of screen time, but on top of that they gave almost all of them nothing to work with. James Spader was OK, and Jim Carrey arrived at the very end to provoke one of the only real laughs, at least from me, of the entire show.

And you know, it didn't really even annoy me by the end (BIG SPOILER AHEAD) that they didn't even bother to pick a new boss after all that build-up, because it really didn't feel like a show I want to keep watching anyway. It was, awkwardly and often painfully, more like a muddled pilot for a show still trying to figure where it wants to go, and for one that's been on so long, that's just pretty pathetic.

The best possible scenario now? Darryl gets the job, because Craig Robinson is still a very funny dude, and perhaps he can salvage this mess, but it's going to be a rather epic task.

As for me, I'm most likely done with "The Office," but not with everything on NBC's Thursday night lineup, because if you stuck around for the hour-long "Parks and Recreation" finale, you saw a show that's still fresh and genuinely funny, often wickedly so.

The first half was good, but once poor Lil Sebastian died and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) decided to reorganize the office (putting Ron Swanson in that great captain's chair), it was all comedy bliss from there.

I have to assume Aziz Ansari will be back, and the promise of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler, who I've grown to like a whole lot more than I did before this show) running for office means I definitely will be too.

And to wrap things up today, here's the first trailer I know of for "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop." Though I would have ponied up for a straightforward documentary about when he took his comedy show on the road, this instead promises to be a much more behind-the-scenes kind of look, which should be even better. I have no idea when or if this is going to make a theatrical run, but keep an eye out for it if you live in a bigger corner of the world than I do, and have a great rest of the weekend. Peace out.


jeremy said...

Before I even knew her name, I knew I loved Amy Poehler. She was the camp councellor who believes she is producing REAL THEATRE with Bradley Thompson in Wet, Hot, American Summer, and the scene where she calls a bunch of Jewish kids at camp "rank amateurs" who should be performing at the Cleveland Playhouse, I was sold.
Now she's Leslie Knope every week, and she has endeared herself to me even more. (P.S. Offerman needs an Emmy!)

Reel Fanatic said...

He does indeed, and I think he'll at least get a nomination ... One other thing I loved her in was as the crazy R.A. on the one season of "Undeclared" .. I guess it was just on SNL that I really didn't find her very funny at all, but that was clearly as much to do with the writing as anything else