Episode Reviews - The Office (401) & Family Guy (601)

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[This post may contain spoilers]

The Office (USA) - 401 - Fun Run
It's rather nice that I get to start off with a short review of 'The Office' season premiere. I much prefer the USA version over the British one, I think for the most part because of the pacing and characters. In this 40 minute premiere Michael Scott arranges a fun run for rabies after knocking Meredith down in his car and we get to see how three relationships have developed since the end of the last season. Michael and Jan, Dwight and Angela and Pam and Jim.

I really cannot express how much I love the attention to detail and character that comes in this show. The writing is so tight and the acting really delivers on it, Jim's bemused/amused looks towards the camera in particular always make me chuckle. But it's Steve Carrell's performance as Michael Scott that was so great in this one. He really portrays a guy who lives 100% inside his own head, but is basically a nice guy. Well he would be a nice guy if he actually understood people at all. I find him far, far more likeable than David Brent. But I find the entire American cast more likeable than the British ones were (which I guess is kind of the point).

I also enjoyed the side stories involving the various relationships and couldn't stop laughing at the Pam and Michael exposing incident. I think it's easy to say there are too many amusing little incidents in this episode to list all of them.

Solid premiere that continues the excellent tradition of this show

Family Guy - 601 - Blue Harvest
After a powercut Peter entertains the family with a retelling of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. This is also a season premiere and it's an extended episode at 42 mins.

The last season of Family Guy was a very hit and miss affair, all to often they rehashed old jokes, especially the "Overly extended ouch/laugh/cry/shin" joke. I cannot express in words how much I hate that joke, it's only been funny once and that was when Chris was laughing for ages, then they ended with something like "I pooped myself" (I haven't seen it for a while, not 100% sure of the exact joke).

Oh, I digressed. The point was the last season was alternately brilliant and awful. But this season premiere was Family Guy at their finest. While it would be difficult for them to screw up such a concept (and Robot Chicken did it first - something they aknowledge in a brilliant fourth wall bending conversation between Seth and Seth as Peter and Chris) the whole thing is just carried off beautifully. From the amusing little set pieces, fantastic 3D Animation, set piece songs and faithful reintepretations the whole thing just shows how much the writers of Family Guy love Star Wars.

I for one loved this Peter-fied retelling of A New Hope. It almost made me want to watch the original movie again. But I won't, I still need more time to wash the taste of episodes 1 to 3 out of my brain.

Series Classic


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