Thursday, June 15, 2006

TV on DVD: The Office

It's hard to endure a summer free of "That's what she said"s...unless you have your very own Michael Scott at your office. (Shudder.) But we'll get through it--through a combination of repeats (tonight's ep is "Email Surveillance", one of my favorites), commentary (duh), and gritty determination (you've got that, right? RIGHT?).

The repeat will wait for tonight. On to the commentary!

This time, we've got commentary on the pilot episode, and it's loaded: we get comments from the director and the US executive producer, along with John Krasinski (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Rainn Wilson (Dwight), B.J. Novak (Ryan), and Steve Carell (Michael). (I totally did not just type Jim Krasinski, then have to correct myself. For the record.)

- The pilot was shot maybe 6-8 months earlier than the rest of the episodes.

- Dwight unlocks his phone from a drawer in the pilot. This is total continuity to the "Conflict Resolution" episode, when it's explained that Jim filled it with nickels as a prank.

- Rainn used to be an acting teacher.

- Some of the actual office staff, like the accountants, are in the group scenes of the pilot.

- NBC didn't try to get rid of any of the smaller, quiet moments in favor of more jokes. It's good because those "uncomfortable moments and long pauses" really set the tone of the show. (Good call, NBC. Now why don't you treat Scrubs better? And while you're at it, get Everwood renewed. Atta network.)

- The network actually wanted to play up the Jim-Pam relationship; that's one of the only notes they gave them. John and Jenna improvised a lot during the pilot. During one of their scenes together, the director told them to "just flirt."

- The casting director said to Jenna 1) don't wear makeup - be as plain as possible 2) dare to bore her.

- Audition ad libs included Dwight hitting on Pam after hearing she broke up with Roy and Dwight being suspicious of Jim giving him a glass of water. One of Jenna's audition scenes was the scene where Pam breaks down crying. They cut a line in that scene that said "You're a sad little man."

- The first question Jenna asked when she got the role was "Did John Krasinski get the role of Jim?" (OMG JAM IS SO MFEO...ahem.)

- Unlike Pam, Jenna couldn't keep a straight face during Steve's "Six Million Dollar Man" scene. They eventually had to shoot her stuff separately.

- It was too hard to make the jello-encased coffee mug work; they used silicon instead. (What a relief. Now I can quit trying to replicate it! But whatever will I do with my caseful of lemon Jello?)

Season One came out on DVD August 16th last year. So when will they announce the Season Two DVDs? Let's hope they're as loaded with commentaries as the first set.


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