The Office: Parkouring Their Way into Our Hearts

The Office Parkour

It may sound nonsensical for an "entertainment" writer to admit, but I hate television. When someone hands me a remote control I typically get the TV to turn to fuzz within five minutes. I've never had cable nor experienced TIVO (and what I do know about it was learned when Miranda was having her love affair with one on Sex and the City).

Sure, hate is a strong word - but in this case it's appropriate. See, it's really about hating something you're addicted to (and that's when "dislike" doesn't cut it). Cuz I'm one of those people who walk into a place with the television on and sit and stare at it like a successful drone. If I own one, it ends up being on way too much. It's just better to avoid, like cigarettes. Instead I view all my favorite shows at friend's homes, or more often than not on my computer, which means I can avoid excess commercials, buying necessary devices, paying cable bills, etc. All the while I get to stream-on-demand in the corner of my laptop screen as I'm working (which also makes it easier to pause to type quotes or replay funny scenes or pee break).Dunder Mifflin the office t-shirt That said, I've inevitably viewed a big chunk of episodes of The Office while traveling on American Airlines (it's part of their in-flight entertainment; makes the time go much faster than most B movies). I'm not going to talk about my last AA trip, the 20-hour baggage delay or subsequent abuse by an airline employee in the Atlanta, Georgia airport; I know not to get sidetracked by personal issues. But really, that's what I love about The Office; it's just a stream of consciousness that gets expressed in random acts that go from 0-to-weird-case-scenario in 30 minutes or less, all wrapped in recycled office party ribbon. What I really want to say is that I sooo enjoyed last night's season premiere of The Office "Gossip" (via Hulu), which had one of the most hilarious openings ever. I mean, if you could rate laughter in its purest, most useful form there would be three guidelines: 1) did you laugh out loud and were you alone when you did it? 2) did it come from deep in the pit of your gut to the point it almost hurt? and 3) did it make you tingly all over and left to wonder how the fuck anyone came up with something soooo ridiculous. This episode, in just the first few minutes, accomplished all three. The Office is a great replacement for what you wish to get out of a Comedy Club?but instead of tears of joy you're often left crying over the expense of parking and the required two drink minimum.

A few favorite moments:

  • "This is 'parkour', internet sensation of 2004, and it was in one of the Bond films. It's pretty impressive. The goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible. So technically they are doing parkour, as long as point A is delusion and point B is the hospital." ?Jim discussing Andy, Michael and Dwight parkouring through the office.
  • "You can't put words back in your mouth, but you can spread false gossip so people think everything that's been said is untrue. ... It's like the end of 'Spartacus.' I've seen it half a dozen times, and I still don't know who the real Spartacus is. And that is what makes that movie a classic whodunit." ?Michael
  • "If I can't scuba, then what's this all been about? What have I been working toward?" ?Creed
  • "You know a baby conceived out of wedlock is still a bastard." "What?!" "You want me to say it again?" ?Angela to Pam about the rumor that Pam is pregnant.

The Office Worlds Best Boss

  • "For the record I prefer women, but off the record I'm kinda confused."   "Really!?"   "The evidence is sort of stacked against me."   "Well, you gotta figure this out."   "Yeah, Right. How?"   "You gotta have sex with a woman."   "Right."   "And a man."   "Oh."  "And compare."  ?Andy and Jim discussing the rumor that Andy is gay. (Andy is trying to find out if it's true.)

What was your fave moment? And how many times did you replay the opening for last night's episode?

Darby Romeo, Gold Label critic-at-large, was editor / publisher of the popular 'zine Ben Is Dead, as well as the one-off I Hate Brenda Newsletter, the Lollapalooza Tour Magazine and website Coconut Girl Wireless. She edited and co-wrote the book Retro Hell: Life in the 70s and 80s from Afros to Zotz, and has contributed to Vanity Fair, Alternative Press, Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune and LA Times. Despite all efforts, she's only a pro-surfer in her mind.