The Office
The B.J. Novak Interview

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"It Was Just So Intellectually Stimulating And Inspiring; It Was All I Wanted To Do"
WC: It's not like Alias. BJN: That's what it's like there, right? WC: I think I read that somewhere. BJN: Or Lost. WC: Yeah, well...yeah. More so. I guess nobody cares about Alias anymore. Which is sad -- it used to be a good show. BJN: I'm updating your reference. WC: Yes, thank you. I appreciate that. BJN: [joking] "You know there's a new J.J. Abrams show?" WC: And an even newer one. BJN: That's not with Don Rickles, is it? The Don Rickles pilot? WC: Don Rickles is in it, yes. BJN: Oh yeah? Good for him. I'm a huge fan. WC: "This ensemble drama is set in the world of bounty hunters." BJN: Yes. WC: And the only people I've ever heard of who are in it are Greg Grunberg and Don Rickles. BJN: We were at the Writers' Guild Awards. I met the Lost writers. J.J. Abrams spoke to Mindy about our show. Just realizing that they watch The Office is one of the biggest compliments of my year. WC: It's a good show. BJN: Oh my God. It's the show of our age. WC: Yeah, you like it? BJN: I love it. WC: So: Ryan and Michael. BJN: Yeah. WC: From your perspective, is it an innocent boy crush on Michael's part; is it that Ryan has the thrill of the new, that Michael's just not sick of him yet; is it the glamour of Ryan being in business school; or is Michael maybe, like, actually kind of in love with Ryan? BJN: I love this storyline, and I love the sort of awkward-without-quite-planning-it way that we found to do it. I believe that Michael sees himself in Ryan, and I think this causes an exaggerated-- what do you call it when two mirrors exaggerate themselves forever? Do you know what I mean? WC: Yeah. BJN: That kind of thing. He takes a couple of Ryan's positive traits and thinks, "That's me when I'm younger," and then that gets processed in his brain as, "And I was awesome when I was younger." So that makes Ryan even more awesome in his eyes, makes him identify with Ryan even more, and so on. So I think his fantasy is, "This is the future, this is who I was, this is going to be my great mentoring project, isn't he great, aren't I great."

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The Office

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