The Office
The Dundies

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 1 USERS: A+
The Dundies

(*I have no idea what they are talking about; perhaps this is part of "Chili's culture"? I have certainly felt God in a Chili's before, and we will again this very night, but I know not these "apa-teezers" and "skillets of cheese." Perhaps this is best. I like those Margaritas where the top of the shaker always falls off in your lap, I know that those shakers cost like $2.99 if you want to take them home to remember your Chili's-slash-religious experience, and that's all I know about Chili's.)

In the conference room, Pam watches last year's Dundies on video: Pam is sitting onscreen with her fiancé, Roy, to one side, and Jim on the other side, talking to somebody. Dwight is holding a plastic recorder flute at the back of Michael's makeshift stage, as Michael announces Oscar's "Show Me the Money" Dundie. God knows. Pam explains to us that Michael, inevitably, has taped every Dundies Awards ceremony -- and that he's forcing her to look through the hours of footage to find "highlights." The vocal airquotes around "highlights" are aggressive, pointed. Things go from bad to worse as Michael begins to sing Lou Bega's "Mambo #5," to Dwight's recorder accompaniment. The words go like this: "A little bit of Pa-am, all night long / A little bit of Ann-gela on the thing / A little bit of Phyl-lis everywhere / A little bit of Ro-oy eating chicken crispers / A little bit of Jim with some ribs..." This is the part, Pam explains, where Kevin sat in front of the camcorder all night. "It's great," she grins.

Things that are sadder than this:

Fergie peeing herself
Bachelorette parties at TGI Friday's
Fights about role-playing games
Gary Busey, still
Coke-can bongs
Bonne Bell makeovers
Chili's chicken crispers themselves

Pam looks out of the conference room to Jim, mouthing silent OMG and strangling herself. Still funny; Pam watching last year's Dundies is still funny.

Later, my girl Kelly is accusing Pam of something in the breakroom as Phyllis laughs; Pam swears it wasn't her. Already, there's a bit of attitude to Pam. Watch the first season, buy a purse at the end, and then jump to this -- it's fucking intense. Pam's mad. She spends the entire second season furious. I don't exactly think of Roy, or Jim, or even Pam's own artistic deferment; I think of all of these. I think of rage. This is where it starts.

Dwight walks up as these three ladies are laughing, watch: "So what's the joke? You're not perfect either." Pam sweetly (very) assures him they're not laughing at him, and Dwight tries the salchow he perfected long ago and yet never executes: "So who are we laughing at?" It's just something somebody wrote. "Who? Dave Barry?" Kelly laughs like she knows who that is, and says it's written on the wall in the Ladies'. Pam protests that it's "kind of private," and Phyllis -- who rates near the top of the Michael Scott Scale of Not Keeping It Schtum -- admits it's about Michael. Dumb, Phyllis. Dwight, predictably, wigs: "That is defacement of company property! So you better tell me! Kelly, if you tell me you'll be punished less." Okay, you think, and Pam says it for you: "Now, I'm laughing at you." She starts laughing; it's not a joyful laugh. Not what you'd call a Jim Laugh.

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The Office




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