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15 December 2006 @ 12:01 am
The Office was so so good tonight (why can't other shows be?)  
And it makes me sad because so many other showrunners don't get that you don't need wild, unbelievable HUGE drama to make your show entertaining. An hour full of some funny lines, interaction with characters we like with a leetle bit of drama thrown in and magic can happen. Moments, people, moments of quality, of character quality is what makes viewers love characters, love shows and feel an immense joy in following those characters on those shows. Gimmicks, gotcha's, plot twist lose their value beyond the first viewing and merely only offer that original "ooh!" -- or in Rob Thomas' case mostly groans of "ohhh!"

Why is Heroes working still despite their loss of super-groovy-oh-my-God!-endings of every episode? Because we CARE about Hiro and Claire and Peter and Nik--, uhm, and Matt and Nathan. On Lost, the audience kept coming back in S1 and 2, yes, because of the mystery, but also because we cared what happened to these people. Now, those people don't seem to matter, the characters are floundering, everything is going in circles and without the characters to care for, the circular mystery is blah. Why did The X-Files retain its obsessive fandom for so long despite the growing confusion of the conspiracy? Because we cared about Mulder and Scully. And all the little moments -- that never stopped coming -- kept them real amidst all the insanity (I say this mostly through the full Duchovny years as I stopped watching religiously once he was gone pretty much from the canvas). Are there even any little moments on VM anymore?

Sigh. Characters we love. Moments showing those things we love about those characters. Interactions. Care and love clearly there from the writers, the directors, the actors for these characters. All of these things is what drives a show and a fandom. And lack thereof is what either loses that fandom, turns it bitter or both.

Double sigh -- but onto one of the shows that is doing it right.

- I hope, hope, hope that that was Jan that Michael was talking to at the end who accepted the Jamaican invite. I don't necessarily ship them, but I do enjoy the idea of Jan liking the Michael behind the buffoonery enough to want them together. And on the note of Michael-shipping, here's another oh so squicky thought. And I do feel squicky thinking this, let alone writing this, but ever since Pam so seriously took the bird funeral for Michael, there's a very small, scared part of me that secretly, sorta, could ship [small voice]Pam/Michael[/small voice]. The lying on the floor in her area didn't help kill that little part of me.

- I like Jim/Pam, I do. I don't squee outrageously over them, but I like them plenty and dearly, dearly enjoy their scenes and of course they belong together, but damnit, I LIKE Karen! And I loved that her and Pam were working together tonight. "That gave me goosebumps." Hee! And the look on Jim's face in the background when Pam and Karen was first talking slayed me.

- I loved, loved, LOVED!!!!!! (FRICKING SO MUCH LOVE for!!!) the Validity Committee. And when Dwight (so respectfully asked to join ... hah! as if!) and Jim took the moment to "consider" and then said (almost regretfully), "permission denied," I was slayed all over again. Bwah hahaha!!

- I love Michael/Jim bonding. I want them to be BFF. I know, so wrong.

- I do love the little Dwight/Angela moments, but my goodness, is that woman the tightest tight-ass whoever lived or what?!? Geez.

- Oh, poor Phyllis. So loyal, Angela so does not deserve her.

- I love Stanley.

- Kevin's version of "You Oughtta Know" an instant classic? I think so.

Honestly, I think this was my favorite ep since "The Casino." Good, good stuff here.
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Sally: john and jennamissmarch on December 15th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
ITA with most everything you said here. I am a character girl, first and foremost. I do want *some* plot, but if I don't care about the characters, it doesn't really matter what happens to them. Why should I waste time watching people I don't care about?

And yes, VM is a particularly good example. I used to care so much about the main cast of characters, but this season so far, I feel like everyone who isn't Veronica or a guest isn't given much to do. And since I haven't liked Veronica much lately, that really ruins the show for me.

Regarding the Jim/Pam ship, now they really know how to milk the UST. And I love Karen too_I especially love the Karen/Pam bonding this episode. And I don't even hate Roy. Wow. Loads of characters that I like in each episode-what a concept.
Arabian: LoVearabian on December 15th, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
Right, plot certainly matters, but characters matter more because without characters to care about, who cares about plot? It's just some pieces moved around on a chessboard, engaging intellectually (if done well -- which VM has not been since, oh 1.21), but your heart is not touched, your soul is not kissed. Good characters and seeing those characters do what made you love them in the first place, that is when the emotions are engaged.

Yes to everything you said about The Office.