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Anticipating the return of The Office

January
8

It’s Office Thursday! Well, not quite. But in a week it will be.

So in honor of the winter hiatus’s impending close, I thought it time to open my spoiler-free eyes and take a look at what’s coming up.

When last we left Dunder Mifflin Scranton, the most depressing Christmas party ever culminated in Phyllis revealing Dwight and Angela’s illicit affair to everyone but Andy. Pam was back from New York. Michael was seemingly over Holly. And Meredith completed the shortest rehab stint ever.

First off, here are your next three episode titles and summaries…

Jan. 15: Duel — The office is on eggshells because Andy still hasn’t found out about fiancee Angela’s affair with Dwight. When Michael spills the beans, Dwight and Andy take matters into their own hands. Meanwhile, Michael is nervous about being called down to corporate for a meeting with Wallace.</p>

<p>Jan. 22: Prince Family Paper — Michael and Dwight go undercover to do a bit of industrial espionage on a paper company competitor. Meanwhile, the rest of the office holds a debate to settle the question: is Hilary Swank hot?

Feb. 1: Stress Relief — No summary released yet but Paul Lieberstein is the writer.

I’m glad they won’t drag out the “Andy doesn’t know” angle (though they could have drawn some good Eurotrip references. Funny movie.). Clearly Dwight will destroy the Nard Dog, as a ton of 14-year-old girls could attest. It’ll be good to see some Michael-Andy tension released. After the infamous airport tirade, it’ll be good to see if the CFO comes down hard on him (TWSS) or if he still feels guilty about deporting Holly to Nashua.</p>

<p>OfficeTally has a great running round-up of spoilers here. Here’s the upshot: Cloris Leachman does a love scene with Jack Black in “Stress Relief”, in which Jessica Alba rounds out the stuntcasting. The trio are featured in a bootleg movie the Dunder Mifflin staff watches. The hourlong episode follows the Super Bowl and its main plot centers on a Michael Scott roast.

Capping 2008, The Office ranked 14 on AOL’s list of Top 50 comedies and The A.V. Club put “Dinner Party” at fifth place on its list of the best TV episodes of the year.

More formally, Greg Daniels and Kent Zbornak scored a Producer’s Guild Award nomination while the Writers Guild handed down two nominations, for best comedy series and best episode (“Crime Aid”).

And just to round things out, there have been a few great cast and crew interviews popping up over the break.

Craig Robinson tells the A.V. Club about his appearance as a security guard on Arrested Development

CR: Wow. I played opposite David Cross’ character, and I forget the name of the girl who played Maeby. [Alia Shawkat.] I had so much fun doing that. There’s this one part where David Cross and I were up for the same role. I’m going, “Oh yeah, I’m going up for that,” despite being a security guard. That was the joke. There was a moment before the cameras rolled where I’m looking David up and down, real seductively but real slow, real creepy, and he said “I will pay you a hundred dollars if you do that during a real take.” So we were just doing silly stuff between takes. That was a nice short-and-sweet deal, and it felt good to be part of a classic TV show.

Jenna Fischer reveals to Fox News that she prefers revealing scenes on a movie set to the real deal at home.

“In your house you don’t have a team of people lighting you perfectly. They can light your cellulite so you see it or don’t see it; it’s the most amazing thing. They can put makeup on your legs, you try on hundreds of outfits until you find the one that looks the most perfect on you,” Fischer told Tarts. “It really has nothing to do with whether you’re in shape or not. They can do pretty amazing things with any body type.”

Fischer also opens up to St. Louis Magazine about her days as a psychic.

When I agreed to be a telephone psychic, I approached it from the angle that I was just going to give people really good advice. The problem was that nobody wanted advice; they just wanted to know what lottery numbers to play that week. So I would just look around my house and read whatever numbers I’d see. I’d be like, “11 … 24.” That just made me feel guilty, so I quit after two days.

And staff writers Anthony Q. Farrell and Charlie Grandy share with Esquire what they’ve learned about Dwight Scrute. For example…

I believe in hunting, but only if you use the entire animal. For instance, instead of a comb I use the rib cage of a squirrel.

Have you ever really kept your nose to the grindstone? The amount of blood that comes out is shocking.

Making a sale is like making love: the faster the better.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 at 12:08 pm by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Jack Black, Jenna Fischer, Jessica Alba, Steve Carell, The Office, WGA
Tags: , , , , , ,
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Grab a snack, pull up a comfy seat and join our staff as they share their thoughts on your favorite shows. Tune in daily for their comments and post your own on such hit shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office," "American Idol," "24," "Heroes" and more.

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