Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dumb Kind Of Monster

headshotjeremy Last Thursday's "supersized" episode of "The Office" finally brought the Stamford staff into the Scranton office. For me, the happiest surprise of the night was the blossoming of Ed Helms' Andy Bernard into one of the best characters on the show. At Stamford, Andy was mainly a pathetic annoyance, with alternating bouts of a capella singing and temper tantrums. ("The game is over... I'm going to kill you for real," he tells Jim, after Jim's woeful performance in a "team-building" office video game.) His manager Josh seemed to ignore Andy's attempts to score brownie points. At Scranton, however, Andy immediately ingratiates himself to the clueless Michael through "personality mirroring" and "name repetition." And his aggressive personality has put him at odds with heirarchy-conscious Dwight, who shares his refusal to be the first person to "break off a handshake." Thus, when the two meet and quickly run out of things to say to each other, they wind up just standing there, still vigorously shaking hands. In fact, the demented duo clashes continuously throughout the episode. Andy even charms Dwight's frosty secret squeeze Angela. Noting her love of cats and costumed babies, he wins her good will in one fell swoop by selecting as his new screensaver a photo of a kitten wearing a pink cowboy hat. I anticipate a battle royale between Andy and Dwight over the coming weeks. In fact, the handshake scene inspired me to draw a cartoon of the two combatants. Initially it was just going to be a simple caricature, but the singular shape of Ed Helms' cranium led me to recast the duo as those legendary foes, Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman.


Hey, speaking of flattened noggins, today I watched Trent Green (who only a few months ago suffered a concussion that turned his skull into a Lotto tumbler) return as KC's starting quarterback in the Chiefs/Raiders game.

  • KC gets a turnover in the first three minutes. Sweet! Even sweeter: Larry Johnson scores the first touchdown of the game. Which means, given Kansas City's luck, he'll be killed by a meteorite tomorrow.
  • Oakland's secret weapon? Well, from the looks of him, they hired former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald as their defensive coordinator. God help us all if they get Patti LaBelle.
  • In the stands: a Chiefs fan indulges his Furry tendencies with a wolf costume. And his wife told him he didn't have the balls to wear it in public...!
  • Tony Gonzalez is on the sidelines due to his shoulder injury. But his brain is perfectly fine. Couldn't they have transplanted Gonzalez' brain into Green's body? That makes sense, right? C'mon, where's their team spirit?
  • I know this is a commercial but I just have to get it off my chest... hey, Lipitor! "Inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart Dr. Robert Jarvik" my ass! That guy's obviously Clint Howard and you and I both know it.
  • 2nd quarter: announcer Rich Gannon notes that Green can "ill-afford" another shot to the head so he's not going to hold onto the football for too long. Well, thank God Herm Edwards put him back in the game, huh? What, couldn't he find a quarterback with hemophilia or brittle bone disease?
  • With 19 seconds left in the first half, the Raiders get their first touchdown and lead KC 12-7. And the Raiders are entirely too excited about it. Hey... group celebration! Group celebration! That deserves a penalty! I'm making a citizen's arrest! And of course they get the extra point after that. Of course.
  • 3rd quarter: Gannon says that Green's forte is to "get back there in the pocket, spin his head around...!" Wait, I thought that was the problem.
  • Midway through the third the Raiders' Gallery is injured, and for a while he lays on his stomach with his calves sticking straight up in the air, and he kicks them around in such an oddly casual way he looks like one of the teenage girls in the telephone number from "Bye Bye Birdie."
  • 4th quarter: KC's Tynes has a chance to tie the game with a field goal. Doesn't happen. Goddamn it. Oakland doesn't score on their next possession but they take five minutes off the clock while not scoring, leaving KC less than five minutes in the game to even tie. To update an old Lithuanian proverb, the Raiders are stupid like a pig but clever like a serpent.
  • Still, KC pulls it off, making the score 16-13 in their favor with 1:32 left in the game. And it's due in large part to Trent Green, who makes a lot of stunningly precise passes. Oh, and Larry Johnson helped too. Extra point? Sure, why not! So KC leads Oakland 17-13. It's a great day!
  • ...Until a 40-yard reception places the Raiders at the 8-yard line with 32 seconds left in the game. Motherf--! Oh, we're screwed!
  • But wait! KC's Page intercepts the ball in the endzone! Aw, HELL YEAH! I love this game!


Tom Foss said...

That Frankenstein looks suspiciously like Roger the bully from the old Nicktoon "Doug"...

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

When Andy and Michael first met, that was pure comedy gold. The Office and My Name is Earl is the funniest hour (or more if the Supersize it) of TV on TV right now.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Tom: And what, precisely, are you implying, my good sir? I will not have my mealticket's -- er, friend's reputation besmirched! *removes silk glove in anticipation of slapping your cheek and challenging you to a duel*

Jon: Couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I enjoyed the commentary.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Thanks, man!