Wed, 31 October 2007
I saw these products at the convention this past weekend, and thought they were pretty darn cool. Lots of people seemed to agree with me, since the lines to buy stuff at the con never, ever seemed to decrease.
First up? Your very own Dundie Award:
"Once again, it's time to hand out the Dundie Awards! Now you can have your very own trophy, which recalls the classic "Dundies" episode. The trophy comes with six interchangeable placards." (including all of the awards given out in that particular episode, like "bushiest beaver," "whitest tennis shoes," "don't go in there after me," etc.).
At first I was a little let down by the generic "Dundie Award" placard, but the extra 6 cards are a great touch.
Next... the Michael Scott talking bobblehead:
"Now The World's Best Boss can be the center of attention in your office too! Buy this exclusive talking Michael Scott Bobblehead featuring some of his infamous catch-phrases."
The Dwight bobblehead was cool because... well, because it made sense in the context of the show. This one really DOESN'T... but it's still pretty neat, nevertheless. Click on the link above to see which phrases he speaks.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT
Tue, 30 October 2007
In case you were wondering what was going on during the video introduction at the Writers' Block panel, Future_Dwight was kind enough to provide this clip (thanks to the OT convention links page).
Category:Convention -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT
Tue, 30 October 2007
The fansites are buzzing today with rumors that NBC is prepping a special episode of THE OFFICE which will introduce characters who will then be spun off into their own series.
According to TV Guide's Ausiello Report "the proposed Office 2 is not expected to include any of the mother ship's core cast. In fact, producers are already casting about for a 'name' to headline the potential show."
Now, I'm a pretty big fan of THE OFFICE, but why on earth do I need or want a spin-off show? There have been rumors of the "Dwight" spin-off for a while, and I hope these amount to the same hills of beans. One of the reasons why THE OFFICE is so special is that the cast and crew have a laser-like focus to produce a quality product. A spin-off, even if no cast leave the show to follow it, will surely divide the creative staff... stealing some of the producers and writers we know and love. That way, we end up with two mediocre shows instead of one GREAT one.
Am I going a little too 'Cassandra' on you guys? Perhaps. I mean, sure, BUFFY was good, and ANGEL was decent... although after ANGEL started BUFFY pretty much went downhill... hmm. Not sure what to make of this.
At the very least... for the love of god, DON'T hire David Spade for the "Michael Scott" role.
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm EDT
Tue, 30 October 2007
Thanks to Jennie Tan (a.k.a. Tanster) for being kind enough to link to my convention special podcast episodes on OfficeTally.com.
I recognized her from the "internets," and introduced myself at the press conference. She's very nice and certainly more down to earth than I might be if I got to hang out with the cast on a regular basis. Since starting this podcast, I've often felt cut off from most of the other "The Office" fan community. The convention was a good chance for me to meet the cast and people like Tanster, and I'm glad to be feeling more connected with things "post-show."
My carpool-mate Adam presented Tanster with a cool parking sign with the Dunder Mifflin logo at the Bloggers' Breakfast (he works for a company that makes traffic signs), and it went over pretty well. He also gave one to Melora Hardin which earned him a much talked about hug. Check his flickr page for images.
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am EDT
Mon, 29 October 2007
We woke up pretty early on Sunday morning (since my two roommates have IMHO overly complicated morning rituals) in order to get to the BLOGGERS' BREAKFAST on time. It was set to start at 9am, and the place was surprisingly crowded. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, since this was one of the "big" events that people had to choose between with their different ticket levels.
Donuts, coffee, and juice were provided, which was a nice touch (just don't get caught in that stampede for the Krispy Cremes).
I felt sort of bad for the bloggers present at the event, since most of them got lost in the shuffle between Jennie "Tanster" Tan and the cast members. Seriously, who would you rather ask a question? Random blogger, or Brian Baumgartner? As you can imagine, most people chose option "B." But hey, that's what you paid the big money for, right?
Brian explained how he got started blogging, his decision to write as his character, and his undying love for OfficeTally. Bobby Ray Shafer was a bit more brief, partly because he'd lost his voice for most of the weekend. Kate Flannery popped in a bit later, talking briefly about her TV Guide blog. I guess Andy Buckley was just there for moral support, since he proclaimed his complete and utter ignorance of all things computer related.
(For the full audio of the panel, download the podcast below)
After the BB, we headed across the campus to the Scranton Cultural Center for the big WRITERS'S BLOCK panel. I had an awesome seat for this event, as the press was assigned the upper balcony. I sat front row center, with no one else in front of me. I struck up a conversation with the three people around me, and found they worked for NBC.com-- one was in charge of video production, another for writing copy, and the last was in charge of the whole Dunder Mifflin Infinity website. Very cool. A few minutes later, a woman came up and said everyone had to get out of the first two rows because NBC wanted them... my new buds said I could stay, though, so I was the only one down there with them.
It was very cool hearing the writers discuss the show, since we rarely seem to get their point of view in any of the extra material. Greg Daniels, Mike Shur and Jennifer Celotta did most of the talking, although Mindy Kaling and B. J. Novak (a surprise drop-in) also got most of the audience questions. (For the full audio of the panel, download the podcast below)
After the panel, we got to see the first 8-10 minutes or so of BRANCH WARS, which I thought was hilarious. By all accounts I should have hated it -- most of the humor was totally "over the top" and silly -- but I found myself laughing louder than I have in a few weeks. Maybe it's the return of director Joss Whedon... I don't know. I just know that I was digging it and look forward to this Thursday.
There was a final VIP cocktail party next, and I managed to sneak myself in and chat with most of the writers. B. J. Novak was only there for about 10 minutes or so, and he was getting mobbed, so I had no chance to talk to him. Writer Mike Schur (a.k.a. Cousin Mose) was also getting mobbed. The lesson here? Acting is better than writing :)
With that, our magical weekend came to a close. Sigh. We'll always have Scranton.
Category:Convention -- posted at: 10:37pm EDT
Mon, 29 October 2007
On Sunday, the convention played host to the "Bloggers' Breakfast," an assemblage of notables from the world of Office blogging (including everyone's favorite blog-mistress, "Tanster") and several cast members who themselves blog about their day jobs. Join Brian Baumgartner, Bobby Ray Shafer, Kate Flannery, and Andy Buckley as they dish on how blogging is a wonderful thing.
Mon, 29 October 2007
I posted all of my pictures to the FLICKR account.
Other photo collections from the convention:
Category:Convention -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT
Sun, 28 October 2007
It was the WRITERS' day to shine in Scranton today, as Greg Daniels, Mike Schur, Kent Zbornak, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Celotta, Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Lester Lewis, and... "the rest" of the writing staff fielded questions from the fans about writing for the best show on TV.
Sadly, Paul Lieberstein couldn't make it out to the show this weekend, but as you can see, B. J. Novak made a surprise appearance to (hopefully) make up for it. Oh, and we also got to see the first ten minutes of "Branch Wars," which "Sunday Matt" proclaims to be "dawesome."
Again, sorry for the audio quality... hope you can still enjoy the content.
Sun, 28 October 2007
Well, today was pretty crazy. Woke up-- still raining. Since Adam and Laura were hungry/thirsty, we hiked to the Steamtown Mall and found the famous food court home of the "Scranton Welcomes You" sign. The place was essentially deserted, and we were goofing around taking pictures... I suddenly looked over and frigging Mindy Kaling was standing two feet away from me (also getting her picture taken with the sign). I got up the courage to ask her to talk, but alas, she didn't have time for me right then.
Walking back to the main square, we hung around the autograph tent for a while, sneaking pictures of Phyllis and Bobby Ray, Melora, Angela, Ed and Mindy (again) as they signed autographs for the people lucky enough to have tickets. I did the paparazzi thing and yelled "MELORA!" to get her attention, and it worked-- she looked right into my camera. Good stuff!
At three, Creed and The Scrantones hit the stage and played a few tunes (including the theme song, and the song Creed sang during the deleted scenes from "Booze Cruise"). Craig Robinson got up on stage next, singing a Daryll-rific version of Radiohead's "Creep." Unfortunately, I had to take off for the press conference at four, so missed the rest of the show.
The press conference... wow. Me and about 30-40 other members of the press got to ask the cast anything we wanted. I got up the gumption to ask them about the writer's strike (they all laughed when I said I was from the TWSS podcast... they thought I was joking). Greg Daniels didn't have a specific number of how many episodes they had in the can, but they eventually said that every month of the strike would knock three episodes off the schedule. I'll post the audio from the press conference eventually. After the conference, I got to go around and talk to EVERY. SINGLE. CAST. MEMBER. Only for a few seconds, but I got them to record little bumpers for the show, which you should be hearing sometime soon as well. Definitely very cool to shake everyone's hands and introduce myself.
At around 5:15 pm, we moved across the hall into the PUBLIC Q&A session (download the audio podcast below). Crap, that place was packed... it was essentially a basketball arena, and it was filled to the top of the bleachers on all sides. With my press pass, I wormed my way into the "photographer" area directly in front of the cast... essentially sitting 4-5 feet away from them during the entire show. Great, great times.
After the event, I tried to find the Lackawana College campus, as it was hosting the "cast lookalike" contest and Scrantones encore. Needless to say, I got lost, and when I finally got there, I spent 10 minutes running up and down stairs trying to find the frigging bathroom. I walked around for a few minutes, but I just had to bail. I was wiped.
Tomorrow, I plan to hit the "Blogger's Breakfast" and then the "Writer's Block" sessions (more audio to come).
P.S. Adam got a hug from Melora Hardin. He's ready to die now.
Category:Convention -- posted at: 12:11am EDT
Sat, 27 October 2007
Live, from Scranton, PA... it's SATURDAY NIGHT! A Saturday night cast Q&A, that is. Join Greg Daniels, Ed Helms, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Melora Hardin, Leslie David Baker, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, Kate Flannery, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Phyllis Smith, Bobby Ray Shafer, and Andy Buckley for 85 minutes of fun. The auditorium was packed, and the place was loud. Can you feel the love? I apologize for the quality of the audio-- it was the best I could do. Hope it brings everyone who wouldn't make it a little closer to the convention.