Hulu, the website set upto broadcast shows over the web, is finally exiting it’s beta phase, and will be opening to the public on March 12. You’ll be able to watch shows like Heroes, The Office, The Simpsons, as well as many classic TV shows.
The Year in Television 2007
It’s 2008! You know what that means, lots and lots of lists about various things that happened in 2007. You can add this one to the list of those lists.
The very popular show“24” started up again. What would Jack do this time? Who would he go after? Well it turned out that Jack did what he does best, which is shoot people, and it pretty much didn’t matter who it was. What else did we find out? We found out that Jack Bauer’s tears cause nuclear weapons to go off, and that after seeing that at the very beginning of the season, the show pretty much went down hill from there. I mean, how do you top that? Let’s hope 2008 is a better year for Jack.
With football season at an end, and the Superbowl right around the corner, most of the country found out that teams that didn’t come from either coast of the United States were about to be locked in battle. I speak of course, of “Survivor”. This go ‘round, they are in Fiji. In this all new “Survivor”, they sat around and complained about each other, ate really nasty things, and voted each other off the island, which was completely different every other “Survivor”.
America was further astonished to find out about two teams that are just over 200 miles away from each other, in mysterious places called “Illinois” and “Indiana”, and which reside someplace called the “Midwest”. Americans are even more surprised that these places have football, and that, somehow, they are both going to the Superbowl.
After getting over this whole “Midwest” thing, organizers logically held the Superbowl in Miami, Florida. Miami is basically very much like New York, except New York cab drivers are scared to drive there. Many, many people came to the Superbowl, and advertisers spent millions of dollars on ads. There was also a football game. The Indianapolis Colts won.
In March, a show about a bunch of people who have done terrible things and lie about it came on television. It looked like it was going to be a hit, until everyone realized it was just the presidential candidates starting up earlier than ever before.
Someone in Hollywood must have had the inside scoop on this, since they were able to create a show based around a similar set of circumstances, where people pretend to be someone else: “The Riches”. The show starred that great comedian Eddie Izzard, who creates great dramatic performances while still making things funny at times, all while not wearing a dress.
In April, shows that started in the Fall of 2006 were already starting to end. The shows “30 Rock” and “Studio 60” both started in the fall were each about late night comedy shows except that one was actually good, and lived through the entire season.
“The Sopranos” returned in April, and people were very anxious to see how, in just a couple of short months, Tony Soprano’s fate would be resolved in a nice uncomplicated and unambiguous way.
The season finale of “Lost” came in May, and as usual, everything that happened in the show was completely crystal clear. That is, if you wash your crystal with butter. After audiences had gotten used to seeing a lot of flashbacks, this time the writers turned things around and did a flash-forward. I look forward to the next season of Lost when they start doing flash-sideways.
A show called “On the Lot” debuted. It aimed to find the next Steven Spielberg, and it turns out that people were pretty much satisfied with the Steven Spielberg they already had and didn’t watch the show.
A nation was shocked to find out that Rosie O’Donnell was leaving “The View”. A nation asked, “That show is still on?”
People were very upset when “Jericho” was cancelled, and they decided to send CBS a message. After thousands of pounds of nuts were sent into CBS headquarters, the network said that they understood, and were going to take immediate action: They announced that Dan Rather was coming back. This announcement was short-lived when CBS realized that what people really wanted was Jericho back. CBS agreed, and later in the year said that it would be back in 2008. Dan Rather lobbied to be on “Jericho” as a newscaster, but executives thought it would be completely implausible.
“The Sopranos” ended, and someone thought it would be a good idea to end the show by abruptly going to black. Most of The Sopranos audience thought it would be a good idea to go see the writers of the last episode and abruptly make them black and blue.
Take a group of people, have them dress up funny, do strange tasks and pay the winner million dollars at the end. “Survivor”? No, unfortunately, it was “Pirate Master”, and it made its debut in June. To say this show stunk like Limburger cheese would be just mean and nasty to Limburger cheese.
CBS, hoping to appease the steaming, frothing mouths of “Jericho” fans, started rerunning the show in hopes it will buy the network some time until new shows can be produced.
Final episodes of the show “Drive” started to air. The show tried to be mysterious as “Lost”, except without the island, weird smoke monster, and the excitement.
“High School Musical 2” debuted, and thousands of teenagers fainted in all the excitement. Parents everywhere were bewildered how a musical could do that to today’s youth.
Bob Barker said goodbye to “Price is Right” after approximately one million years of hosting the show. He will be missed.
Millions of “Lost” fans started searching their dials for where “Lost” was. That answer: January 2008. The writers for the show struck a deal in which they could run all the shows back to back, without doing any reruns. Everyone seemed to be satisfied by this, and the only thing that could through a wrench in those plans would be a writer’s strike, which seemed HIGHLY unlikely.
A nation watched as Whoopi Goldberg joined “The View”. A nation asked, “I really wasn’t kidding last time, the show isn’t really still on is it?” A nation would be disappointed by the answer.
“Moonlight” premiered. This was a show about a brooding vampire that helps people instead of sucking their blood. This show was much better the first time around when it was called “Angel” and had different actors and characters.
Heroes season 2 debuted, but started somewhere in the middle of the story which confused the living heck out of people. Most of the new characters are interesting and include live versions of the Wonder Twins from the old Justice League cartoon. Instead of having the ability to morph into different objects, when their Wonder Twin powers give the brother the ability to make his sister stop crying, which is a good thing since her tears are black and kill people. Another new character seemed to have a mysterious stalking ability which he used on the cheerleader, Claire, but it was later revealed that was wrong. He could fly AND stalk her.
“Chuck” debuted. This show was about a clerk at a big box store that had all of the national intelligence secrets downloaded into his brain, leaving him a complete moron. Well, that’s want would happen if that were really true. What happened on the show was he, naturally, becomes a spy and helps the real spies thwart bad people from doing bad things, all while retaining his original job.
“The Office” debuted, and we finally found out that Jim and Pam were dating. Not in the open, (at least at first), but dating none the less.
Everyone was waiting for a new program people will be talking about all week after each show. That program was: “Cavemen”. The things people were saying were, “Urgh, Wurf, and Blech”. Those aren’t cavemen words either. Fortunately, by now most of those people have finished having their stomachs pumped, and are now able to watch regular programs again. They have, however, been asked to step away from any shows with the words “cave” or “men” in them.
“Big Bang Theory” was another new show, this one about a group of nerdy types that hang out with a girl that lives across the hall. The entire basis of this program was to show that making jokes about topics in nuclear physics, Greek philosophers, and chemistry was a completely untapped resource… and for a good reason. It was hard to tell which was more implausible, that people with high IQs could be so social unaware, or that the socially aware could have such low IQs.
“The Next Great American Band” was a show in search of the next great American band. There are many talented people on the show, just chomping at the bit for an opportunity to be taken to the cleaners by the record industry.
Drew Carey started on “Price is Right”, taking over from Bob Barker. Drew was on a lot of game shows this year, including the “The Power of 10”, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, and the newly announced, “The Power Price is 10 Right Lines Anyway”.
The Writer’s Strike started. The writers were trying to get a little more money for each DVD sold, and, horror of horrors, they want to get paid for programs that others were making millions from. With everyone in Hollywood making money on shows, it is hard to believe that the writers are usually the low people on the totem pole. Even the sewer cleaners in Hollywood advised the writers, “You really need to get a better contract”.
Having no new shows struck fear into the hearts of the Hollywood moguls, and they’ve already taken steps to deal with the strike. Most had already switched from lighting cigars with $100 bills to $20 bills.
What this meant was shows that should have been off the air sooner than they were (like “Cavemen”) stayed on longer than they should have.
Many TV shows came out on DVD in time for the Christmas season, and even TV shows that were made into movies and then put on to DVD, to later be put back onto TV after DVD sales die out. This includes “The Simpsons” Movie, which asks the question: What does a spiderpig do?
David Letterman made an end run around CBS which doesn’t actually own “Late Night with David Letterman”, and struck a deal with his writers to come back to work. The other late night shows are going to try and do this without writers, and we’ll just have to see how that’s going to turn out when they debut in 2008.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas over, and a lot of football still to play, most of the programs that have already gone into re-runs because of the writer’s strike have gone unnoticed, and probably will do so until the beginning of 2008 when people start to realize what a real horror this could all be. There is going to be a lot more reality programming headed our way, so be careful not to step in it.
If you’re looking for that special gift for your favorite TV fan, you might want to look at NBC auctions for some of the props they use on the NBC shows like The Office, 30 Rock and Heroes. The auctions will take place between November 19th and December 3rd.
Is there going to be a problem in The Office soon for Jim and Pam?
Lots of confrontations happened last night on the office Angela broke up with Dwight, Kelly manipulated Ryan into thinking she was pregnant to get him to go out to dinner, and Ryan and Michael aren’t quite seeing eye to eye about the future of Dunder Mifflin.
When Dwight killed Angela’s cat last week, the thought occurred to me: What if their fight gets big enough that there’s a sudden corporate edict that said there was no dating allowed at work?
Fast forward to this week: Angela breaks up with Dwight. Ryan is really mad at Kelly. Michael is skating on thinner ice than usual with corporate (in particular Ryan). Ryan tries to get a date with Pam, but can’t because Jim is dating her. (“I guess he can’t get ANY girl” – Nice line, Jim!) Toby didn’t let Jim and Pam sign a note about their dating, because Toby still has hope he can date Pam.
So, what happens is Ryan gets really mad, turns around, fires Michael and takes over? (This happened on the British version of the show). The probably coming conflict between Angela and Dwight will expose their relationship, which was never reported to HR. What if it blows up badly and they get in trouble? What happens to Pam and Jim? There’s nothing at corporate saying they ARE dating (since Toby didn’t let them fill out a form), are they going to get into trouble because of it?
…yeah, I know… this is beginning to sound like one of my Lost theories posts….
Anyway, that’s how things would probably work out in “the real world”…. Is that how things are going work out this season at The Office?
Did you see the fake Dunder Mifflin commercial on The Office last night?
Yes, there is really a Dunder Mifflin Infinity website that you can sign up for. It’s been going for a week or two now, and you can sign up for free. Not much has happened yet. The only “assignment” so far has been to design a Logo for Dunder Mifflin.
If you’re a fan of The Office, go sign up!
NBC is running a website called Dunder Mifflin Infinity, for a game they’re running. You compete against other “branches” of employees for Shrutebucks.
Here’s an e-mail they sent out today:
TO: All New Dunder Mifflin Infinity Employees
FROM: Ryan Howard, Director of Dunder Mifflin Infinity
SUBJECT: Your life is about to change!
To All New DM Infinity Employees,
Welcome to the future of Dunder Mifflin. We’re thrilled to have you aboard. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am, but that’s mainly because our legal department has advised me not to do so. Instead, let me just say that the project we’re all embarking on will change the paper industry. For the better.
By joining the Dunder Mifflin Infinity team, you have joined a movement. A movement that will sweep the nation. A movement that will shatter all of your preconceptions regarding how paper and office supplies are sold, distributed, catalogued, warehoused, and delivered. Dunder Mifflin Infinity was designed, by myself, as a means to topple the old guard. If my projections are correct, this project will make Dunder Mifflin more profitable than Exxon (in terms of comparative percentages). Aren’t you glad you’re here?
While the business model for DM Infinity is different, the principles of Dunder Mifflin remain the same. We are committed to excellence through serving our customers. Without customers, we are nothing. Although you will not be dealing with customers directly, you are responsible for conducting yourself in a professional manner at all times. Just as the physical branches in Akron, Albany, Buffalo, Camden, Nashua, Scranton, Utica, and Yonkers operate with the utmost degree of professionalism, you too will be a reflection of the Dunder Mifflin name. Treasure this. Live by this. You are an extension of the company. Do not let us down.
Dunder Mifflin Infinity is a unique opportunity. We are committed to excellence. Stay with us long enough and you’ll want to be committed, too.
Director of Dunder Mifflin Infinity
24 – Two Days Later – Hour 17
The following takes place between 11 am and 12 noon, and is part of an ongoing documentary.
11:00 am – Chloe, Morris, Jack and Bill are standing in an office parking lot. Jack is still wearing the Batman costume. A tall man standing next to his car in the parking lot looks very startled at seeing the group appear out of nowhere. He slowly starts walking towards the building, and then when he thinks he can make it, runs for the building and goes inside yelling, “MICHAEL!”
Jack says, “Chloe, give me my clothes. I have to find a place where I can change back to my street clothes.” They go inside the building. Jack runs into a men’s room with his clothes to change. Chloe, Morris and Bill wait outside.
11:03 am – Inside the building, there’s an office where people are working in an open area. Desks are everywhere, and people work at computers, take phone calls, and process paperwork. The man from the parking lot runs into the room and heads straight for the receptionist and a young man, carrying a coat and briefcase, who is talking to her.
The man says, “Pam! Jim! Plan 920! Implement Plan 920! Where’s Michael!?”
Pam says, “What? Dwight?”
Pam and Jim watch as Dwight runs into Michael’s office.
Jim walks over to his desk to drop off the coat and briefcase he’s carrying. He opens his desk, and the contents have been completely encased in solid Styrofoam.
[ The scene shifts to Pam in a conference room, speaking to a camera ]
Pam: I think it was Dwight. Jim’s always playing pranks on him. Yesterday he filled Dwight’s desk with ping pong balls.
11:05 am – Back in Michael’s office Dwight says, “I was just in the parking lot! I saw four people appear out of nowhere! One of them is dressed like Batman! Implement Plan 920!”
Michael looks out of his office window, but doesn’t see anything. “Well, there’s no one there now. Did you get enough sleep last night?”
Dwight looks desperate: “Michael, listen to me! Four people materialized in the parking lot!”
Michael says, “Look, if people are collecting money in the parking lot, that’s up to them. Even if they decide to dress up like Batman.”
Dwight shakes his head, “No, I mean they appeared out of thin air. And only one of them was dressed like Batman. They don’t know how to dress like us! We have to implement Plan 920!”
Michael cuts him off. “Dwight, just stop it!”
11:06 am – Back downstairs in the lobby, Morris says, “I wonder what we’re going to find here?”
Bill replies, “I don’t know, but it’s kind of weird that we’re in an office building. You don’t think those terrorists set up an office, do you?”
After a few minutes, Jack comes back out in his own clothes. He says, “I had to stash that Batman outfit behind one of the toilets, but I took the utility belt. We’ll come back for it later.”
Chloe goes over to Jack and pulls out his shirt so it covers the belt. “That way you won’t look like a goof.” She points at a directory on the wall near the elevator and says, “I think we have to go upstairs. There are some offices up there.”
11:14 am – They get off the elevator and enter an office. A receptionist answers the phone, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam. … I’m sorry, but Michael is busy right now. I’ll have him call you back.” She looks up and sees Chloe, Morris, Bill and Jack. “May I help you?”
A man comes out of his office followed closely by the tall man they saw downstairs in the parking lot. The man says, “Michael Scott, Head Honcho. What can I do you for?”
The tall man whispers loudly to Michael, “Plan 920! Plan 920!”
11:16 am – [ The scene shifts to Jim sitting in the conference room ]
Jim speaks to the camera: “When Dwight first became assistant to the regional manager, he came up with contingency plans for every conceivable problem that might happen around here.”
[ Switch to Dwight, in the same conference room ]
Dwight: “A good assistant regional manager has to be prepared for any office emergency. I’ve handed out a pamphlet explaining them all, and issue quarterly updates with changes and new editions. It’s right in here.” He holds up a red notebook labeled: Dunder Mifflin – Emergency Procedures – Scranton Branch, opens it and points, “Plan 920: Alien invasion.”
[Switch back to Jim]
Jim: “Dwight’s book? I used it under one of the legs on my desk to make it level.”
[ The scene shifts back to Michael talking to everyone ]
11:18 am – Michael says, “Stop it, Dwight! These are completely normal people!” Michael looks at the group and says, “Well, for computer people, I mean.” He laughs. He turns to the other people in the office, and says, “Attention, everyone! Attention! The people I asked corporate for are here. They’re going to help us with our computers. Now, I want you to be nice to them, because they’re computer nerds, and not used to interacting with people.”
Pam looks embarrassed, “Michael…”
Jack tries to interrupt, “Uh, excuse me, I think that you’ve…”
Michael continues, oblivious to Pam’s embarrassment and Jack’s interruption. “I want you to give these computer geeks whatever access they need to help clean out that virus that’s going around.”
11:22 am – [ Switch to Michael in his office, talking to the camera ]
Michael: “I get a lot of e-mail every day. You’d be surprised at the number of women in Eastern Europe that contact me just wanting a friend. I also get quite a bit of e-mail from Nigeria, asking for my personal assistance. They send me attachments all the time, and I open everything. It’s important to be thorough and follow up on every lead in a job like mine. Now, somehow, we’ve gotten a problem on the computer network, and I’m way behind on my e-mail.”
[ Switch back to Michael talking to Jack and company ]
Michael says, “We don’t have much room here, so I had the people in the warehouse clear out some space for you to work. Jim, I want you to take these people down to their offices. I gave the warehouse staff the rest of the week off, so they shouldn’t be disturbed down there.”
Dwight hesitates, and says, “I can help them, Michael.” He turns to Jack, “What do you say, Batman? I can take you down to your office.”
Michael shakes his head, “Dwight, just stop it.” He turns to Jim, “Jim, can you take these people downstairs to their offices?”
11:29 am – Chloe starts to try and explain to Jim what’s going on, but Jack motions for her to stay quiet. Jim takes Jack, Chloe, Morris, and Bill downstairs to a set of desks in a corner of the warehouse and then heads back upstairs.
Chloe says, “NOW what are we supposed to do? That guy upstairs thinks we’re here to fix his computers!”
Jack says, “Well, can’t you?”
Chloe says, “Of course I can! But what has that got to do with catching the people we’re chasing after?”
Jack says, “I have no idea… You know how this goes! We’ll know when something happens.”
Bill whispers, “Psst! Jack! That Dwight guy is watching us!”
11:31 am – Dwight is watching through the door at the top of the staircase.
[ Switch to Dwight in a conference room ]
Dwight: Usually aliens have apparatus that they need to use to breath in our atmosphere.
He thinks for a moment and continues.
Dwight: They’re not using anything like that. I might be wrong about them
[ Switch back to the warehouse ]
11:32 am – Jack lowers his voice says, “Morris and Chloe, go back upstairs and see if you can find out what’s going on with their computers. Just act like we really belong here, and don’t create a scene. If those terrorists are around here, we don’t want to tip them off. Bill and I will check around the warehouse.”
11:33 am – Chloe and Morris both head upstairs, and Dwight is gone by the time they reach the top. They re-enter the office area, and meet Michael.
Michael says, “Well! All settled in then? I forgot to ask you your names.”
Morris shakes his hand, “I’m Morris and this is Chloe.”
Michael turns to Morris and says, “Are those other guys coming up to help? Or is it just you and your secretary?”
Chloe says, “WHAT?”
Morris turns his head whispers, “Calm down! Calm down!” Chloe stops talking. Morris turns to Michael and says, “We’re both computer experts.”
Michael laughs, “What? I’ve never seen women on those Geek Squad commercials. Are you sure she can handle it?”
Morris reaches back and keeps Chloe from taking a swing at Michael, “I can assure you that she can handle it. We should have your systems running better in no time.”
Michael tells Chloe, “You can start with Angela’s computer over there in accounting, and then Kelly’s and Meredith’s.” He leans over to whisper to Morris, “She should feel more comfortable working with women’s computers,” and walks back into his office.
[ Switch to Chloe in the conference room ]
Chloe: I wish I had my taser.
[ Switch back to the office ]
It’s all that Morris can do to hold Chloe back. She finally calms down and walks over to Angela to help her. Morris goes into Michael’s office to help him.
11:40 am – Chloe works on Angela’s computer while Angela stands next to her. Chloe says, “I like your poster.” The man sitting next to Angela’s desk rolls his eyes.
Angela seems pleased. “Why, thank you. Have you been with the company a long time?”
Chloe pauses and says, “No, not long. We’re both new, to this job.”
Angela says, “Oh, you knew each other before?”
Chloe says, “You could say that. We were married. We’re divorced now.”
Angela prickles at this. “Oh. How disappointing.” She walks away.
Chloe looks around to be sure no one is watching, and types a few commands to try and contact CTU’s computers, but is unsuccessful. She pounds the desk in frustration. A heavy-set man across from Chloe says, “I know. I couldn’t find it either. Angela must have come in on the weekend and taken solitaire off of all of the computers.”
11:42 am – Morris works on Michael’s computer.
Morris says, “I can’t believe this. I’ve never seen an e-mail inbox this full before. Or all this extra junk you’ve downloaded! It’s a wonder this computer runs at all.”
Michael responds, “Why thank you! I work really hard on this. With all the typing. And mousing. And hard driving.”
Morris says, “That’s not…”
11:44 am – He’s interrupted by a young Indian woman who comes running into the room, speaking very quickly, “Omigawd! Omigawd! I’m so glad you’re here to fix the computers because I haven’t been able to get on the Internet in a week and I don’t even know what to do with myself since my boyfriend moved away a few months ago I haven’t had anyone that can fix it and it’s so important for me to keep up with all the world events like Paris and Lindsay and how quickly Tom and Katie’s daughter is growing up, not to mention all the great Internet sales going on that I haven’t even been able to look at for such a long time and with the new fashions coming out this month I’m SOOO desperate to find something I can wear.” She leaves.
Morris asks Michael, “Does she breathe?”
Michael says, “I don’t think so.”
11:46 am – Jack and Bill search around the warehouse stacks to see what they can find. Jack tells Bill that it looks like this is a paper company, because that’s all the stock is. Dwight is attempting to watch what Jack and Bill are doing.
[ Scene switches to Dwight in the conference room ]
Dwight: I’m still not sure they’re aliens… But if aliens do come to this planet, it makes perfect sense they would come to a paper company. Infect the world’s paper supply, and they would enslave the whole world.
11:48 am – Back upstairs in the office area, Morris comes out to tell everyone that the computer that had the infection has been cleared, and that an antidote has been placed on the network drive. He tells everyone to reboot their computers.
Michael says, “You heard the man! Creed! Stanley! That means you too!”
[ Scene switches to Creed in the conference room ]
Creed: I’m not rebooting. I learned a bit about computers over the summer, and now I run an online casino from that computer. I can’t afford the downtime.
[ Scene switches to Stanley in the conference room ]
Stanley: My computer broke three weeks ago. Still no replacement.
11:51 am – Downstairs in the warehouse, a truck rolls up to the loading dock of the warehouse. Two men get out, and look around. They start loading their truck with paper.
Dwight steps out from where he was hiding and yells, “Hey! Stop! There isn’t any paper pick up today!”
Jack and Bill run over to the truck. One of the men yells to the other, “It’s Bauer! Get him!” Jack tackles one of the men, and Bill punches the other in the face. Dwight runs upstairs.
11:53 am – Dwight bursts into the office area and yells, “Pam! Call the police! We have intruders in the warehouse! Tell them I’ll meet them down there. I have to get something from my desk!”
Dwight runs over to his desk, which is missing. He stands there, not knowing what to say.
Jim says, “Dwight, are you looking for something?”
Dwight says, “Jim, where’s my desk? I have something very important I need to get out of it.”
Jim says, “Desk? What desk? You don’t have a desk. You usually just sit on the floor and work.”
Dwight gets madder, “Jim!” He runs back out of the room.
11:55 am – In the confusion over the desk, Chloe and Morris run out of the room and back downstairs to the warehouse.
Bill is standing next to one of the men, who has been knocked out. Jack is lying on top of the other man, with his forearm over the guy’s throat. Dwight comes to the top of the stairs, and looks very alarmed at what’s going on. Jack yells, “What are you going to do with this paper? Tell us who you work for!”
Dwight runs downstairs, and says, “The police are on their way. What’s going on here? Who are you people?”
11:57 am – There’s a flash of light. Morris, Chloe, Bill, Jack and the two men disappear.
Dwight is dumbfounded, and after a minute realizes he was right all along. “They WERE aliens… !”
Jack, Chloe, Morris and Bill stand on a sidewalk on a busy street.
11:59 am – Back in the office, Dwight is standing on top of Jim’s desk, looking through the ceiling tiles at his desk, which now sits on boards in the ceiling. The desk has been reassembled exactly as it was when it was on the floor.
12:00 noon – Time’s up!
Greg Daniels just won an Emmy for “Writing For A Comedy Series” for the “Gay Witch Hunt” episode of The Office.