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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Office, America's Next Top Model, and The United States of Tara

Photo credit: jeffedoe
Last week, two of these shows ended their seasons, each with decent, but not amazing, finales.

The Office gave us a string of possible bosses. When we first heard that Steve Carell was leaving, our first reaction was that Dwight or Creed should replace him, if the replacement was in-house. We are glad the show agreed enough to let us see those two in action, but Dwight’s stint as boss was too short-lived. This show needed to drag that out for about three episodes. We get that they can’t stay bosses forever though and we like the idea of adding some fresh meat.

But the parade of bosses we got in the season finale didn’t give us much hope. No one really stood out to us as a funny, memorable option, except for maybe James Spader’s really confident guy who thinks that everyone is just after sex. We can see that. We loved his showdown with Dwight. We think that the recipe for a good character is the ability to have a good showdown with Dwight. But this might not be the final boss shortlist. Maybe a totally new option will present itself this fall.

As for America’s Next Top Model, after one of the most entertaining cycle in a long time, the wrong girl won again. This cycle wasn’t great because of the photo shoots, prizes, or anything the show threw at them, it was great because the girls were catty messes who could model, for the most part. There was no one who was a terrible model. Every elimination felt too soon. Alexandria led hundreds of people to this blog, because people were so obsessed with her that they kept searching for her name on Google.

Between Brittani and Molly, we were Team Molly. We had supported Brittani for a long time, but when it became clear that Molly was a top contender, we started looking at her more closely. This girl could take great pictures, we really sympathized with her struggle with being adopted, and she had the model look. This girl could actually have a career as America’s next top model, rather than some eccentricity on Tyra’s shelf of misfits that she is trying to make happen.

Brittani, on the other hand, clearly has anxiety issues and her face is not symmetrical. Tyra praised her unconventional angles and said, “The modeling world is obsessed with symmetry, but Brittani proves that you don’t have to have that.” Umm, you don’t prove things to the modeling industry 99% of the time. Every once in a while, a girl breaks a barrier, starts a new trend, and gets by with a new look. But we doubt it is going to come from a reality show, which wouldn’t have the cool, elitism factor that the modeling industry would respect enough to make an exception for. But good luck to both of them.

Also, how mean of the show to cut both their hair man-short before sending one packing. New haircuts just for panel? No photo? Rude.

Lastly, for those of you who have not yet heard, Showtime canceled The United States of Tara today. We chalk it up to the show’s insistence on focusing on boring things such as Kate’s search for meaning in her life (at 18, this is really NOT a crisis yet) and Charmaine’s nasty men and her baby. Heads up to storytellers: While a baby is very exciting in real life, in fiction, it usually makes your story grind to a halt, unless the mother births some kind of mutant/monster or you grow it up quickly, like on soaps.

The reason we watched the show and stayed with it was Toni Collette’s acting, the alters, her relationship with her husband, and the craziness and hilarity that was the whole mental illness thing. By depriving people of what’s unique about the show and focusing on Kate and Charmaine, the show made people lose interest. Besides, Kate and Charmaine have lame attitudes most of the time. That said, we like Kate’s new flight attendant job. It has pulled her out of her useless funk. There is no saving Charmaine. Or, it seems, this show.

Hopefully, the show ends with some closure.

The Office Finale Grade: B
The Office Season Grade: C+, as opposed to the season before that, which would have gotten a D were we blogging then. We loved this season's Christmas episodes and Michael's goodbye.

ANTM Finale Grade: B-
ANTM Cycle Grade: B+


  1. Man, none of the potential bosses on The Office were funny. I expected a lot more from Ray Romano.

  2. We expected more from Will Arnett. He didn't even act crazy! We didn't expect Ray Romano to either do well or be the new boss though. We're not Raymond fans. Ern can stand it, but it wouldn't a choice to watch it. Leeard hates it.

    The Office has really gone downhill, while the show it spawned, Parks and Rec, has gotten really funny and stands on its own