-James + Anne = festival of adorable! Loved all the skits. Shut up, internet. You're wrong.
-I don't know who was presenting the Best Supporting Actress, and I don't know why he was allowed to talk [edit: I have looked up his name and been told who he is. Still no recognition, or good reason to let him talk.], but all I could think while digging my nails into my skin was, "This is why ageism exists." Also, as far as the winner, why is this always the way? I am 60% pumped about the choices, a greater chance of being satisfied than in any other category, and you award the lame nominee. Not to mention she's the kind of moron who swears without even thinking. Melissa Leo: heretofore merely boring and unworthy of interest, now confirmed a loser.
[edit: I was going for a spot of irony by throwing in some casual swearing in the above paragraph, but I think it was too subtle. Have since corrected it. Anyway, writing it and saying it are slightly different things.]
-Helen Mirren presenting the Best Foreign Film award in French was awesome, mostly because I was at the computer at that point and I suddenly had the weird sense that I was understanding something despite no English being spoken. It was surreal. Thank you for speaking slowly enough and using simple enough language to make me think I'm still passably fluent!
-I love that Alice in Wonderland picked up all kinds of creative design awards. So deserved.
-I am absurdly glad that "Night and Day" didn't win Best Animated Short, because those excruciating minutes before Toy Story 3 were the first time I've ever been in a movie theater and wanted to choke something to death. SO AGGRAVATINGLY DULL/POINTLESS.
-I'm pretty sad that "How To Train Your Dragon" didn't win best score, because based on the few seconds of sample music every movie got, none of which I've seen in full, I adored that style.
-I can't decide if I'm proud of The King's Speech for restoring prestige to the Best Picture category, or just annoyed that my shot in the dark stab at predicting "The Social Network" didn't come true. I should probably be proud. Yeah, I'm definitely proud of its overall success.
[Edit: HOW COULD I FORGET such gems as AutoTune music videos -- see, there is an occasion on which I can tell it's AutoTune, if it sounds like a robot voice -- namely, "Tiny Ball of Light." Highlight of the evening.]
The Office, "
(Is what the original title looks like to my eyes.)
And how it turned out was...OK. By far the least offensive appearance of Todd Packer yet, and at least he managed to write himself out of the picture by insulting Holly (wow, Holly has so many hidden uses it almost makes up for the horrible voice affectations she constantly puts on). Every second he was on screen was still horrible, but at least his actions produced a lot of Seriously and Vocally Ill-Pleased Jim, plus epic Jim/Dwight side plots of revenge. I love how even when they're allies, Jim needs to mess with Dwight to get it out of his system first. Everything about this subplot was joyous. Just wish Michael hadn't caught them looking like idiots, as I hate when Jim is incontrovertibly in the wrong.
You too, Pam. Don't think you're getting away with smirking about how you're "full on corrupt" now. You were already on thin ice by being nice to Erin, even if it was based on your own memories of being the receptionist. Surely you knew that she was too stupid to understand how to handle a random upgrade like that? Ugh, hated this subplot.
Best thing about this episode? Watching Michael continue to display impressive growth both as a competent, professional manager (what was that entire scene down in the cafe? where he actually REINED PACKER IN?), and in his relationship. That hug combined with a return to a more serious, normal voice nearly exploded my computer screen with...was that cuteness? I can't get over this new state of Michael affairs. It's like in the last handful of ER episodes, when Morris suddenly became tolerable.
I lied, that was second best thing. Best thing was Jim & Pam together:
+ Cold open cheek kiss before Pam leaves to let Jim pose the same question to Dwight literally 500 times
+ Pam coming over all glowing and looking for someone to show off to about how nice it is to make good things happen for other people.
Jim: You know, I cleaned up our daughter for like an hour this morning, so...
Pam: So you know the feeling.
Jim: *shot down*
+ Leading the charge to the annex to complain about Packer's hiring. Sure, he's been nice to Holly, but according to Meredith (and Pam's agreeing nods), that's just how he gets your panties off.
Jim: Why are you nodding?
+ I love how Jim still beams upon acknowledgement of the fact that he and Pam are married.
Packer: How's the sex?
- Dwight is either telling us how to survive "The Road," or the plot of a Middle Ages AU. "Pam will be taken slave. Jim will be made a warlord's jester." And apparently this whole cold open was lifted from a deleted scene last season. Heh.
-Gabe got stuck in the shower, and apparently required...the fire department's aid? Whatever. All I really heard was Gabe/Erin/shower. Hey, that looks like a writing prompt.
-Let's just let that sink in. Kevin has very little patience for stupidity.
-Kelly, self-aware and calling out the way Ryan constantly fake-apologizes! That's what I like to see. I prefer to believe Kelly absolutely knows she could do better, but simply chooses to keep him around as long as it's convenient.
In conclusion: That was actually not the worst episode of the season, or even in the bottom three.
Also, here is a delightful Q&A with BJ Novak about "Threat Level Midnight." So much thought went into character continuity! Can you imagine how great it would have been if they'd been able to get Amy Adams for a cameo too?