Is it March 2nd yet?

I don’t know about you, but I’m going through some serious Office withdrawal.

A few other thoughts:

  • OfficeTally has racked up nearly 5,000 votes since its debut three weeks ago. Considering that only one new episode of The Office aired during this time, I’d say that the response has been … incalcucable. ;) Thanks to all of you for coming over and casting your vote!
  • Quite a few Office fansites have been talking about an old cast interview (pre-Season 1 release) — check it out here. It is quite hysterical.
  • One site I’ve been perusing quite a bit lately is the LiveJournal Office Icons community. Quite a few talented people out there, creating some terrific icons.

Anyway, hope you have been dealing well with your withdrawal. Only eight more days …

Some recent changes to OfficeTally

I’ve made some changes to OfficeTally to make your visit here more enjoyable. Or, at least, more interesting.

  • Add a comment to the Highest Rated Episodes page. You can now add a comment directly on the Highest Rated Episodes page. For instance, did you think a particular episode was rated too low or too high? — post your thoughts there!
  • Subscribe to comments. While the main activity here at OfficeTally is rating your favorite episodes, the other activity is commenting on them. You can now choose to be notified by email whenever anyone adds a comment to a post that you’ve commented on. Just click the “Notify me of followup comments by email” checkbox right below the comment form.
  • Add a gravatar to your comments. A gravatar is a little image that appears next to your comment, giving it a personal touch. Here is an example. Click here for more information on setting up a gravatar. No longer available …

Jenna Fischer TV Guide blog: Your Questions Answered

From Jenna Fischer’s TV Guide blog, dated February 16, 2006:

The Office: Your Questions Answered!
by Jenna Fischer, aka “Pam”

So… there is no new episode of The Office this week. NBC is airing the Olympics. Have you been watching? They have actually been pretty cool and exciting.

Since we don’t have an episode airing tonight, I thought it would be a fun to answer some of your questions. Here we go!

Quick question: Do you write these blogs personally, or does someone from NBC do it? Come on, be honest! — Scott in Anthem, Ariz.
This seemed like a good first question. It kind of makes the rest of them more meaningful. Yes, I (Jenna) do write this blog myself. Not only do I write it myself, I sometimes write it at work from my desk on set. We have real working computers. When I am in the background of a scene (like I am right now), I will sometimes take the opportunity to work on my blog. Or e-mail friends. Or play Spider Solitaire. But, yes, it’s really me.

What do you think of Dwight and Angela? — Beth in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The Dwangela romance is one of my favorite parts of the show. Aren’t they wonderfully creepy? I love the fact that the audience knew about the romance before anyone else in the office. And now Pam is the only one in the office who knows. She hasn’t even told Jim. Dwight and Angela don’t know that Pam has figured it out, either. In an upcoming episode, Pam confronts Angela about her secret. It’s awesome!

In the “Boys and Girls” episode, your character could draw. Is that something you do in real life? What are some things you like doing? — Vanessa in Chatsworth, Calif.
One of my hobbies is cartooning. I don’t do it much anymore, but I really love it. Back in Season 1, when we were first developing the role of Pam, I was excited to learn that she would have a secret talent and passion for drawing. Pam is a much better artist than I am, though. I mean, she could do it professionally.

Other things I like doing in my free time: playing with my pets, shopping at Target and watching TV with my husband. (We are rooting for the gray-haired guy on American Idol.) I also like putting together photo albums and scrapbooks.

Is the dialogue on your show scripted, improvised or both? Sara in St. Louis, Mo.
Our shows are 100 percent scripted. They put everything down on paper. Our glances to camera, our hesitations… everything. It is the actor’s job to make it seem fresh and natural. But we get to play around a little bit, too. Steve [Carell] and Rainn [Wilson] are brilliant improvisers. They often come up with funny alternate jokes within a scene. Some of Steve’s stuff on the streets of NYC in the “Valentine’s Day” episode was improvised. And in “Sexual Harassment,” when Dwight is asking Toby about the female body, Rainn improvised that. It makes working with them very fun.

But the writers are great at writing dialogue that sounds real. Here is what that famous Jim-Pam scene from “Booze Cruise” looked like on paper:


SPY SHOT: Jim and Pam watch the wake.

It’s getting kind of rowdy in there.


Sometimes I just don’t get Roy.

Jim looks at her curiously. What’s she up to?

So… is it fun to date a cheerleader?


Jim almost says something more but doesn’t. Pam looks at him encouragingly. He still doesn’t go on. A moment passes.

I’m cold.

She turns back inside. Jim takes a deep breath and shakes off a sense that he just blew something, then follows her.

And here is an example of a Michael Scott monologue from the episode “Email Surveillance”:

Michael is glued to his computer. He glances up at the camera from time to time.

Oooh, Meredith got an Evite…. Looks like Jim’s
having a BBQ… tonight? That’s odd. How come
I didn’t get my Evitation? Oh, here we go —
Click here for the invite list….
Angela, Stanley, Oscar… hmmm…
I don’t see… Meredith, Phyllis…
(looks at camera)
You guys are on here…
(back to screen)
… Kevin, Creed… must be… no.

Besides “getting the best sex of your life,” what would be the perfect Valentine gift, in your opinion? — Alex in St. Louis, Mo.
I think it changes depending on how long you’ve been with someone. The first year we were married, my husband gave me some peach-colored roses. They were similar to the ones I carried in my wedding bouquet. I was really touched. This year, he changed the filter on our water-filtration system and brought our laundry downstairs without me having to ask. We also watched TV and ate giant heart-shaped shortbread cookies. It was perfect.

I am a 1995 grad of Truman State University (NMSU). I don’t think we ever met, but you seemed so familiar that we probably had a class together or something. Anyway, my question is: Did you ever sing Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” with the pep band between women’s and men’s basketball games? Or am I thinking of somebody else? — Troy in Cincinnati, Ohio
Wow! Yes, that was me. I also worked with the pep band on an original country song I wrote called “I Should’ve Never Had the Wine.” It was a short-lived union as I am not the greatest singer and they had other obligations. But it was fun. I was committed to the performance. Do you also remember my ridiculous outfit — black crushed-velvet hot pants and a ruffled purple top? Yikes. If you have a photo of this, please give me a chance to buy it from you before you put it on eBay.

Thanks to everyone for your nice notes and questions. A lot of people asked where they can get a Dwight bobblehead. That was specially made by our props department for the Valentine’s Day episode. I’m sure Rainn will get to keep it after the show is over. I’m jealous, too.

Until next week…

Jenna Fischer TV Guide blog: Valentine’s Day

From Jenna Fischer’s TV Guide blog, dated February 9, 2006:

The Office Presents: “Valentine’s Day”
by Jenna Fischer, aka “Pam”

I get a lot of letters about my hair. People want to know if it is naturally curly. They want to know how I wear it in real life. When I took it down briefly in the episode “The Secret,” people asked why Pam doesn’t wear it like that more often. Pam’s hair attracts a lot of attention.

You know it well. It’s curly in the back, straight in the front. Or as I like to call it, “the girl mullet.” I created Pam’s look when I went to my first audition for The Office [Thursdays at 9:30 pm/ET on NBC]. I channeled my experience as an awkward teenager in St. Louis trying to figure out how to tame my crazy mop of naturally curly hair. I didn’t know about big round brushes and blow-drying and antifrizz products, like I do today. And I figured that Pam didn’t know about that stuff, either. The best she could come up with was the scrunch-and-dry approach. She throws it in a clip because it’s easy. She doesn’t wear it down because it would attract too much attention, and Pam is shy.

But tonight’s episode, “Valentine’s Day,” marks a first for The Office: Pam changes her hair!

“Valentine’s Day” was written by the gifted Mike Schur, who wrote one of my favorite episodes so far this year, “Christmas.” He must be good with holiday themes, because this episode is awesome, too. It was directed by our very own executive producer, Greg Daniels.

In this episode, it’s Valentine’s Day and Michael has to go to the corporate office in New York City to do a presentation for Jan and the new company CFO. If he does poorly, it might mean the end of our Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin. Back at the office, Phyllis is overwhelmed with gifts from her boyfriend — Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration — while Pam waits patiently for a gift from Roy.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Pam wears a pink sparkly headband! There has been a season-long debate over whether or not we could ever change Pam’s hair. I worked with the amazing Office hairstylist Kim Ferry for weeks on different versions of Pam’s look. We tried ponytails, barrettes, and headbands…. We photographed each choice and consulted the Big Boss, Greg Daniels. In the end, he chose the headband. You’ll have to let me know what you think.

In other news, Dwight gets a Valentine’s Day gift and it is awesome. Everyone is going to want one. I’m very jealous that Rainn [Wilson] will get to keep this when the show is over. Kudos to our props department.

Finally, the poker update: So, we can’t gamble at work. But do you know where we can gamble? My house. That’s right — I’m hosting a game of cards tonight for some cast and crew. Here’s hoping that the house is lucky!

Until next week…