Q. I felt like the pacing of the show has gotten faster – shorter scenes between people and more cutting back and forth between several stories. Is this really the case? If so, could you talk about how you decided to do it this way? | Thor
You’re right, Thor. If you go back and watch season one of The Office, it’s a pretty different show. It has a lot more in common with its British predecessor than what you see now.
I think what happened was eventually we realized that if we took out that third shot of the copier making copies or people yawning, we could fit another joke in there.
We have so many characters to service, that it’s hard to justify that slower pace. I mean, we’re still like the slowest paced show on television, but it’s slightly less glacial these days.
Q. Someone pointed out that Jim’s line about going to put up some shelves may have been a reference to the fabulous Mr. Roper of Three’s Company. Any truth to this? | nemme
Gene: No, that’s insane.
Q. Did Mindy do her own stunt work when Kelly fell off the scale? I loved that part. | jmj
Gene: Not only does Mindy do all her own stuntwork, she also does all the stuntwork for the other characters, as well as some of the stunts on Knight Rider.
One time, there was a dangerous stunt and when Mindy was told she couldn’t do it (for insurance reasons), she flew into a rage, and threw Justin Spitzer down the stairs. True story.
Q. Was there a cold open for this episode? I didn’t catch it on tv and the online version on NBC.com doesn’t have a cold open. It goes directly to the theme song. | Melissa
Gene: Originally, there was a cold open, but, through the editing process, the cold open got absorbed into the first act. But, yes, now that I think about it, it has been a long time since the show started right with the opening credits.
What was your favorite scene from the episode and why? Did you do any “research” into office weight loss initiatives to prepare for writing this episode? | Angela Bernard Schrute
Gene: My favorite scene was probably Phyllis storming back after Dwight kicked her out of his car. I just thought both Phyllis and Rainn were so funny. I remember trying to control my laughter so I wouldn’t ruin the take.
As for research, we didn’t do any “official” research. But in our writers’ room, there are usually two or three different diets going on at any one time.
One of the best things about working in the entertainment industry is that there is always so much food around. They really push this stuff on you. But the dark side to all of this is that we gain weight throughout the season. I know, boo-hoo, right?
Thanks for all your questions, Tallyheads!
Thanks, as always, to Tally Nation for submitting questions, and a big thanks to Gene Stupnitsky for answering them! It was a great premiere!
Check out more Q&As in the Episode Q&A Archive. Essential reading for every Office super fan!