Friday, April 25, 2008

Ugly Betty and The Office - The Best Laid Plans...

Well, after all my gloating about setting up my digital converter--whoohoo!--you knew something had to come spoil it. Turns out, in order to record a TV show while watching another, you need TWO converters. I don't even want to guess how to wire all that! So I disconnected the converter to being able to tape My Name is Earl while watching Ugly Betty. Then I tried to rehook up the converter to watch the rest of my Thursday night shows--only to somehow lose the signal for ABC. That being the channel LOST is on, I had to disconnect the converter again and watch my shows with a crappy analog signal until I had enough time to get everything working again (which was after 11 pm!).

Unfortunately, I screwed something up and so my attempt to tape of Earl gave me a horrible snowy picture that's completely unwatchable. I'll have to see about watching the episode online. So no My Name is Earl yet--sniffle! Was it a decent episode or did they slip into a sitcoma again?

On Ugly Betty, Betty's plans to celebrate her 24th birthday (in real life, star America Ferrera turned 24 on April 18th!) are complicated by the appearance of Charlie (Henry's pregnant ex-girlfriend) in New York City for some kind of baby doctor conference? Whatever. Obviously she was really there to put a crimp in Henry and Betty's relationship and she succeeded. Even Hilda's threat to Charlie--showing her killer manicure and telling her "These are not just decorative!" doesn't prevent her from interfering. The trip to the Poconos was off and even the romantic dinner (at the "Pemberley Inn"--a reference to Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy!) and concert in the park with fireworks got ruined by Charlie faking illness. Gio (nearly shorn head--does he look even hotter or what?!) finds out that the birthday plans are off from Amanda who has the message from Henry. "Did you give her this message?" he asks Amanda. "I'm a receiver, not a giver!" is Amanda's snappy reply. He shows up in a horse-drawn carriage to try and save the day, but the cart loses a wheel and Betty spills her hot chocolate and they don't make it to the park in time. Even the ever optimistic Betty substitutes welding sparks as pyrotechnics and Gio for her beloved Henry.

Wilhelmina intimates to Daniel that Renee's secret is a tendency to get obsessive and needy with men. She tells him to ask her about Stonybrook. When he does, Renee claims it's where she attended college and admits to being a little wild back then. She gets angry at Daniel for being influenced by her sister and storms out in a huff. She gets Willie's partner in crime, Marc, drunk so she can extract secrets from him to use against Wilhelmina. It works as Marc reveals how Wilhelmina extracted sperm from Bradford Meade's corpse to create an heir and get one third of the Meade fortune.

She records this info on her cell phone and threatens to expose Willie if she continues to interfere with her and Daniel. There's a scene where Marc, ostensibly sent to retrieve the incriminating cell phone, is confronted by Daniel. Marc pretends to have the hots for Daniel who threatens to call the police. Renee admits to Daniel that she is on medication for some mental issues and Daniel is fine with that. He asks her to move in with him and she agrees. But it turns out that Marc wasn't after the cell phone, but Renee's meds--which he swapped with some of Willie's fat blockers. It's only a matter of time before Renee completely loses it and then no-one will believe her ravings about Wilhelmina...

Last, Claire faces opposition from her children to starting up her new magazine, Hot Flash. She's about to throw in the towel, but she gets the standard "Little Engine that Could" pep talk from Betty. Touched, she gives Betty her earrings as a birthday present. Hmmm, last time she gave Betty a gift it was the toxic perfume that Fay Summers created and we all know how well that worked out! Funniest line (other than Marc's assessment of Willie's performance at Daniel's) was Justin upon finding out that Betty's Louis Vuitton is a street vendor fake, "You make it really hard for me to live vicariously through you!"

The Office started off in ridiculous fashion as usual. Michael gets gum stuck in his hair and Jim suggests peanut butter to get it out. Dwight rushes to the kitchen to fetch some with Pam calling out after him, "Not the good peanut butter!" Michael's attempt at dating are getting him down with him saying about the women he's being set up with, "They just lack a certain Crawfordness..." Ryan returns and he's obnoxious as ever--making the office come in on a Saturday to input sales into the website, which has been having its share of problems. Seems the social networking utility Ryan added attracted sexual predators. But that will all be resolved with Dunder-Mifflin Infinity 2.0...TBD. "Stay real, Scranton!" Ryan says as he leaves to go back to his jetset life in NYC.

Michael decides to visit Ryan in the City and hang out at clubs with him so he can meet beautiful women. He corrals Dwight and asks Jim to come along--but Jim won't because he's dating Pam. Andy volunteers saying, "The old ball and chain been wanting more chain than ball lately, if you know what I mean!" But Michael says no, singles only. While he and Dwight head for New York, Jim gets the bright idea that if the office works a couple of hours late that night, they won't have to come in on Saturday. Unfortunately, he forgets to alert the security guard to that fact and when they all leave to go home, they find themselves locked in. The extra keys are in Dwight's possession even though Pam asked him what would happen if he died. Dwight's answer, "If I'm dead, you guys have been dead for weeks."

Fortunately Toby has the security guard's number (but not his name!) in his cell phone. Jim calls to get him to come back to the office and let them out. Andy says, "Show of hands--who thinks we make a better couple than Jim and Pam?" and most of the office raises their hand--even Phyllis to Pam's chagrin. Squirmy moment when Toby gets a bit too comfortable and feels up Pam's knee in plain sight of everyone. Recognizing his faux pas, he announces he's moving to Costa Rica and jumps the fence. The cleaning crew shows up and everyone out is able to go home. Later the security guard arrives and is pissed to see no-one is there.

Meanwhile, Michael and Dwight's arrival in New York is greeted by Ryan with open arms. He even asks Dwight about the beet farm. "It's weevil season," Dwight offers. Ryan is high as a kite--a fact that escapes Michael who's too busy trying to hook up with women who are out of his league and Dwight who is preoccupied with Troy, Ryan's height-challenged friend who Dwight mistakes for a Hobbit. "Do you have powers?" Dwight inquires. After a wild night of carousing which ends with Ryan getting the @#$% kicked out of him by some women who won't let him dance, the three end up at Ryan's apartment. Ryan tells Michael and Dwight that he thinks "Troy" might have a drug problem. Dwight says, "I think his species might have a higher tolerance for them."

Looks like Ryan will be heading back to Scranton soon...


  1. I think Ryan's friend was named Troy. And I loved all the LOTR references from Dwight. This episode was almost too crazy, but I liked it.

    I suspect you'll like My Name is Earl. I won't spoil you with my reaction to it.

  2. Well of course it was! I knew that--just typing too damn fast! It's fixed now--which is more than I can say about my VCR issues.

    I gotta see if I can check out Earl online...

  3. No No No No No!
    "We want her crazy, not thin and crazy!"

  4. Heh heh heh!

    That was a great line, too!

  5. I finally got to watch this on Tivo-- the scene with Daniel and Mark was priceless. I also can't wait to see the upcoming episode with Christian Siriano and Nina Garcia.

  6. You have TiVo. I'm so jealous.