Unless you're up a little later than I thought you'd be, you are reading this on Thursday. Thursday is a big day around here. Since the days when television turned to crap, sitcoms are harder and harder to find, and good ones even harder. That's why it's cool that two of the best sitcoms on television are on the same night. My Name is Earl and The Office.
I was a little late to the party on The Office. I just caught on last season, but thanks to the miracle of DVD I spent much of the summer watching every episode, including the deleted scenes, which are often funnier than the included scenes. Each show could run about 40 minutes if they used everything they kept. Methinks that's why the first four episodes this season are an hour long - or 43 TV minutes.
Two major events will unfold during the season. Jim and Pam are supposedly a couple now, since the finale of season 3 has Jim at the door asking her to dinner, the lucky slob. I'm thinking that their beautiful friendship could be ruined by this love affair. They'll probably find that it is easier being friends and lusting after each other than actually fulfilling their desires. I'm also thinking that Karen might try to weasel her way back in.
Also, young former "Temp" Ryan Howard has been moved to Corporate in New York, ahead of Michael, Jim and Karen. He's the typical book-smart/world dumb character that would be crushed when thrust into middle management straight from a non-descript sales stint. His sales calls with Dwight and Stanley were disastrous, and it seems to me that he got promoted on some interview skill or some sexual favor than on merit - since he had none. He's not as smart as he thinks he is. I think he'll fall flat on his face in NYC, and maybe even wind up back in Scranton before the end of the season.
Ryan Scenario Two: He could move up (for some reason) and decide to make life tough for the Scranton gang. They've been skating for 3 years. OK, so I'm hedging on Ryan, sue me. My gut feeling is that he fails.
Those are two developing plot lines, but there are others that should bubble under. The show has taken on a bit of a soap drama thing lately. There's Michael and the new live-in, Jan. She said that she was looking forward to "sitting around in my Danskins and waiting for you to come home." That's got trouble written all over it.
I would like to see them devote more time to Creed Bratton. His best stuff lands in the deleted scenes. We learned a lot about his character from them, but I can't help but think that the producers don't want to expose him too much, since he's a bit of a freak.
We'll see if the Angela/Dwight affair goes anyplace. I wonder if we really need two love stories? Probably not. Besides, their sideways glances are great. Nobody is supposed to know but everybody does.
Meredith will still be an alcoholic, Stanley will still be grumpy, Kelli will talk too much and Toby will be ... Toby, or as Michael would say, "The worst human being alive."
As far as Earl goes, I have no idea how he's going to get out of jail.