I think BBC's The Office is one of the best, if not the best, sitcoms I've ever watched. Ever. Granted, I go out of my way to avoid sitcoms as I find their twenty minutes per episode way too short for me, barely giving me enough time to invest in the episode so that I actually give a shit about the characters. Therefore, I don't watch sitcoms much; the only ones that I can name off the top of my head that I've watched are Friends (duh), Scrubs, and That 70's Show. I stopped following Scrubs and 70's after a while, partly because Channel 5's scheduling sucks, and also partly because I didn't care enough to get it via alternative means. And as much as my friends tell me how awesome How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock are, I cannot quite bring myself to watch them...because they are sitcoms.
So why did I pick up The Office? Quite simply, because it's British. I don't know if anyone's realised, but I think I'm quite the Anglophile, and now even more so that I've actually been to England. I love the accent (even though I know there isn't a British accent, but British people don't sound like Americans and that's what I mean), I love English literature, their history and culture and social etiquette intrigue me, and I've always dug British humour. I've also heard a lot about The Office and I had nothing to rent at VideoEzy so I decided to give it a shot.
Loved it from the first 5 minutes of the first episode. Loved it so much that I delayed watching the last two episodes of the entire series until I couldn't possibly delay it anymore (i.e. more delaying = me paying VideoEzy a fine, which is ridiculous) because I wanted to savour it and I didn't want it to end. Even when I wanted to savour it, I couldn't help but watch four episodes at one go because it's just so damn good, and the only reason I didn't watch one entire season (which is just six episodes, SADLY, so it's not that long) at one shot was because it was either 3 a.m. and I wanted to sleep or my mom wanted to go out or whatever. The time I watched four episodes in a row, I had to force myself to stop watching in order to relish the show and savour it for as long as humanly possible.
But all good things must come to an end, and I had to return the Specials DVD today. I watched the last two episodes of the series early this morning at like, 1 a.m., and I cried.
I didn't just cry; I cried twice. See, the main character of the show may be David Brent, the delusional, obnoxious boss (played by co-writer and co-director, Ricky Gervais, whom I personally find quite obnoxious), but my favourite part of the show is the romance between Dawn Tinsley, the receptionist, and Tim Canterbury, the sales rep. They play off each other so naturally and genuinely, and Tim is impossible not to like, and he's so adorable and funny and genuinely nice and level-headed and self-aware that you just can't help but root for him and fall for him. Tim spends two seasons lusting after Dawn, who's engaged, and in the last episode of Season 2, he finally seizes the moment and confesses his feelings to Dawn. And that scene was just phenomenal: Tim pulls her into a room, the camera films them from outside through the blinds, Tim's microphone goes silent, and you watch them talk for about ten seconds and there's no sound and it's a scripted sitcom but those ten seconds feel exactly like real life.
And then in a talking head, Tim reveals that Dawn said no. Then she leaves Slough for Florida with her finace, Lee, who's hot but doesn't get her the way Tim does. This is even more obvious when Lee and Dawn return to Slough for Christmas in the last two episodes of the entire series, and Tim asks Dawn about her ambition of being an illustrator for children's books and Lee interjects and says, "Well, you can only make money off it if you're good." How insensitive and brutish. It makes both Tim and Dawn uncomfortable.
Then Dawn is getting ready to leave the party at the office and she's going back to Florida with Lee the next day. Tears welled up in my eyes when Tim and Dawn were saying their goodbyes. Tim goes, "Have a good life." And Dawn, stunned by the sudden realisation that she might never see Tim again, says, "Keep in touch!" Tim says that he'll write without conviction, and Lee comes back with Dawn's secret santa gift, and then they're off.
In the cab, Dawn opens her present. It's a set of oil paints along with a note written on a Wernham-Hogg letterhead. She turns it over - it's her sketch of Tim that she left on his desk earlier on, and written on it are the words, "Never give up!"
I completely started crying. I still can't think about that scene without wanting to cry. Dawn receives no support from anyone, her husband-to-be included, of her ambition of being an illustrator. Tim is the only one that cares, the only person that encourages her. And I really, really could relate to that, what it's like having an ambition that isn't an instant or typical money-spinning machine, an ambition that is made of equal parts luck and talent, and what it's like having no one believing in you and being alone to pick up the slack all by yourself. When Dawn opens her present and reads her note, I completely lost it. Tears rolled down my cheek, I had to grab a tissue, and Tim, oh Tim, how sweet and thoughtful.
The episode turns its focus back to David for a bit, during which time I stopped crying. Then we're back at the party and Tim is talking to Neil and Gareth, and then in the distance, a blurry figure that resembles Dawn appears. It comes into focus and it is Dawn. Wordlessly, she goes to Tim and kisses him in front of the entire party. Gareth goes, "Careful, she's got a finance."
And Dawn says, "Not anymore."
The look on Tim's face at that moment - Martin Freeman is...I have no words. They kiss again, then Dawn reaches for Tim's hand. He grips it behind his back and they walk away, hand-in-hand.
The waterworks started again and it was the most perfect, understated, real resolution to a very classical (yes Stephen Merchant, you achieved what you wanted) and straight-forward but riveting and absorbing love story. It was utter perfection. The Office is utter perfection. Tim and Dawn are just the best couple ever.
I don't know why I'm so affected by their story, but I am. Remember when I wanted a Logan Echolls of my own? Well, now I want my own Tim Canterbury. He's so sweet and thoughtful and Epic is overrated and I want ordinary and stable and sweet and happy, like Tim and Dawn are. Such a beautiful, beautiful love story, and it's one that's so simple and light-hearted and angst-free. I really, really loved it.
I love The Office. I don't think I can possibly say that enough. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant - they are brilliant. Fact.
In other news, I totally permed my hair!
I kind of love it actually. I'm so sick of looking 16 and I want to be taken seriously, dammit!
Having said that, I'm not looking forward to the maintenance - at all. My hairstylist got me to buy some product that I have to apply after I wash my hair before I blow-dry it (or just let it dry) to maintain the curls and it sounds like a major pain in the ass. The process of getting the present look was also both a pain in the ass AND the back. I sat in the salon for two hours doing my hair and it was so, so long. I could've been shopping during that time.
Speaking of shopping, I bought a pair of super skinny dark denim jeans from Forever 21 for just $48, oh my god. I also finally bought a pair of black heels (how can a girl NOT own black heels? Shit, what sacrilege) that I like quite a lot from Charles and Keith. I suffered through the throngs of people that seem to be a permanent fixture in a Charles and Keith store at any given time and actually sat down in the tiny free spot on the couch in the middle of the store and tried on a pair of shoes. I am so proud of the depth and extent of the tolerance and patience I showed.
As for modules, five out of six. I need to drop Comparative Public Law 'cause I decided to stick with Conflicts. Uh, yay? Whatevs. I still didn't get International Environmental Law which is damn annoying but oh well. No idea what I'm replacing CPL with. Maybe I'll do the extra four creds next semester. We'll see.
Have I mentioned I love The Office, especially Tim and Dawn, most of all Tim Canterbury? I don't know why anyone would want to be with a guy that treats them like shit, who's mentally abuse, emotionally absent, when they could be with a guy like Tim who's sweet and thoughtful and considerate and genuinely nice.
I want my own Tim. Forget Logan; Tim Canterbury is The One.