May 25, 2021
This week we finish breaking down Weight Loss. The Office gang continues to lose weight for the Dunder Mifflin Weight Loss Challenge, and a truly unexpected proposal happens. We hear an audio clip from Paul Feig about what it was like to be the Season 5 “Tastemaker”. Jenna tells us about some very special cats at Pratt Institute, Angela breaks down what it was like to have a fruit fly wrangler on set and we learn everything we ever wanted to know (and maybe not wanted to know) about the famous Jim and Pam gas station proposal. Enjoy!
77 — Weight Loss, Part 2
[00:00:03] Jenna I’m Jenna Fischer.
[00:00:04] Angela And I’m Angela Kinsey.
[00:00:06] Jenna We were on The Office together.
[00:00:07] Angela And we’re best friends.
[00:00:08] Jenna And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
[00:00:12] Angela Each week we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
[00:00:19] Jenna We’re the Office Ladies. Hey, gang, how’s it going?
[00:00:26] Angela Howdy.
[00:00:27] Jenna It is Weight Loss Part Two.
[00:00:30] Angela Season five.
[00:00:31] Jenna Yeah, this is the second part of our season five premiere. It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and directed by Paul Feig.
[00:00:41] Angela Hit us with a summary.
[00:00:42] Jenna All right. Well, you might remember last week we set up that Dunder Mifflin is doing a company wide weight loss contest. That contest continues. It’s really causing some division among the employees.
[00:00:54] Angela People are getting hangry.
[00:00:55] Jenna They are. Ryan returns to Scranton. He’s a temp again. Michael hires him to fill in at reception for Pam, who is off at Pratt. She’s doing art school. Now, Michael is very slowly still pursuing Holly. Dwight and Angela are continuing to hook up in the warehouse behind Andy’s back. And Jim has an important question for Pam.
[00:01:21] Angela The question!
[00:01:21] Jenna All right. Fast fact number one, Paul Feig directed this episode and he also had a much larger role overall in season five. Paul was with us for every single episode of season five.
[00:01:37] Angela He was and he was amazing. He was this great constant, like, I don’t know, Jenna, it was like he was like the man of the ship. He was, like, guiding us along the way. Having him on set always just made me feel better.
[00:01:52] Jenna I’m with you. I loved it. You remember last week we talked about how Greg Daniels was now working on both The Office and he was trying to get Parks and Rec off the ground. He had groomed Jen Celotta and Paul Lieberstein to run the show. They were overseeing the writing of the show. They were running the writers room while Paul Feig was brought on as a supervising director and co executive producer to oversee the on set production and to oversee all of our directors. Because we had a lot of new directors in season five, including some cast members and crew members and even some of our writers, they all directed their first episodes. Paul was also in the writers room a bit, but mostly he was like the tastemaker, right? He was like one of these original visionaries.
[00:02:42] Angela What is a tastemaker?
[00:02:44] Jenna I mean, I don’t know. But I think a tastemaker is like you… set the tastes of-.
[00:02:52] Angela Did you make up that word?
[00:02:54] Jenna No, tastemaker is a real word.
[00:02:54] Angela Well, maybe if you’re like running a winery,
[00:03:00] Jenna But you can be like a tastemaker, like is the same as like um-
[00:03:05] Angela I think you made it up.
[00:03:06] Jenna Well, I didn’t. You can Google it. I can’t believe you’re getting out your phone right now to Google it. This is unbelievable. Tastemaker is a real word.
[00:03:16] Sam It’s like a trendsetter.
[00:03:17] Jenna Yes. Thank you, Sam. It’s like a trendsetter. Okay?
[00:03:22] Angela Tastemaker.
[00:03:23] Jenna OK.
[00:03:23] Angela According to the English language learners definition, a person whose judgment about what is good, fashionable, etc. are accepted and followed by many other people.
[00:03:33] Jenna That’s right.
[00:03:34] Angela He was a tastemaker.
[00:03:37] Jenna He was a tastemaker. He was. It was his job to control the quality of the show. He said yes to jokes and no to other jokes because of his good taste.
[00:03:47] Angela I know this is getting us off so early. I really want to know the origin of this word. Like where did the word tastemaker come from? Was it the person that, like, tried the food for the king? And if he didn’t die, OK, fine, we’ll all eat what that guy had?
[00:04:00] Jenna I don’t know. But I think you should deep dive it for a revisited, Angela.
[00:04:03] Angela Okay, fine.
[00:04:04] Jenna I do.
[00:04:04] Angela OK, Paul Feig was the tastemaker.
[00:04:06] Jenna Well, listen, I talked to Greg Daniels about it and he said that this was a big push that he had to make with the network. In particular, Jerry Dicanio, the head of production at Universal, because our show had been functioning just fine without someone in this role before. But Greg explained he was often called down to set to discuss the shooting or the motivations with the actors and directors and he wanted to make sure that that would still be covered while he was gone. And they eventually agreed. And I traded some messages with Paul Feig about this too. And he even sent in an audio clip.
[00:04:45] Angela Ooh, Paul Feig. All the way from London.
[00:04:48] Jenna Yep.
[00:04:49] Paul Feig It was such a fun year because, you know, to be around you guys in the cast every day and to be in that writer’s room with that amazing group of writers was just such a special opportunity. Yeah, I got to direct a lot of episodes that season, but also it was just fun to kind of be with all of these other people who were starting to direct and seeing how great they were doing. It was so fun to be with Steve when he directed his first episode and Brent Forrester did a great job and Dave Rodgers, we had so much fun. And so that was kind of my experience of the fifth season was being around everybody so much, but also just kind of getting to see the show through a lot of fresh eyes of these new directors or people coming out and doing it for the first time.
[00:05:33] Jenna Well, I want to say that Paul also directed five episodes himself this season. And when we were trading messages, Angela, he said he loved his time on season five so much that he wanted to send us audio clips for every single episode of Season five. With his memories.
[00:05:49] Angela Get out! Paul-a-Pedia! Paul-a-Pedia! .
[00:05:53] Jenna I was like, Paul, you’re busy. You’re directing a movie right now in London. I mean, you don’t have to do that. And he said, well, I’ll do as many as I can. So guys get ready.
[00:06:02] Angela Get ready for should it be Feig-a-Pedia or Paul-a-Pedia?
[00:06:08] Jenna Paul Feig-a-Pedia?
[00:06:09] Angela Paul Feig-a-Pedia!
[00:06:12] Jenna All right. Fast fact number two is an art school location break down. We didn’t do this last week. We’re going to see more of art school this week, so I thought it was appropriate.
[00:06:22] Angela OK.
[00:06:24] Jenna Fan question from Yvette and Rachel: Where were the New York City art school scenes shot? I will tell you. Everything was shot at USC, the University of Southern California. The classrooms were empty classrooms on campus that our set decorators dressed. Even the dorm room was a USC dorm room, the hallways, when Jim’s watching TV in the common room, we were basically all on campus. The only thing we didn’t shoot on campus, and we talked about this last week, was when Jim and Pam are video chatting. They recreated my dorm room on that warehouse set of Dunder Mifflin.
[00:06:58] Angela Well, I have one other thing to share about the USC campus, but I am going to save it when it comes up in the episode.
[00:07:04] Jenna Well, all right. I have one fun thing to share about the real Pratt, which is in Brooklyn. That’s where Pam’s meant to be. We got a letter from Mila S, who is a student at Pratt, and she said this: There is a communal cat population living on campus called Pratt Cats. They have their own little houses and they wander the lecture halls and the campus freely. If you’re ever in New York after Covid, I highly recommend you visit the campus. Along with its sculptures and cats roaming the grounds, Angela, the cats even have their own Instagram page, and it’s called Pratt Cats.
[00:07:40] Angela Pratt Cats. That’s so cute.
[00:07:43] Jenna Two t’s for Pratt and two t’s for cats.
[00:07:43] Angela Pratt Catts.
[00:07:43] Jenna Pratt Catts. I looked at it. It’s just a lot of super cute pictures of cats.
[00:07:51] Angela I want to see it. Oh my gosh. There’s so many.
[00:07:56] Jenna Yeah.
[00:07:56] Angela There’s so many cats.
[00:07:58] Jenna I think we should put this on our list.
[00:08:00] Angela We should.
[00:08:01] Jenna All right. Fast fact number three, we’ve got a big guest star alert. It’s Rich Sommer as Pam’s art school friend, Alex.
[00:08:10] Angela Yes, and we are friends with Rich
[00:08:13] Jenna We’re, like really good friends with Rich.
[00:08:15] Angela He needs to come on.
[00:08:16] Jenna While he’s refused.
[00:08:18] Angela No, he has not.
[00:08:19] Jenna I’m kidding. We are going to have him on. You guys, Rich is probably most well known for his role as Harry Crane on Mad Men. But he’s also acted in such shows as Wet Hot American Summer, the TV series, as well as many movies with Office connections.
[00:08:36] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:08:37] Jenna He was in The Devil Wears Prada starring Emily Blunt. He was in Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones, and he was in The Giant Mechanical Man starring me.
[00:08:48] Angela Aw yay.
[00:08:50] Jenna He is also supposedly real life friends with Nicholas D’agosto, a.k.a. Hunter. We’re going to have to ask him about that when he comes on the show.
[00:08:59] Angela Oh, yeah. We have lots to ask him.
[00:09:01] Jenna We do.
[00:09:02] Angela Jenna, as you remember from last week, there is a fantastic DVD commentary for Weight Loss. It’s an all crew DVD commentary. I have more to share from that in this week’s Weight Loss part two as well as, I reached out to Joya Balfour. Do you guys remember Joya? She has contributed information on the podcast before. She worked on the digital team at NBC dotcom and she has some fun Andy/ Angela wedding stuff that she shared with me, as well as one little surprise. But we’ll get to it.
[00:09:34] Jenna I love it. Should we take a break and then we’ll be back?
[00:09:37] Angela Yeah. We are back and a friendly Ryan has returned to Dunder Mifflin Scranton. There is a deleted scene, Jenna, that the camera catches Ryan being dropped off to work by his mother. She’s driving a station wagon, she pulls up, he hops out with a little sack lunch and he starts to go in the building. And she rolls down the window and honks or horn and he runs back and gives her a kiss on the cheek and then he runs in the building.
[00:10:12] Jenna Wow.
[00:10:13] Angela If this tells you where Ryan is at at life, he’s back living at home and his mom is driving him to work.
[00:10:20] Jenna Wow. He’s also grown a goatee.
[00:10:23] Angela Mm hmm.
[00:10:24] Jenna And this now explains why Michael has had a goatee, because he says, Michael, did you grow that goatee after you saw mine when you helped me move?
[00:10:34] Angela Yeah. Oh, remember, these goatees are not real. Hair and makeup put them on. I thought they did a fantastic job. And Michael has a talking head that explains that he hired Ryan off the temp agency.
[00:10:49] Jenna Yeah, he said Ronnie was very blech and he told the temp agency, I don’t care what it costs me, I have to have him. I have to have Ryan Howard.
[00:10:56] Angela People don’t know how to react to Ryan being back. Kevin is excited, runs over, gives him a noogy, which starts a great runner. And Jenna, there was more in the deleted scenes of Ryan having these talking heads where he’s putting everyone who’s wronged him on his list.
[00:11:15] Jenna Yeah, he explains that he’s making a list so that when he is back up on the top, he can get his revenge.
[00:11:23] Angela Yeah, and Kevin just made the list. Also, who makes the list is David Wallace. In a deleted scene David Wallace calls, Ryan answers, and David flips out, starts berating Ryan. You can hear it through the phone. So much so that Ryan cries and Michael vouches for Ryan. And David Wallace does not want him there, but agrees. And so now David Wallace has made the list. And Jenna, I couldn’t help myself. You know what this made me think of?
[00:11:54] Jenna What?
[00:11:55] Angela Game of Thrones.
[00:11:57] Jenna Oh, somebody has a list. I didn’t get that far.
[00:12:00] Angela Aria Stark has a kill list for everyone who’s wronged her.
[00:12:04] Jenna Can we take a minute, everybody, if you haven’t seen Game of Thrones and you don’t want spoilers, just- I don’t know- fast forward thirty seconds. Angela.
[00:12:12] Angela What?
[00:12:12] Jenna I started Game of Thrones. I never finished it. I’m never going to finish it.
[00:12:16] Angela Really?
[00:12:17] Jenna Will you just tell me, does Aria ever kill-
[00:12:20] Angela She (BLEEP) kills everybody.
[00:12:21] Jenna She does?
[00:12:22] Angela She kills everybody and she kills the biggest baddie. And I don’t want to ruin it in case someone didn’t fast forward, but she kind of saves the whole world. I’ll just say that. That is kind of a spoiler.
[00:12:32] Jenna That was the only thing that was kind of keeping me there, was that I saw the potential in her character.
[00:12:41] Angela No, she follows through.
[00:12:43] Jenna Well, that’s good to know.
[00:12:44] Angela Continuing Ryan’s list, Ryan apologizes to Jim, right? Jim shakes his hand. And now are you ready for some Jim sass?
[00:12:56] Jenna Oh, it’s so good, though.
[00:12:57] Angela Ready? Ryan says, Jim, I want to apologize for how I treated you last year. He goes on to explain all the things he feels sorry for. And he said, you know, he’s even started volunteering. He’s giving back to the community. And Jim goes, Well, that’s great. You’re talking about your court ordered community service. And Ryan says, I don’t need a judge to tell me to keep my community clean. And then Jim goes, But he did, right? And Ryan goes, all right. And Jim goes, all right. So much. Jim says.
[00:13:29] Jenna And then there’s just a silent Ryan talking head where he’s staring down the lens of the camera and he’s clearly writing Jim Halpert in his list.
[00:13:39] Angela Yeah.
[00:13:39] Jenna Which I loved. It’s time for another weigh-in on the giant scale that was custom made for our show, we learned last week. There is a zero pound weight loss. People are really starting to melt down.
[00:13:52] Angela Twenty two minutes, fifty nine seconds. Did anyone catch that Meredith’s face is back to normal?
[00:13:58] Jenna Oh, I didn’t catch that.
[00:13:59] Angela Yeah, no more sunburn on Meredith.
[00:14:01] Jenna I’ll tell you we had Aaron M write in and say, during that moment of the weigh-in, Michael does this bird like flapping move when he’s frustrated and she says, it’s literally my favorite moment in the whole show. She wants to know if Steve improvised that. Yes, that was not scripted. That was Steve’s take on his character’s frustration.
[00:14:21] Angela I loved it so much. At twenty three minutes, twenty one seconds, Andy has a talking head. He says this is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do and he hasn’t had a very hard life. Ding, ding, ding. This was a digitally corrected shirt and tie. Once again, we talked about this in the episode previously, Weight Loss one, that the writers wanted to move around some of Andy’s talking heads, and to match his outfits for continuity, they had to go in in post production, change the color of his tie and his shirt.
[00:14:51] Jenna I mean, it just blows my mind still.
[00:14:53] Angela I know.
[00:14:54] Jenna Some other things that happened in this scene are that Holly tells Oscar that her date went well with his yoga instructor and Michael overhears and then he blames Jim because he thinks Jim’s bad advice has landed him in the friend zone with Holly. And then we move upstairs.
[00:15:11] Angela Yeah, Dwight is really mad. He doesn’t think everyone’s taking this seriously. He randomly selects Stanley, Phyllis, and Kevin and tells them to get liposuction on their own dime.
[00:15:21] Jenna Yeah, they have to pay for it.
[00:15:22] Angela Yeah. And meanwhile, Ryan goes to apologize to Kelly and now we have some Kelly sass.
[00:15:29] Jenna So it’s so satisfying.
[00:15:32] Angela It’s so good.
[00:15:32] Jenna I mean, Ryan, come on.
[00:15:34] Angela I wish she could have stuck to it.
[00:15:36] Jenna I know.
[00:15:36] Angela It’s so good. He’s like, hey, should we, you know, grab a drink later, catch up? And then he says, pick me up at 8:00. Right? He’s trying to do his old shenanigans with her and she goes, That is so sweet. But I’m dating Darryl still and we’re like, crazy in love, so… And he goes, oh, cool. Well, maybe I’ll see you around. And Kelly goes, It’s a small office.
[00:15:56] Jenna Yeah. Yeah. Did you notice on her desk-.
[00:16:00] Angela What?
[00:16:00] Jenna She had her little nameplate from the first Christmas party.
[00:16:04] Angela Yes, I did see that. With the flower?
[00:16:07] Jenna I thought that was so cute.
[00:16:08] Angela I did too.
[00:16:09] Jenna Dwight’s going to apologize to Phyllis for telling her she should get liposuction on her own dime. He says, I’m going to make it up to you. I have a sale, but it requires two people. Will you go with me?
[00:16:22] Angela Big sale.
[00:16:22] Jenna Oh, yeah, it’s a sure thing.
[00:16:24] Angela Yeah.
[00:16:25] Jenna I’ll give you forty percent. I’ll split it with you 60/40. He says he’ll drive. She’s like, all right.
[00:16:31] Angela And then of course, Kelly needs to have this really odd forced make out session with Darryl in front of Ryan on purpose. But I want you to know, Jenna, at twenty six minutes, twelve seconds, you get a really good shot of Ryan’s like his phone earpiece headset thingy.
[00:16:49] Jenna Yeah.
[00:16:49] Angela Yeah. According to Randy Cordray, our line producer, there was a lengthy discussion about which ear headset Ryan should use. He said Phil Shea like brought over a tray. He said it looked like 12 to 20, like-.
[00:17:06] Jenna That sounds right.
[00:17:07] Angela Right? Different versions for them to pick out.
[00:17:09] Jenna That sounds about right.
[00:17:11] Angela Yeah.
[00:17:12] Jenna They picked a real douchey one, so good job, guys. Let’s go to the break room. Jim is having lunch with Michael and Holly. Two things here. Continuity catch. I don’t know if you noticed, but Michael suddenly does not have a goatee.
[00:17:26] Angela Oh, yes. They were having issues keeping track.
[00:17:29] Jenna And also there are a lot of fruit flies in the vending machine.
[00:17:33] Angela Well, lady, I think it’s time for a fruit fly break down.
[00:17:37] Jenna Oh, please. Angela, we got a lot of mail about the fruit flies.
[00:17:41] Angela Hit me with your questions because I have some answers.
[00:17:44] Jenna People wanted to know if they were real. Were they CGI? I remember Gene Stupnitsky told me they were real and they even had a fruit fly wrangler.
[00:17:54] Angela They were real. Let me tell you everything I learned about them in the DVD commentary. First of all, this whole bit cost thousands of dollars. All right. These fruit flies were from the Florida Fruit Fly Growers and they were bred specifically for this episode. These type of fruit flies are a sterile type of fruit fly and they are bred for Florida citrus farms. According to Kelly Cantley, they have a very specific breeding cycle. So they had to schedule the fruit flies to be released on a specific day. And Randy, Randy said we had fruit flies for weeks.
[00:18:34] Jenna I remember them.
[00:18:35] Angela I do too. We’d go in the break room and there would still be a few buzzing around.
[00:18:39] Jenna Yeah, I guess even though they couldn’t mate, a lot of them, they really lived beyond their life cycle.
[00:18:46] Angela Yeah. In addition to these fruit flies’ breeding schedule that we had to plan around, Jenna, Phil Shea had to time out rotting fruit over the course of eight weeks.
[00:19:00] Jenna Oh my gosh.
[00:19:01] Angela This fruit had to go through stages of rotting. He had a table set up on our soundstage full of fruit in different stages of rotting for this scene.
[00:19:12] Jenna Lady, I was just about to say that. As you said that, a memory came flooding back into my head of this giant long table where he had created little squares out of tape.
[00:19:24] Angela Yeah.
[00:19:25] Jenna And each square had a different piece of fruit in it, in different stages of rot.
[00:19:29] Angela Yes! All for this one gag.
[00:19:33] Jenna That is like on camera for like two seconds.
[00:19:36] Angela I know.
[00:19:37] Jenna Again, like some little throwaway line in the script created all of this production.
[00:19:43] Angela Florida Fruit Fly Growers, rotted fruit, fruit fly wranglers.
[00:19:48] Jenna Incredible. Shifting gears here. Over at Pratt, Pam is in the hallway between classes, she’s palling around with her new school friends. Alex, played by Rich Sommer, is making some jokes. Jim calls. Pam says, I’m going to call you back because I made some friends. Okay, they were trying to make everybody mad. They were trying to make people feel like this art school thing might drive a wedge between Jim and Pam.
[00:20:18] Angela Now, see, I wasn’t worried yet. As I re-watch it, I’m not worried yet. I’m happy that she’s making friends.
[00:20:23] Jenna I am, too. I do want to say, Pam, what the F with your earrings?
[00:20:28] Angela This is sassy college Pam. She’s got her updo ponytail.
[00:20:32] Jenna Did you look at the earrings, though? They’re like these purple roses. I mean, has this woman never dressed casually?
[00:20:41] Angela I don’t know. I feel like I’m celebrating Pam in this moment. You’re really judging her whole outfit.
[00:20:47] Jenna I guess, you know, you don’t have to be too worried about Pam attracting other men with those earrings on.
[00:20:54] Angela Oh, stop.
[00:20:55] Jenna I don’t know.
[00:20:55] Angela She looked cute. I have to take us back to the bullpen because at twenty seven minutes, 13 seconds, one of the best scenes of this episode is Phyllis storming in. She is ticked off.
[00:21:09] Jenna Gene Stupnitsky said this is his favorite scene of the episode.
[00:21:13] Angela I loved it so much. I mean, Dwight drives Phyllis to an abandoned warehouse five miles away and kicks her out of the car.
[00:21:22] Jenna Yeah, he took her money and her phone and so she had to walk back. And Dwight says, I bet you burned about a thousand calories.
[00:21:30] Angela Phyllis is not having it. I think pissed off Phyllis is my favorite Phyllis.
[00:21:35] Jenna It’s such a hard call because pissed off Phyllis is so great. But I do also love, like, emotionally wounded Phyllis, like the whole thing that went down with Sue Grafton.
[00:21:46] Angela Oh gosh, yes.
[00:21:47] Jenna At the Steamtown Mall.
[00:21:48] Angela Sue Grafton. That was so good too.
[00:21:51] Jenna Week six of the weigh-in, there is no way in this week. Holly instead reads an official statement from corporate. They’re just concerned, you know, this was supposed to be about health and wellness and they need to make sure that everyone knows the point of this like health kick. In case the memo wasn’t enough, Michael’s going to try to help explain it.
[00:22:17] Angela Oh, yeah. Michael wants to bring it on home with one of his characters. This is how you get people’s attention, remember? As a little kid, Hoot the Owl came to his elementary school. If you want to get through to someone, you dress up as a character. So enter Michael Klump.
[00:22:31] Jenna Yep. We had a fan question, Angela from Graene L, When Michael says he’s wearing his sumo suit from beach games, was Steve actually wearing his sumo suit underneath his clothes?
[00:22:43] Angela No. So here’s the deal. Alicia, our wardrobe designer, was actually part of the DVD commentary and she said they weren’t able to use the sumo suit. They had to buy a special type of suit that went under the sports jacket and pants. And Steve actually had to have two pretty thorough fittings for this whole thing to happen.
[00:23:03] Jenna Wow. I bet Steve got hot. I wonder if they used his air conditioned vest that you told us about last week.
[00:23:09] Angela His cooling vest.
[00:23:10] Jenna Yeah.
[00:23:10] Angela Probably.
[00:23:12] Jenna Well, Michael is leading this whole meeting where he wants to celebrate people’s body image no matter what you look like. And during this meeting, he looks over and he notices that Ryan has shaved his goatee.
[00:23:25] Angela Yeah.
[00:23:26] Jenna And he’s like, Ryan, did you shave your goatee? And Ryan’s like, yeah, I did. Well, now all the goatees are going to come off.
[00:23:35] Angela Well, yeah. You know, Michael is trying to get everyone to celebrate how their bodies are different, but beautiful. And Michael kneels down to talk to Kelly. You guys. Thirty one minutes, twenty one seconds. Mindy is doing her classic covering her mouth so you can’t see her starting to break.
[00:23:51] Jenna I noticed it, too.
[00:23:52] Angela I noticed it right away. Michael makes Kelly stand up. He wants everyone to look at her and tell her how great she looks. Ryan says she’s perfect. Meredith likes her fingernails. Phyllis likes her dress. And Creed says she has a hell of an ass.
[00:24:07] Jenna Yeah.
[00:24:08] Angela And Kelly’s like, what else?
[00:24:11] Jenna I wasn’t there. I was at art school.
[00:24:13] Angela Yeah.
[00:24:14] Jenna It was such a bummer. There were a lot of things that I missed. These were the classic conference room scenes when you guys would be stuck in there for a whole day, maybe two.
[00:24:23] Angela Oh, yes. We got pretty punchy in there. But one of my favorite talking heads is Phyllis, saying she wonders what people would like about her, probably her jugs.
[00:24:33] Jenna Maybe so. Speaking of art school, Pam’s in class and Alex is making her giggle.
[00:24:39] Angela Flirty, flirt. They even get in trouble.
[00:24:43] Jenna I have a little fun fact. If you listen closely, you can hear her art school professors saying this: Some blame it on the new air conditioning system. This is what he’s talking about, there are these paintings in France called the Lascaux paintings. If I’m pronouncing that correctly. They are ancient cave paintings and they have just faced incredible disturbance since their discovery because they have tourists come through like upwards of like twelve hundred tourists a day. They put an air conditioning in this cave. They put in lighting systems to make viewing these paintings more enjoyable. But as a result, lichens, I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that correctly, but whatever lichens are-.
[00:25:25] Angela Right.
[00:25:26] Jenna And crystals, they start to appear on the walls in the late 1950s and they had to close down these caves to preserve what was left of the sacred paintings. So when he says some blame it on the new air conditioning system, he’s talking about these cave paintings in France.
[00:25:44] Angela Well, that was a lot of good information.
[00:25:47] Jenna I just think it’s really cool that our writers- someone is very, very smart on our writing staff.
[00:25:54] Angela Yeah.
[00:25:54] Jenna Was it Gene? Was it Lee? Was it someone else? I don’t know. Maybe it was Paul Lieberstein because we know he’s quite the world traveler and likes art.
[00:26:03] Angela Someone did a little digging and planted a little seed there.
[00:26:06] Jenna Yeah.
[00:26:07] Angela Well, this scene in juxtaposition to Jim’s talking head got people fired up because here’s Pam laughing in art class with Alex and then there’s a Jim talking head. He says summer’s going great. Just listened to Michael Klump for two hours, convinced I have an ulcer, and my girlfriend lives in New York and I haven’t seen her in 10 days. So people were not happy with Pam when this episode aired. I remember.
[00:26:32] Jenna I have a lot to say.
[00:26:35] Angela Oh, no, no. Well.
[00:26:38] Jenna I just want to say that when Pam went to art school for only three months, when she was not yet married and didn’t have children, people came down real hard on her because of Jim’s feelings. Then when Jim invested in a business without telling Pam and left his family and left Pam alone to care for their two children while he chased his dreams, people came down on Pam, again, for not being supportive enough of Jim. So in both of these instances, I just want to say I noticed a lot of hate for Pam. Do I want to call it sexist? I do. I do.
[00:27:18] Angela Oh my gosh.
[00:27:21] Jenna I just want to say that Pam faced a lot of scrutiny as a character, I think, because she was a woman.
[00:27:27] Angela Mm hmm.
[00:27:27] Jenna Right?
[00:27:28] Angela Yeah, that river runs deep.
[00:27:30] Jenna It runs deep, and it’s going to run long into some future seasons.
[00:27:34] Angela Okay.
[00:27:35] Jenna Should we take a break?
[00:27:37] Angela We should, because when we come back, we’re going to have a weather breakdown.
[00:27:42] Jenna A weather breakdown. I can’t wait.
[00:27:48] Angela Well, we are back and it is pouring rain. There is a black screen with the words, week seven, August 11th, and you can just hear the rain. Now it’s time for the weigh-in. Everyone’s in the warehouse. The huge warehouse door is open and it’s just coming down.
[00:28:05] Jenna Hmm. I wonder why it needed to rain.
[00:28:08] Angela I wonder why we needed to establish a big rainstorm, huh?
[00:28:11] Jenna I don’t know. And maybe we’ll find out in a little bit.
[00:28:13] Angela Well, this was fake rain and yes, this was thought out. They wanted to establish this big rain storm outside of the windows of our set in the bullpen where normally there would be the big backdrops, right Jenna?
[00:28:26] Jenna Yep.
[00:28:26] Angela They brought in those rain panels that you told us about.
[00:28:29] Jenna Oh, because we had an episode where Michael couldn’t get the top up on his convertible and then it rained inside the car.
[00:28:37] Angela That’s right. So they brought back in those big window panes that they were able to sort of recycle water through so it looked like raining, and you’re going to see it in the backdrop of several scenes that just help keep reinforcing that it is a rainy day out. The one thing I will tell you is that sometimes with this rain, like outside the warehouse, they would have to adjust that for the sound department in editing, but they said it sounded real so the sound department didn’t have to edit out the fake rain.
[00:29:07] Jenna Huh. Well, there you go.
[00:29:10] Angela Also, if you’re keeping track, remember, Kelly Cantley in last week’s episode gave us a list of things to keep track of. We are now two guys, no goatee, one guy goatee. Michael and Ryan no goatee, Dwight with a goatee.
[00:29:24] Jenna That’s right. They’re also having their week seven weigh in. And this is when Holly says she hasn’t heard from her yoga teacher date in like three days. She had even bought tickets to the Counting Crows for that night. And she doesn’t know, like, is he going to show? Is he going to call?
[00:29:41] Angela Yeah. And Darryl announces that they’ve lost four pounds.
[00:29:46] Jenna Four pounds. Meanwhile, back in the bullpen, Jim and Pam, they’re chatting on IM. They’re trying to figure out when can they see each other. Jim has a conflict with his nephew’s ball game. You know, they don’t know. Jim says, why don’t you meet me for lunch?
[00:30:00] Angela Yeah, kind of spontaneous. Meet in-.
[00:30:01] Jenna Meet in the middle.
[00:30:02] Angela Yeah, meet halfway.
[00:30:03] Jenna Let’s meet at the rest stop that’s halfway between New York and Scranton.
[00:30:07] Angela And this whole time, Dwight thinks Jim is talking about him. Right, that he’s up to something. And Pam, IM’s Jim and says, oh, by the way, finished my summer project. And Jim clicks on it. And guess what’s there?
[00:30:20] Jenna A picture of Dwight.
[00:30:22] Angela It is an ASCII portrait, which stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which is a character encoding standard for electronic communication. ASCII codes represent text and computers, telecommunication equipment and other devices. Well, guess who has a copy of it?
[00:30:44] Jenna Who?
[00:30:45] Angela Joya. And she sent it to me.
[00:30:47] Jenna Oh my gosh.
[00:30:49] Angela So I have Pam’s ASCII Portrait of Dwight. I’ll put it in our stories.
[00:30:54] Jenna I love that. Well, I like it because it shows that Pam is learning things in school.
[00:31:00] Angela She’s not just flirting.
[00:31:02] Jenna No, she’s not, everyone. She’s taking it seriously.
[00:31:06] Angela She’s putting on our purple flower earrings and marching her ponytail into class. Holly goes in to talk to Michael and she wants him to know that they have lost to Utica by only eight pounds. And Michael is like, wait a second, we have to the end of the day. Maybe if they really go for it, they crank up the heat, they’re going to wear trash bags, maybe they can get there.
[00:31:30] Jenna Well Andy’s into it immediately. He puts on his trash bags. He says he does not lose competitions. He wins them or he quits because they’re unfair.
[00:31:38] Angela Mmhmm.
[00:31:40] Jenna Kelly is not participating. She’s having some pizza.
[00:31:45] Angela The wedding planning has not stopped between Andy and Angela. Angela says, hey, she asks very nicely, by the way, if the first dance can be to Little Drummer Boy, her favorite song. Andy’s like, yeah, he’s already booked his a cappella group.
[00:32:00] Jenna Oh, yeah. It’s even better than can their last song be to Little Drummer Boy. His a cappella group is going to sing it for you.
[00:32:08] Angela Yeah. Here Comes Treble class of 96. And he’s like, sweetheart, you’re going to love these guys. Carl 1 Carl 2 Broccoli Rob, Sparerib, Dooby, Lunchbox, Boner Champ- that’s me- Pubey Lewis and the News, Hopscotch, Jingle Jangle, and Sandwich.
[00:32:25] Jenna Yeah.
[00:32:26] Angela And they’re collectively going to be his best man.
[00:32:29] Jenna Yeah.
[00:32:30] Angela Guess who’s paging Dwight.
[00:32:31] Jenna Oh yeah. Now if I remember correctly, Angela, NBC built a website for Andy and Angela’s wedding. Do you remember that? It’s not live anymore, but do you remember that?
[00:32:44] Angela I do. And I asked Joya about it. She sent me the home page photo of Angela and Andy’s wedding website, complete with their wedding gift registry and the audition video that Andy put together of Here Comes Treble to be their wedding band.
[00:33:01] Jenna Wow.
[00:33:01] Angela I have all of it. I’ll put it stories.
[00:33:03] Jenna No!
[00:33:04] Angela I have all of it. And I want to read to you, though, the items on the registry.
[00:33:10] Jenna Please.
[00:33:11] Angela So Joya said the joke was that Andy would list something and then Angela would list something in stark opposition to what Andy had listed.
[00:33:19] Jenna OK.
[00:33:20] Angela So see if you can guess who put what on the registry. The singing machine ISM370 karaoke with iPod dock. Noise canceling headphones. Twilight thick non see-through through shower curtain. Deadbolt bathroom door lock. Modesty changing screen. His and hers kitty cat PJs, kids small and mens size large. Kitty cat chaise lounge. Three Cornell Big Red Ultimate Outdoor Rugs. Marie Osmond Inspiration Bench. Decorative Wall Hat. Anne Geddes calendar.
[00:34:00] Jenna Wow.
[00:34:00] Angela That’s what was on the registry on the NBCs wedding site.
[00:34:05] Jenna It’s time.
[00:34:06] Angela It’s time. Jim and Pam, they’re going to meet up at the rest stop in the pouring rain. We have a lot to share about it. Jenna, you were there. I was not. I have some fantastic DVD commentary stuff to share with you from our crew, but you should take it away.
[00:34:25] Jenna Well, this is the proposal scene.
[00:34:27] Angela Yes.
[00:34:27] Jenna Jim gets down on one knee and he proposes to Pam. She’s totally shocked. They’re at a gas station. You know, he was supposed to wait till she got back from art school, but he says he couldn’t wait.
[00:34:38] Angela She’s completely thrown.
[00:34:40] Jenna Yea.
[00:34:40] Angela You can really tell she had no idea. In fact, the beginning of the season, she’s like, hey, this is not halfway. I drove further- like she’s- her head is so not in that place.
[00:34:49] Jenna Yeah. But she says yes and they kiss. So first of all, I just want you guys to know that Greg spoke with us about this. He said that he really wanted Jim’s proposal to Pam to be in the season premiere. He thought number one, that would be unexpected. You usually end seasons with proposals.
[00:35:10] Angela Right.
[00:35:10] Jenna So he thought this would be a real shock.
[00:35:12] Angela And it was. Jenna, I even remember at the table read, you know, we had so much going on with this weight loss story and Pam at art school. I didn’t see it coming.
[00:35:23] Jenna No. And we’d been teasing it all last season. He said he also wanted to throw people off by having it in a very ordinary location. So he wanted it to feel special, but he also wanted it to feel like Jim made the decision without a whole lot of planning. So Greg thought that the ideal location for this scene would be a gas station along the freeway between Scranton and New York in the rain. And they based the rest stop on one that Greg Daniels had traveled to as a kid along the Merritt Parkway. We did not actually fly to this location. This is the insane part. They built this in the parking lot of a Best Buy that I have been to many times, actually. What they did was they used Google Street View to capture images of a real gas station along the Merritt Parkway, and then using those images, they built it to match in this parking lot. It took them about nine days to build it. To create the illusion of highway traffic, they built a four lane circular racetrack around the gas station set. They set up cameras on the other side of this raceway and they had cars drive around it at 55 miles an hour. Then they added rain pouring down on us, these giant rain machines. Our production manager, Randy Cordray, said they had about 35 precision drivers. They were driving not just cars, but like semi trucks. When we were standing there on that set, you could feel the wind like of these cars speeding past you. It was so, so bonkers. But after we shot the scene, they had to hire a special effects company to paint out the background because the background were these California mountains. And so they had to paint out the mountains and put in some trees like East Coast looking trees. In the end, this was the single most expensive scene ever shot during the entire run of the show. It lasts 52 seconds and it cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
[00:37:37] Angela Oh, my Lord. Oh, my Lord. Wow.
[00:37:44] Jenna Yeah, so a quarter of a million dollars for less than one minute of screen time.
[00:37:48] Angela Oh, my gosh. Well, listen, they talked in depth, our crew, about this moment in the DVD commentary, several obviously very similar things as what you just shared. So after months and months of scouting and meetings, it was our location manager, Kyle Alexander, who found this enormous paved parking lot. I guess it was off Los Feliz Boulevard?
[00:38:13] Jenna Yup.
[00:38:14] Angela Acres and acres of paved ground, which is what they needed if they were going to build a racetrack, basically, right?
[00:38:21] Jenna Yeah.
[00:38:22] Angela So these cars could loop around. Now, according to Randy Cordray, the reason why it was such a massive, massive, massive parking lot is because it was a paved over toxic waste site.
[00:38:35] Jenna What?
[00:38:36] Angela Yes! Apparently years and years and years ago, there was an old like ceramics plant or something that had buried lead paint waste into the ground so they had to seal it and cover it.
[00:38:50] Jenna So, Angela, I just want to make sure that we acknowledge that the information you’ve just given us means that Jim and Pam, our beloved Jam, got engaged at a former toxic waste dump.
[00:39:05] Angela Fluorescent Jam.
[00:39:07] Jenna I mean, yikesy.
[00:39:10] Angela Well, this is what they shared in the DVD commentary. It was a long time ago. They sealed it up. It’s a giant parking lot. Apparently there’s a Best Buy there now. Michael Gallenberg shares on the DVD commentary one of his favorite things that he built of this whole set was the drinks behind the glass doors. It’s in fact one humongous giant photo. It was an inkjet print on foam core paper.
[00:39:35] Jenna Hmm.
[00:39:36] Angela It looks amazing. And there’s a great shot at thirty eight minutes, thirty two seconds right behind Jim and Pam. I would have never known that those drinks were a photo.
[00:39:46] Jenna Yeah, it was an incredible set.
[00:39:48] Angela Yeah. Really just kudos to our set design team and our construction guys. They just crushed it.
[00:39:54] Jenna It was incredible.
[00:39:55] Angela The one other debate about this scene, which I’m sure you know, was whether to have sound or no sound. This was a huge, huge debate. Greg could not make up his mind. They had two versions ready to go. One with sound during the proposal and one without. And literally, I mean, Jake shared on the DVD commentary, Jake Aust, that up until the day of airing, it was the air date, Greg was still trying to decide.
[00:40:25] Jenna It’s so funny because I vaguely remember that. But we spoke dialogue every time.
[00:40:32] Angela Yeah.
[00:40:32] Jenna So the debate was just simply whether Jim and Pam were still wearing their microphones and you could hear our dialogue or Jim and Pam weren’t wearing their microphones and you couldn’t. So we said dialogue every time. It wasn’t like there were two different scenes that were written with or without dialogue. It was just whether or not you could hear it.
[00:40:53] Angela Yeah.
[00:40:53] Jenna I don’t think John and I knew about this big debate because we were just saying our lines every time.
[00:41:00] Angela Yeah, I liked being able to hear it.
[00:41:03] Jenna I think it was important that you heard it.
[00:41:05] Angela Yeah. I have a few more things to share that hopefully won’t shatter your memories of this moment. Like you said, the trees were digitally put back in. Right. They are East Coast trees. They were put in digitally by Stargate. And here was the other thing that was a big, big question mark about how they do this was the rain. How do they do the rain? And they really considered doing it digitally, adding it in post-production, but Paul Feig was very, very against it. He wanted the rain to feel as real as possible.
[00:41:39] Jenna And we could feel the rain. I mean there were you know, it was I don’t know if it was just the wind from the cars. I don’t remember there being wind machines, but I do remember the rain hitting us. And I mean, even though it was a former toxic waste dump and even though it was a
[00:41:56] Angela Best Buy parking lot.
[00:41:58] Jenna Yeah. Just like it was actually, to be there, really romantic. You know, it was funny, the gas station, it was just a front. If you went in, it was a like a fakey fake. You go through the door and you’re just like looking at trees that didn’t have a back or anything. But it felt magical. It did. And it was so much fun to shoot that scene. I mean, I feel like we got it on the first take and maybe we did a few. But my memory is that we weren’t there long, that we got it pretty early and it was a cool moment.
[00:42:28] Angela It’s a really magical moment.
[00:42:31] Jenna Well, when the gang is ready to weigh in again, Jim is late and then he shows up soaking wet.
[00:42:36] Angela And so happy.
[00:42:37] Jenna So happy. I was a little sad that they didn’t get to spend the whole evening together after getting engaged, I guess Pam just had to drive back to school.
[00:42:46] Angela I know.
[00:42:47] Jenna But Jim is so happy. Holly decides that this yoga guy is never going to call her. And Michael says, you know what? I’ll buy the Counting Crows tickets from you. And she’s like, Really? Everybody thinks this is like going to lead to Michael offering to go with her.
[00:43:01] Angela Yes! I thought they were going to have a date.
[00:43:04] Jenna No, Michael rips up the tickets.
[00:43:07] Angela Like gallantly saving the day. And she’s confused.
[00:43:12] Jenna We got some mail from Emily G.
[00:43:14] Angela OK.
[00:43:14] Jenna Here’s what she said: Having worked at several concert venues, I wanted to let you know that if you lose or damage your concert tickets, you can go to a venue’s box office with your photo ID and someone will reprint them for you.
[00:43:28] Angela Oh!
[00:43:28] Jenna She said, I hope Holly knew that was an option.
[00:43:31] Angela Oh, that’s good to know.
[00:43:33] Jenna Yeah, it didn’t seem like Holly knew.
[00:43:35] Angela No, I didn’t know.
[00:43:37] Jenna Well, now we all know.
[00:43:38] Angela Now we all know. Thank you, Emily.
[00:43:40] Jenna Yeah. In the end, Dunder Mifflin did not win the weight loss competition. Stanley lost seven pounds.
[00:43:50] Angela Yeah. He says he’s going to take off five days anyway.
[00:43:53] Jenna Yeah.
[00:43:54] Angela And now it’s week eight. Toby is on his fifth week in a hospital room in Costa Rica.
[00:44:00] Jenna Oh, poor Toby. Guys, remember, Toby had his weird moment with Pam, so he moved to Costa Rica.
[00:44:07] Angela And on like his first day, our day- was it like day three?
[00:44:09] Jenna Day three.
[00:44:10] Angela Day three. He went ziplining.
[00:44:12] Jenna And he broke his neck.
[00:44:13] Angela Yeah.
[00:44:14] Jenna He hasn’t even been to the beach. Did you notice what was playing on the TV in the hospital room?
[00:44:19] Angela Yes, I did.
[00:44:20] Jenna It is the Hug It Out Bitch episode of Entourage. That is the episode of Entourage that Michael quotes in The Coup.
[00:44:29] Angela Well, I have a little location breakdown for you about Toby’s hospital room.
[00:44:33] Jenna Give it to me.
[00:44:34] Angela It was also filmed at USC.
[00:44:36] Jenna Oh!
[00:44:37] Angela Yeah. While they were there filming Pam’s art school, they used the USC television stage building and USC asked if eight of their film students could intern and help that day. They had interns in all of the different departments and our crew said they did a phenomenal job.
[00:44:52] Jenna That is so cool. Before we go, I just want to give a shout out to whoever the guy is in the bed next to Toby. He was a background performer. Angela, I tried so hard to figure out who this is because he is so funny. He just stares into the camera the whole time Toby is talking. It is so good. I watched it three times. I was like, how is this guy doing such a great job with no words. I was so impressed.
[00:45:26] Angela We couldn’t figure out who he was. We reached out to several people.
[00:45:30] Jenna Yes. And I checked everywhere you can check. He is uncredited in the episode. Phenomenal job.
[00:45:36] Angela Way to crush it. That was a Weight Loss Part Two. There’s so many folks to thank for helping us get this episode out to you. First of all, our crew that participated in the DVD commentary, Randy Cordray, Michael Gallenberg, Brian Whitall, Nick Carbon, Ben Patrick, Alicia Raycraft, Kelly Cantley and Jake Aust. Amazing. Best commentary. Really such a good listen if you love behind the scenes information. And James O. Carey for letting us bug you with questions.
[00:46:06] Jenna Yeah, we did. And we did bug him.
[00:46:08] Angela We did. And Joya Balfour. Oh my gosh. I’m so excited to share all of that NBC.com website stuff about Angela and Andy.
[00:46:17] Jenna And then Greg Daniels.
[00:46:18] Angela Yes.
[00:46:18] Jenna Thank you. And also Paul Feig for that audio clip. I promise not to bother you too much, Paul Feig.
[00:46:23] Angela Well, we probably will. But-
[00:46:27] Jenna I know, why am I making that promise?
[00:46:28] Angela But we appreciate our cast and crew so much. We hope you enjoyed this one. And we are kicking off season five. We’ll be back for more next week.
[00:46:37] Jenna We sure will. Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[00:46:57] Angela Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
[00:47:00] Jenna For Ad free versions of Office Ladies go to Stitcher premium dotcom. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code: Office.