Guess what's back with a new episode tonight: The Office! I recently sat in on a conference call with writer/executive producer Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson and got the lowdown on everything from where Greg Daniels gets his inspiration for Dwight's character (the Discovery channel), to how they'll handle Angela's swollen belly, to which character the writers would like to write more stories about. Also, Rainn gives a heartwarming description of the first day back on the job.
Of course, all of this only managed to pump me up more for tonight's new episode. Check it out:
On what we might see in upcoming episodes:
Greg: Well, [in the "Dinner Party" episode, airing tonight], that’s a very charged situation where Michael has been asking Pam and Jim to come have dinner with him and Jan over and over and over again. And he finally manages this. . . and it just happens to be after the previous episode which is when he went to New York to try and help Jan with her deposition and he kind of blew her sort of wrongful termination lawsuit. So, there's a lot of tension between them in that episode. And then coming up we have some episodes that, you know, follow off on that.
Some of them involve the character of Ryan whose website initiative started the season off and is kind of crumbling underneath him and has, for some reason, become infested with sexual predators. Which is just one of the problems his website has. And we have episodes coming up where Dwight and Michael are going to have joined Ryan in some of his club-hopping New York partying and, you know, try to. . . get involved in his life a little bit more. But there’s some cool, weird things happening that I can’t talk about and you’ll just have to see it to truly enjoy all the twists and turns.
For more of Greg and Rainn's thoughts,
On the topic of Dwight's love life:
Greg: I think, you know, it's part of his character that he has some exes out there. So…
Rainn: I think we’ll be seeing a lot more sides, a lot more facets of Dwight when it comes to dating and women.
On whether there's hope of reconciliation for Dwight and Angela:
Greg: Where there’s life, there’s hope.
Speaking of life. . .Angela Kinsey is hugely pregnant in real life.
Rainn: I think all of her scenes from here on out are going to be staged with her behind the copy machine.
Greg: I think it’s going to be a nice drinking game for people to see if they can see the belly.
Rainn: Spot the fetus.
On Greg's favorite character to write for:
Greg: I do love the Dwight character, I have to say, and especially writing the Talking Heads, you know, the interview segments with Dwight. Basically I look at every survival guide as it’s published. And my wife just got me, you know, what would MacGyver do, some book about that. So, there is something of that character that I really respond to. There was this special on the Discovery Channel, I think, a couple of weeks ago which I spent, you know, an hour taking notes on and being really fascinated by which was the ten greatest threats to the world, you know, from robots that come alive to the mega volcano, to new diseases and everything. And it was so great. And eventually this will filter its way into Dwight’s brain, I think.
Rainn: I think the writers would like to write for Creed a lot more. My sense is that Creed works best in some little doses here and there. But I think the writers really get off on how crazy that man’s brain is.
On the first day back to the job after the strike:
Rainn: You know, it has been a huge love fest. It’s kind of crazy. It doesn’t make for great print journalism, but I will say that everyone. . . it’s like our other family and we, our other family, got together, like at a big family reunion and it’s been really, really fun. We’ve had a blast these first two weeks. It is great to see everyone again and batteries were definitely recharged.
On getting back into the character of Dwight after a long break:
Rainn: There’s like ten minutes when it’s like OK, wait, who is this guy again, right? And then, you know, I just put on the calculator watch and the glasses, and just be all, you know, inappropriate. And then it just works out fine.
Photo courtesy of NBC