Bleats

How Is The Office Podcast Going To Justify That Gay Panic Episode?

Let's take a little walk down comedy-homophobia lane!

The Office is finally getting one of those podcasts where people go deep into the making of individual episodes (not unlike that one Office head writer Mike Shur has for his creation The Good Place) and it already looks like a must-subscribe – if only to ask “hey, are you going to address that gay panic episode?”

Said podcast – Office Ladies – has just been announced for October with hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (aka Pam Beasley and Angela Martin) who are real-life besties as well as co-stars, and both extremely funny people.

And the description – “Each week, Fischer and Kinsey break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind-the-scenes stories that only two people who were there would know” – suggests that it’s going to skip over particular favourites rather than every single one of the 201 episodes. Not least because is anyone really after a deep dive into season one? No: no, they are not.

YEP.

But even so, it raises the question of what they plan to do about the episodes which are horribly problematic in 2019. The blithe sexual harassment Michael Scott regularly dishes out. The abusive relationship played for hilarious laffs between he and his boss Jan. The regular low-key racism – look, there’s a lot.

And yes, I know it’s a comedy and the Scott character was meant to be a gormless twat, but Scott is always presented as a sympathetic character doing his nest, unlike the British equivalent of Ricky Gervais’ unambiguously odious David Brent.

For example: that episode where Michael outs one of his staff and then forces a kiss on said employee to prove that he’s not a homophobe.

It’s called Gay Witch Hunt and it was the season three opener in 2006 – so not exactly a billion years ago. At the time everyone loved it, but watching it now… oh god, it’s not good. The language. The slurs. The forced kiss. The gay panic around the only LGBTIQ+ character on the show. All of that.

Anyway: I’m dead keen to hear how the podcast handles the gay panic in The Office, and the many other moments which are pure cringe. There’s only so many times a host can go “well, it was a different era,” surely?

The Bachelor Had A Genuinely Good Tip On How To Date Smart

It's all about showing good judgement.

Previous iterations of this column have suggested that The Bachelor is a terrible primer for dating or relationships or anything other than how quickly Stockholm Syndrome kicks in – but the show gave a masterclass in the importance in knowing how to date smart when it sent one of the favourite contestants packing.

If you’ve missed it and want to avoid spoilers then… well, you clicked on this thing, you knew the risks.

At the end of the episode, Elly was sent off the show. Sweet, sweet Elly, the nurse whose only crime was maybe caring too much, the one the other contestants had seemingly resigned themselves to being beaten by, was given the heave-ho.

“…dammit.”

The context was that she had spent her hard-won date with Matt Agnew warning him about another one of the girls, and then boom, no rose. Sweet, sweet Elly! But she was trying to help!

So why was that a good lesson?

Here’s what dating is about, in a nutshell: demonstrating good judgement. You’re presenting your best, most fun self and if you’re hoping for a relationship with the person you’re dating then the job is effectively to convince them “hey! Your life will be enhanced by my presence in it!”

So, chaps, that thing that so many of you complain about – how women are just looking for superficial things like “an ironed shirt” or “smelling like you’ve washed” or “not being visibly drunk” – you’re missing the point. It’s not just those thing: it’s also what it represents.

If you appear to be confused by the relatively straightforward expectations and rituals of going out on a human date, how the hell are you going to deal with the myriad complexities of a long term relationship?

Why is this important? Let’s pop back to Elly: Sweet, sweet Elly. Who only wanted to help Matt by telling the truth about Abbie.

“So we’re thinking maybe a witch’s cackle every time she’s on screen, just in case anyone’s missed that we’ve designated her the villain?”

First up, we’ve already seen what happens when people tell him The Truth About Abbie: they get de-rosed. The fates of Monique and Sorgand have made that very, very clear.

And it’s not a Bachelor-specific lesson either. If someone spends the entire date with someone complaining about how someone else is a jerk then what are they going to bring to the table when they’re not on their best behaviour? It isn’t smart to make a date all about an absent third person, especially one that sucks.

For the record, telling someone that a person they like is a terrible jerk is rarely welcome. But if you’re feeling competitive with that person – when you’re both on a televised dating show, let’s say – then your best strategy is simply to be the better choice as though that person doesn’t even exist. It’s the first rule of good filmmaking: show, don’t tell.

Also, speaking of showing and truth, there was a moment there when the camera caught Matt’s glasses being held up before a light source. Specifically, this moment:

…and for those of us who know glasses whoa, that was some serious light-bending. In fact, despite Matt’s astrophysics background, that was the most hardcore physics we’ve seen on The Bachelor so far.

So anyone thinking those specs are an I’m A Scientist-style affectation, nup: those are some serious lenses. Maybe he should consider laser work?

Insta-Sleuths And Conspiracy Theorists Have A New Suspect For Who Takes Out The Bachelor Final

Forget everything you thought you knew about The Bachelor. Actually, just forget the bit where you think you know who wins.

Instasleuths and online detectives have spoken, and they have a new suspect as to who will win The Bachelor final.

So we’re about to have the big shock exit tonight on the show – well, they’re all shocks now, right, since there’s only a handful of them left? – and we all thought that the winner was already surmised via secret photos of WhatsApp convos and the deep love of a passionate nation.

She’s a chemical engineer, you know.

But! Before you put everything you own on the short odds on Chelsie to win her very own astrophysicist, then be advised that internet sleuths have come up with another theory which blows the how competition WIDE OPEN.

This is because Matt Agnew – the Bachelor himself! – has been in Perth. And that is the city which is home to Helena, finalist and shoo-in for any Logie for Most Consistently Unpredictable Accent.

And, of course, this amazingly ghastly date!

The reason that people know where Matt is isn’t because he’s been tagged like a shark, or because Google Maps has been hacked. At least, as best as we’re aware.

It’s because he posted this on Instagram.

This happy little place is the Crawley Edge Boatshed, one of the most endlessly Instragrammed places in the west – to the point where TripAdvisor caution people determined to take yet another picture that they’ll probably be in for a wait.

Of course, there’s another interpretation of this bit of unassailable Insta-evidence: that Matt Agnew is not actually livin’ la vida sandgroper with his WA-dy love, but that he’s being sent all over the country by Channel 10 to talk about the show to every media outlet possible.

So which is it? Is he on a media tour, or a tour of love and possible relocation to the most obvious Perth landmark on Instagram? Is Helena now our prime suspect for the Bachelor final?

Or is this all an elaborate double-bluff to hide the truth from even the most ardent Bach-stalker? Is Perth even a real place? Is there an actual Bachelor at all? WE CAN’T RULE ANYTHING OUT ANYMORE.

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