There are certain "moments" that make a story. Maybe it's just a small beat, a hestitation that reveals everything. Maybe it's a slip of the tongue from a character, exposing secrets they've tried so hard to bury. Or maybe it's a scene so painful that it takes the oxygen out of a room.
That's what happened on last night's THE OFFICE.
From my previous TV Report Cards (Hmmm, gotta do another one of those soon....), you know that I adore this series. Its quirky, frequently uncomfortable humor isn't for everyone, but I love everything about it--even the characters who sometimes have "over the top" moments. Yes, I'm talking about Michael Scott (played by the awesome Steve Carrell). Michael comes off as a huge jackass with terrible social radar. But, last night, I almost cried for him--and so did most of the characters.
If you saw the episode, you know exactly what I mean. Michael, who seemed rather put out at "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day was actually really good with the kids. In fact, he was trying so hard to impress the rugrats (as he does everyday with the adults, but it doesn't work as well with them) that he brought out an old videotape featuring his "star turn" on a children's show. Turns out that his moment in the spotlight wasn't as grand as he remembered it to be in the Wonderful Theatre of Michael's Mind. The tape showed a little boy oddly dressed in a business suit. When he was asked, by a puppet, what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered something like, "I want to get married and have a hundred kids who'll be my friends because they'll have no other choice." Something like that.
It was such a sad moment that the puppet even gave the camera a stunned, shattered look. Here it was: Michael admitting that he's a loser who's desperate for friendship. Sure, he was only about ten when he did it, but the accidental confession was enough to drive the adult Michael out of the room in mortification.
The whole scene didn't take long, but most "moments" never do.
Thank God, too, because I don't know if we could take the prolonged heartbreak.