Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Quality of Mercy in The Office

"Free Family Portrait Studio." By Greg Daniels and B. J. Novak. Perf. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Catherine Tate. Dir. B. J. Novak. The Office. Season 8, episode 24. NBC. 10 May 2012. Hulu.com.

Two people mentioned that the latest episode of The Office contains a Shakespeare reference. That seemed like enough to require tracking it down.

I haven't watched the entire episode, but the context I've picked up is that the boss dearly desires to fire the character played by Catherine Tate—but she pulls what he calls "The Bard Card," using Shakespeare to elicit sympathy for her and to create a sense of superiority in him.

Note: The video is embedded from Hulu; if it expires, I apologize. In addition, Hulu doesn't allow for very precise editing of clips; there's a bit of the scene before and the scene after (though it does stop just before the boss utters a bleeped profanity). Finally, you'll have to watch a brief Hulu logo and a brief NBC logo before the clip begins. Thank you.


Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest