I thought tonight's episode was a little subpar. It was good, and it involved all the show's trademark twists and turns, but I think the show was so Charlize-centric that the supporting cast ended up pushed to the side, thus cutting into the comic hijinks. Gob, Buster and Tobias made the most of their opportunities (especially Gob and Buster... but especially Tobias) and yet the episode seemed very flat to me. I'm OK with that, because it clears out the Wee Britain/Mr. F. storyline, which kinda fizzled in the end. I liked the whole "British intrigue" angle more than the MRF angle, and I really liked seeing Dave Thomas doing a ridiculous Cockney accent. But I feel like we never learned enough about who and what was behind all that spying... what the hell were they after the Bluths for? Maybe I missed something in "Mr. F" or "Notapusy" but I don't think so.
And when are they gonna get Anyong out of that crawlspace?
In other social-gaffe-sitcom news, I just discovered that I have this in my On Demand area. Score!!!!! Wow, though. The first episode makes The Office feel like a warm glass of milk by comparison. I could barely watch it... I had to take two separate breaks just to keep from gouging my own eyes back through my ears, thus saving me from hearing or seeing Ricky Gervais weasel his way out of a Catholic prayer circle. The agony! Almost everything in the whole episode was gutwrenching. On a larger scale, I'm having a hard time understanding who I'm supposed to sympathize with... part of what made The Office so lovable, despite all of the despicable behavior, is Tim and Dawn's groundedness. No matter what David Brent did, there were sane people to compare him to. Here, it's just him. Those two people were us, the two normals in a nutty office. Who in Extras am I supposed to latch onto? But that's something I can't know right away necessarily. I did think it was really outrageous. And Kate Winslet was really funny lampooning herself.
In short, the first episode was absolutely excruciating, so mission accomplished, but I also see plenty of potential. I'll keep you posted.