Booze Cruise (The Office)
|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Ken Kwapis|
|Written by||Greg Daniels|
|Original air date||January 5, 2006|
|Running time||22 minutes|
"Booze Cruise" is the eleventh episode of the second season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's seventeenth episode overall. Written by Greg Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis, the episode first aired in the United States on January 5, 2006 on NBC. The episode featured Rob Riggle and Amy Adams as guest stars.
The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the episode, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) brings the office on a booze cruise and plans on doing some "motivational" speaking. After he learns that the captain of the boat has other plans, a power struggle emerges. Meanwhile, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and Roy's (David Denman) previously stagnant relationship blossoms, while Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Katy's (Amy Adams) begins to falter.
The story for "Booze Cruise" was inspired by a friend of B. J. Novak's who had gone on a booze cruise. Novak told Daniels about the trip, and Daniels then proceeded to write an episode about it. The episode featured the third and final appearance of Katy, portrayed by Amy Adams. The filming of the episode was a departure from the norm of the series; filming took place on an actual boat and because of this, many cast members got sea sick. "Booze Cruise" received largely positive reviews from critics. The episode earned a Nielsen rating of 4.5 in the 18–49 demographic and was viewed by 8.7 million viewers.
The Dunder Mifflin crew goes on a cruise on a Lake Wallenpaupack ship Princess—in January. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) plans to use the cruise as both a party and a leadership training exercise. However, "Captain Jack" (Rob Riggle) keeps preventing him from giving a business lecture.
The captain puts Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) in charge of a prop wheel, which Dwight thinks is real. Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), who has brought his girlfriend Katy (Amy Adams) on the cruise with him, and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) share an awkward moment alone on the deck away from their significant others. Michael continually tries to take charge of the event by standing next to the captain and interrupting everything he says. After Michael falsely declares that the ship is sinking, sending the passengers into a panic and causing one passenger to grab a life vest and jump off the ship, the captain temporarily detains him by zip tying him to the railing on the deck outside.
Just before Roy talks to the captain, Michael asks Jim who he would save on a sinking ship. Jim covers up in saying that he would save the customer, but makes it clear afterwards that he would save the receptionist. He approaches Pam to perhaps tell her his feelings at the same time that Roy is hearing a war story from the captain. A drunken Roy Anderson (David Denman) is inspired to announce a date for his wedding with Pam, just before Jim can reach her. Jim is crushed and breaks up with Katy, realizing that he does not want to be with her. He confesses to Michael his feelings for Pam, which surprises Michael, who claims he has a "radar for things like that". As Jim is seemingly ready to give up on Pam, Michael, in an uncharacteristically serious moment, encourages him to pursue her. Jim's facial expression indicates that Michael's endeavors to motivate him in some way might have actually succeeded. Afterwards, Michael finally informs Dwight the wheel he has been steering is not real. It is evident in deleted scenes that Jim, in giving his toast, intended to make an emotional speech about his close relationship with Pam, but is swiftly cut off by Dwight.
"Booze Cruise" was written by Greg Daniels, making it his fourth writing credit, and his second season two credit, after "Halloween" earlier in the year. The episode was directed by Ken Kwapis, making it his sixth directing credit for the series. Greg Daniels referred to this episode as "our Scranton version of James Cameron's Titanic." The idea came from B. J. Novak because a friend of his went on a booze cruise. Novak told Daniels about the trip, and Daniels then proceeded to write an episode about it.
"Booze Cruise" featured the third and final appearance of Katy, portrayed by Amy Adams. Adams thoroughly enjoyed her work on the show. In an interview with Advocate.com, she said, "[The Office] was the best work experience. I loved that show and that cast so much. I don’t know if they believe me, but every time I see them I’m like, 'Oh my gosh, I’ll do anything to come back.'"
Shooting for the episode was a departure from the norm of the series, due to the fact that filming was not on the Dunder Mifflin set. Furthermore, the episode was not filmed during the day, but rather during the night, from 6pm to 6am. Principal filming took place in Long Beach Harbor, California. Because the episode took place on an actual boat, many cast members got sea sick. Rainn Wilson got especially nauseated on the second night; Jenna Fischer and David Denman felt nauseated on the last night of shooting. During the final sound mixing for the episode, Greg Daniels recalls yelling at the shot of Jim and Pam on deck. He noted that he had "seen it many, many times, but I was yelling, 'Do it, you idiot! Kiss her!'"
During the conference room scene, Michael asks if anyone has seen the 1997 film Titanic. Pam and Jim pretend that they've never heard of the movie, and Pam suggests that Michael is thinking of the 1990 movie The Hunt for Red October. When the employees are boarding the boat, Michael sings the "Ballad of Gilligan's Island", the theme from the 1964 television series Gilligan's Island. Michael assigns the following roles: Pam is Mary Ann, Jim is The Professor, Katy is Ginger, Angela is Mrs. Howell, Kelly is a "native", Stanley is one of the Harlem Globetrotters, Michael is The Skipper, and Dwight is Gilligan.
"Booze Cruise" originally aired on NBC in the United States on January 5, 2006. The episode received a 4.5 rating/11% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. This means that it was seen by 4.5% of all 18- to 49-year-olds, and 11% of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast. At the time, this was the best 18- 49 rating that the show had had. The episode was viewed by 8.7 million viewers. Furthermore, the series retained 87 percent of its "My Name is Earl" lead-in audience. An encore presentation of the episode, on June 27, 2006, received a 1.8/6 rating and was viewed by over 4.1 million viewers.
"Booze Cruise" received largely positive reviews from critics. M. Giant of Television Without Pity graded the episode with an "A". Michael Sciannamea of TV Squad stated "This sitcom gets better every week" and that "What made this one quite good was that they didn't rely on Dwight too much, although the bits with him 'driving' the boat were good." Monique Marcil of Zap2it said that the "28 seconds of silence between co-workers Jim and Pam capture all the awkwardness and longing of unspoken love better than any words could. And it's these private moments caught on film by the unseen documentary crew that give this otherwise tart sitcom its sweetness." John Krasinski stated that "Booze Cruise" included two of his favorite scenes to film: Jim's conversation with Pam, and Jim' conversation with Michael. He later called both of the shots "beautiful" and noted that it was "nothing short of an honor" to film them with Fischer and Carell, respectively. TV Fanatic reviewed several of the episodes quotes; Steve Marsi rated Jim's quote, "You know what? I would save the receptionist. Just wanted to clear that up" a 3 out of 5. Marsi also rated Jim and Michael's conversation about Pam a 5 out of 5.
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