|The Office episode|
Dwight and the "pervert". The prank received positive reviews from critics.
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Tucker Gates|
|Written by||Gene Stupnitsky
|Original air date||May 3, 2007|
|Running time||29 minutes|
"Women's Appreciation" is the twenty-second episode of the third season of the US version of The Office, and the third supersized episode of the season. In this episode, Phyllis is flashed in the parking lot, so Michael takes all the women to the mall for "women's appreciation", where the status of his relationship with Jan comes to light. Meanwhile, Pam makes a sketch supposedly of the man who flashed Phyllis, when it in fact resembles Dwight, who is unaware and posts the fliers throughout town.
The episode was written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg and directed by Tucker Gates. While the characters travel to Mall at Steamtown, a shopping center in Scranton, Pennsylvania, filming actually took place in Los Angeles. Cast members Jenna Fischer and Kate Flannery enjoyed the three-day shoot outside the office, and the latter was able to perform her own driving stunts. While filming, the cast were often met with fans "in full force" yelling out Steve Carell's name and taking pictures. Retailer Victoria's Secret agreed to close their mall store to the public to allow for episode filming.
"Women's Appreciation" first aired in the United States on May 3, 2007. It garnered an estimated 7.0 million viewers, causing it to rank fourth in its timeslot. Television critics gave mixed reviews to the episode. Comedic elements, such as Pam's prank on Dwight, were praised, but one reviewer felt that Michael's relationship problems with Jan came out of nowhere.
When he learns that Phyllis Lapin (Phyllis Smith) was flashed in the parking lot, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) holds a misguided seminar on women's issues. He closes the meeting by offering to take the women to the Mall at Steamtown. Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) orders Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) to interview Phyllis and make a sketch of "the pervert". Pam draws a picture of Dwight with a moustache and without glasses. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) assists an oblivious Dwight in posting fliers with the "predator's" face.
At the mall, Michael relates his discomfort with his relationship with Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin). All of the women point out reasons for them to break up, except for Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones), who suggests that maybe they are "just having a rough patch", obviously alluding to her own unstable relationship with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). Pam shoots the idea down by stating that "maybe you're just wrong for each other". Karen visibly takes this statement personally. Michael thanks them for their help by treating them to one item each at Victoria's Secret. Pam is visibly upset when she overhears Phyllis helping Karen pick out a sexy outfit for Jim. Pam buys a robe because she is "between boyfriends" but can cut the robe into new hand towels. Later, she takes a step toward asserting herself by changing a flat tire on Meredith Palmer's (Kate Flannery) car. At the office, Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) sneaks into the women's bathroom and discovers a plush waiting room. The other men soon join him.
Upon returning to the office, Michael calls Jan to end their relationship, unwisely doing so by leaving a voicemail message. Jan walks into his office to apologize in person for their earlier conversation, but when she receives Michael's voicemail, she storms out of the office. The episode ends with Jim calling Dwight, informing him he has information about the predator. He says he saw him two minutes before in the women's bathroom. Dwight dashes to the bathroom and examines the room, looks in the mirror where someone had etched a moustache similar to the predator's. Dwight realizes the prank and curses Pam.
"Women's Appreciation" was written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, while Tucker Gates served as the episode's director. The cold open featuring Jim receiving a demerit from Dwight was initially intended for "Business School", and the opening of "Product Recall", which featured Jim and Dwight impersonating each other, was first intended for this episode before it was moved because of time constraints. Michael's talking head scene about Jan's safeword was meant to serve as a "place holder" until a better version could be shot, but was left in the episode because the writers forgot about it. While the characters travel to Mall at Steamtown, a shopping center in Scranton, Pennsylvania, episode filming actually took place near Los Angeles, where the series is normally shot.
Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith, called the episode one of her favorites to shoot because she "was stuck in a van with Mindy Kaling, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Rashida Jones, Phyllis Smith and Steve Carell for two days." Fischer agreed, calling it a "fun episode to shoot" due to having three days of filming with Carell and The Office women. Believing Meredith's minivan was "another character" in the series, Flannery enjoyed being able to drive and act simultaneously. In a reflection of the character's personality, the production crew added props such as bottles of alcohol, chips, crushed soda cans, garbage, and 14 air fresheners to the vehicle. The cast however soon developed headaches, leading to the air fresheners' removal. Flannery was able to perform her own stunts for the episode, explaining that she "was nervous at first, but I think I really could be a demolition-derby star."
The cast enjoyed shooting at the mall, but were faced with fans "in full force." Crowds followed them while shooting, holding up camera phones and yelling Carell's name. Flannery said of the episode, "We shot some really fun stuff with Steve and the ladies just running around the mall. The food-court scene was so much fun. Steve is an amazing actor." Lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret agreed to close their store to the public for filming. In the episode, Angela reveals that she wears large sizes of clothes purchased from American Girl, a doll store chain, but will not shop at children's retailer Gap Kids because it is "too flashy." In the DVD audio commentary, Kinsey remarked that after the episode broadcast, people would bring up American Girl Doll catalogs for her to sign. Passerby also yelled out Carell's name during the scene where Pam changes a tire.
The Season Three DVD contains a number of deleted scenes. Notable cut scenes include Kelly learning that Phyllis got flashed, Bob Vance calming down Phyllis, Andy trying to earn back Dwight's favor by bonding over cold soups, Michael imagining himself as a woman, Dwight escorting the women to Meredith's car, Michael choosing lingerie for Pam, and an alternate version of Michael's concluding talking head.
The episode first broadcast in the United States on May 3, 2007 on NBC in a special timeslot, airing behind an episode of My Name Is Earl. "Women's Appreciation" was a "supersized" episode, as it aired for forty minutes. It attracted an estimated 7.0 million viewers, and ranked fourth in its timeslot, behind episodes of Survivor: Fiji, Ugly Betty, and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.
The episode received mixed reviews from television critics. IGN writer Brian Zoromski called "Women's Appreciation" a "fairly solid episode worthy of the super-sized treatment," and rated it 7.9 out of 10. He highlighted Pam's prank as well as Michael's attempt to break up with Jan via voicemail, calling the latter "easily the funniest moment in the episode, and perfectly played by both Steve Carell and Melora Hardin." Zoromski did however criticize the series for abandoning plot points, such as the publicity fiasco from the previous episode. Give Me My Remote's Kath Skerry called it a "hilarious episode," and observed "I don’t think The Office has ever pushed the envelope in terms of sexual discussion as much as it did tonight."
Jay Black from AOL TV disliked the episode's awkward moments and thought Michael's unhappiness with Jan came out of nowhere. Black did however praise Pam's prank as well as Dwight himself, but concluded his review: "A surprisingly weak handling of character combined with fewer laugh-out-loud moments than I'm used to forces me to give this episode 4 Creed number-twos out of 7." Entertainment Weekly staff writer Abby West also critiqued "Women's Appreciation", explaining that it "felt exactly like a 30-minute episode stretched to fill 43 minutes." She thought the episode "only came together" once the Office women performed an intervention for Michael.
- Wilson, Rainn (December 13, 2012). "Remember all of these? #FinalSeason". Facebook.com. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Fischer, Jenna, Angela Kinsey, Kate Flannery, Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky (2007). Audio commentary for "Women's Appreciation" (DVD). The Office: Season Three Disc 4: Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
- Goldstein, Meredith (November 25, 2007). "That's what she said". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
- Flannery, Kate (May 2, 2007). "May 3, 2007: Women's Appreciation". TV Guide. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Steinberg, Jon (May 4, 2007). "‘The Office,’ Where We Learn the True Meaning of ‘Hanging Brain’". Vulture.com. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Zoromski, Brian (May 4, 2007). "The Office: Women's Appreciation Review". IGN. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- West, Abby (May 4, 2007). "Flasher Flick". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Deleted scenes for "Women's Appreciation" (DVD). The Office: Season Three Disc 4: Universal Studios Home Entertainment. 2007.
- "The Office: Women's Appreciation spoilers and more". BuddyTV. May 3, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Skerry, Kath (May 3, 2007). "The OFFICE Thursday on Give Me My Remote". Give Me My Remote. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
- "May 8, 2007 Press Release ("Women's Appreciation")" (Press release). NBC. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
- "ABC Spins Thursday Victory - Two-hour 'Grey's' dominates night". Zap2it. May 4, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Skerry, Kath (May 3, 2007). "THE OFFICE Recap: Women’s Appreciation". Give Me My Remote. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Black, Jay (May 3, 2007). "The Office: Women's Appreciation". AOL TV. Retrieved May 29, 2012.