'The Workplace' stars revisit the cringe of 'Scott's Tots'

It is a universally identified reality amongst Workplace followers: “Scott’s Tots” is cringeworthy as hell.

On the newest episode of Stitcher’s Workplace Girls podcast, former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey chatted all in regards to the painful Season 6 episode with director B.J. Novak, who was additionally a author on the present and starred as Ryan Howard.

In case you’ve got (understandably) blocked the premise of “Scott’s Tots” out of your thoughts, allow us to rapidly refresh. Ten years have handed since Michel made a big promise to a gaggle of 15 elementary faculty college students. Assuming he’d be wealthy sooner or later, he advised all of them he’d pay for his or her school tuition in the event that they graduated highschool. Welp, they’re all graduating, and Michael cannot really fund their schooling, so he has to interrupt the information to them. However don’t fret, he gives everybody lithium laptop computer batteries to make up for it. AHH!!!! Simply excited about it hurts.

“Scott’s Tots” was really Novak’s directorial debut (other than Workplace webinars), which made him an ideal particular person to look again on all of the cringe.

“Simply so we get clear, did you deliver me on to reply for ‘Scott’s Tots’? To apologize?” Novak requested to kick off the convo. His friends lightheartedly assured him they did not. They simply wished to speak. However Fischer did ask if he knew on the time that he was directing what would turn out to be the cringiest episode of The Workplace.

“I had no concept. It appeared nice. You recognize, I used to be assigned the script, beloved it, and it was solely a lot later…. I believe it is a signal of how deep into the present I used to be, or all of us had been, that we didn’t have a foot in the true world. Not that that was an unrealistic episode…that is precisely what Michael would do. That is precisely what Michael would really feel,” Novak stated. “I additionally assume that we will discuss it creatively. It makes lots of sense to me. I do not know if individuals are responding to — it looks like nobody’s responding to it saying, ‘It is a dangerous episode’ or ‘Michael would not try this.’ It is extra identical to, ‘It is so onerous to observe.’ So it’s constant, I believe, with the present.”

Novak defined that although the episode is a tricky watch, the important thing to the story was that “Michael was so positive that he would achieve success; that he may make this promise.”

“To me it isn’t in regards to the lie. It isn’t about what ended up being a lie or a damaged promise,” Novak defined. “It is Michael — he obtained carried away along with his generosity, along with his perception in himself. I imply, possibly that is what individuals cringe about. It is a very, very lovable model of Michael Scott, in addition to a heartbreaking model of Michael Scott. And it is form of the entire collection in an extremely distilled, uncomfortable means from the Michael Scott standpoint whenever you have a look at it like that.”

B.J. Novak, Prince of Darkness?

Whereas “Scott’s Tots” was written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, Novak did have an enormous position as director, and Fischer famous that he additionally wrote a number of the present’s different cringiest episodes, together with “Prince Household Paper,” “Variety Day,” “Sexual Harassment,” and “Chair Mannequin.” The three recalled the latter episode, wherein Michael falls in love with a chair mannequin in {a magazine} solely to find she’s lifeless. He and Dwight then go to the lady’s grave to pay their respects and mourn her loss.

“Paul Lieberstein wrote loads. I really like that episode. Paul is the supply of the darkness on that one,” Novak defined. “And look, I wrote lots of very joyous stuff, too. I wrote lots of the Jim and Pam. I wrote ‘Risk Degree Midnight,’ which is a really joyful episode. So I am not — it isn’t like I am the Prince of Darkness on this present. And likewise, look, there have been what? What number of hundred episodes? I labored on like greater than half of them. So it isn’t…. I am not simply this darkish determine. I am pleased with it.”

Kinsey then joked that the Mashable article that might come out after this episode must be titled “B.J. Novak, Prince of Darkness of The Workplace.” It is a beautiful headline, however we would have liked to get “Scott’s Tots” in there for search functions. Plus, Novak’s admittedly much less darkish now, and although he wrote a number of different darkish episodes, many do contemplate this to be the darkest. So he is spared the title. It appears he is extra just like the Temp of Darkness. 😏


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“I believe the darkish is essential, and I keep in mind after Season 1, which was six episodes, and I believe all of them ended fairly darkly, proper? I imply, we had that good second on the finish of ‘Variety Day,’ however the pilot, ‘Scorching Lady,’ ‘Healthcare’ — extraordinarily darkish,” Novak stated. “‘Workplace Olympics’ and ‘Basketball’ possibly had been a bit extra constructive endings. However we had form of a giant group assembly that Greg [Daniels, show runner] led about, ‘OK, what are we going to do in another way in Season 2?’ And there is a lot completely different. And considered one of [the things] was three out of 4 endings must be constructive. After which one is only for us, which means Paul. He was like, ‘We’re not going to completely promote out.’ However the British [version] had ended darkish each time, roughly, and we had been ending darkish each time, roughly. And so I suppose ‘Scott’s Tots’ was undoubtedly a kind of [ones for us].”

Although Novak agrees that the episode is “very troublesome,” he regards Stupnitsky and Eisenberg as “two of essentially the most sensible writers” and “the spine of the present.” He additionally feels “Scott’s Tots” is an fascinating, deep have a look at Michael Scott’s pure motivations.

“He’s such a believer, you recognize? And so his perception obtained forward of him. And that is by far, you recognize…that is the most important consequence of all,” Novak stated. He then references this Michael quote from the episode: “I’ve made some empty guarantees in my life, however arms down, that was essentially the most beneficiant.”

“That’s form of this unbelievable distillation of why we love Michael a lot and why he is made everybody’s life so impossibly troublesome, which is form of the center and the comedy of the collection. Nevertheless it’s not normally that intense, you recognize?” he stated. 

You’ll want to try the total podcast episode to listen to extra behind-the-scenes tales about filming the episode, “Scott’s Tots,” together with directing recommendation, performing recommendation, and information on Novak’s new movie, Vengeance.

You may stream episodes of (opens in a brand new tab)The Workplace(opens in a brand new tab) on Peacock(opens in a brand new tab) and observe together with the podcast each week on Earwolf(opens in a brand new tab)Apple Podcasts(opens in a brand new tab), or Stitcher(opens in a brand new tab).

Originally posted 2022-04-13 18:09:37.