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[caption id="attachment_100366" align="alignright" width="360"] Credit: luckyshot70 (Flickr)[/caption] Cycling fans aren't naive. Not after seeing the mysterious deaths of several cyclists at the height of the EPO craze. Not after seeing hero after hero tarnished. Tyler Hamilton, who broke away to win a stage of the 2003 Tour

Bravo to NBC. After subjecting their shrinking audience to the unfunny Whitney and the even worse, Are You There, Chelsea, the network finally… FINALLY… delivers a show worthy of their Thursday night lineup. Based on the first two very funny episodes of Bent, NBC could actually pair the show with Up All Night and have a decent hour of comedy on Wednesday nights. I can’t tell if their decision to air all 6 episodes made in just three weeks (2 a week) is a sign of confidence or that they’re burning them off. I pray for the former, but fear the latter.

Two relatively interesting things happened on NBC this week. The Office finally closed out its Florida arc by dragging most of the subplot's principal characters back to Scranton and Community returned after a long, nervous hiatus. Coincidentally and with two different conclusions, both shows explored the same

It’s easy to be cynical about a show like The Dean Martin Variety Show. For a modern audience, a show like this one could seem very old fashioned. However, what I gained from digging into a couple of hours of Dean Martin and his gaggle of friends was that his show was a quick witted, loose (very loose) hour of TV that offered a little something for everyone. There was music (well, duh) and plenty of laughs, but there was also a lot of style. Everyone on stage who joined Dean carried with them a sense of class. Most important, everyone on the shows eemed to be having a great time, often at the expense of Dean.

Tonight, we say farewell to Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the lovably terrible boss of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company on NBC’s The Office. Michael’s leaving Scranton, Pennsylvania to move across the country with the love of his life, Holly (Amy Ryan). If this season so far is any indication, it will be a bittersweet farewell. The Popdose staff looks back on some of the best Michael Scott moments over the show’s seven seasons, whether they were the most cringe-worthy, or the most heartwarming. While Michael may never have lived up to his World’s Best Boss mug in the strictest sense, there’s still a whole lot of love for him here, and he will be missed.

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“Diversity Day” (Season 1)
Written by B.J. Novak
Directed by Ken Kwapis

It’s not a “best of” list without a good slap, right? Well, for Michael Scott it sure isn’t. In season one’s episode “Diversity Day” Michael was at his finest, and by that I mean his most offensive. Before the writers started to soften his character, to prove that he was just a guy who wanted nothing but to be liked by all, he was in his true form, and more like his British inspiration, David Brent (Ricky Gervais).

After Michael performs an offensive Chris Rock routine in the office, the corporate office sends someone in to offer diversity training. Not feeling that it was effective enough, Michael continues to push the envelope. Michael organizes a game where people wear the name of a different race on their foreheads, and have to enact stereotypes to help others guess their card. Michael proceeds to offend everyone in the office, regardless of their race. As the employees try to tiptoe around Michael’s attempts to enforce stereotypes, the torture of working under Michael is clear. When Kelly (Mindy Kaling) joins the meeting late, and Michael demonstrates his game by offensively impersonating an Indian convenience store owner, she outright slaps him, and rightfully so. Almost in tears, Michael tries to pass it off as a successful exercise, while the rest of the staff looks on horrified. As did all of us at home watching. Just in its second episode, the show established itself as willing to go to those questionable places, and take risks. It might not have been Michael’s most lovable moment by any means, but it’s certainly one that informed Michael as part of the love/hate character he became over the seasons. –Emilia Rhodes

“The Client” (Season 2)
Written by Paul Lieberstein
Directed by Greg Daniels

“Chili’s is the new golf course.”  So begins a pivotal episode in the history of The Office. Michael and his boss, Jan (Melora Hardin) court an important client from the city (played by SNL’s Tim Meadows) and Michael changes the meeting place from the Hyatt to Chili’s. Jan is appalled by his behavior, but has no choice as Michael represents the local branch. For the duration of their meeting, Michael is in charge,veering every conversation away from business by telling jokes, playing a game of truth or dare, and discussing the finer things of small town life. Finally, after an entire afternoon of drinking, some Chili’s baby back ribs (complete with a duet from Carrell and Meadows), plus an awesome blossom, the trio winds up at the bar downing some beers. Suddenly, Michael makes his move and delivers a heartfelt statement about his hometown and why he’ll never leave Scranton. The client is moved and decides to give the deal to Dunder Mifflin. Jan is shocked, as are we, the viewers. Michael Scott may be an idiot in the office, but this guy is a closer.  Afterward, in the parking lot, Jan and  Michael are so excited, they embrace and kiss. Thus begins the ill fated Michael Jan romance.

Michael’s presence is felt back in the home office when Pam (Jenna Fischer) stumbles upon an original screenplay by Michael called “Threat Level Midnight.” The gang decides to have a table reading of the script which leads to some classic moments in the show. As I said, “The Client” had important turning points in the series: Pam and Jim (John Krasinski) had their first “date;” Michael and Jan hooked up and she quickly rejected him the next morning; and of course, there’s the screenplay, which would be made into a movie during season seven. This episode has plenty of classic Michael moments: the petty, rude remarks he says under his breath, the inappropriate personal conversations (such as bringing up Jan’s divorce) and of course, his loyalty to Scranton and his office.

Overall, this is one of the best episodes of season two and one of the classics of the series. –Scott Malchus