Episode 4: Grief Counseling
I am Meredith from NBC.
of the Merediths from NBC. No. Not
The Today Show
's Meredith Vieira. I am party-gal Meredith Palmer from
[Thursdays at 8:30 pm/ET]. Actually, I'm the actress who
Meredith, the one who wears the cardigan sweaters and the one-size-fits-all, ill-fitting denim skirts. The other Meredith may get more press than me. But does the other Meredith give you behind-the-scenes dirt on her show, like me? Heck, no. She is still learning everyone's names. I am the nighttime Meredith, the sometimes-topless Meredith. I'm the Meredith who prefers to sleep in. The Meredith who prefers her mornings to be quiet and people not to talk so loud and the lights not to be so bright. There is plenty of room for both of us, I guess. Just two Merediths that pass in the night.
This past season of
, the employees of Dunder Mifflin have been holding their breath, waiting for a wedding. Talking about a wedding. Not talking about a wedding.
wedding, Pam and Roy's. That wedding. Well, this week
deals with the opposite. A funeral. (Isn't the opposite of a wedding a funeral?) The new episode is "Grief Counseling," where Michael's former boss suddenly dies in an accident.
is a comedy. I love this episode because it's dark, for a comedy. This time
tackles gutsy subject matter. (Remember that great comic funeral on
Mary Tyler Moore
, when Mary can't stop laughing at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown who died in a tragic accident? (Dressed like a peanut, an elephant tried to shell him.) There is no clown in our show, and no elephant. Our show deals with life and death, birds and grieving. Comic gold for some cultures. Some of the funniest family memories were the funerals in my Irish family. One big party. Good times. (Have I mentioned before that my family owns a bar in Philadelphia?)
Michael's old boss was Ed Truck, played by Ken Howard. Do you remember the Season 2 episode, "The Carpet," when Ken Howard was a guest on the show? (I remember him from
The White Shadow
.) Well, that episode showed an "old" picture of Ed Truck and Michael Scott from the '80s, where they each sported a mullet. You know what they say about a mullet, right? Business in the front and a PARTY IN THE BACK!!!! Steve Carell can pull off a mullet. No, seriously. It was a wig. He could literally pull it off. Well, it was more like a wiglet, or a fall. This is very important! Very, very important ! So please pay attention!
Have I told you about the hair and makeup department for
? I'm sure you've noticed the documentary style of our show. We sit for a long time to look so washed out and tired. It is all very cleverly designed and watched over, No vanity insanity, here. Compare our cast to, oh, say,
. We go where no other show has gone before. (Unless you count
.) The real, true America is represented. Where florescent lighting rules the working planet. This is the real deal.
And may I say, there are a lot more Merediths and Phyllises in the real world than Rachels and Monicas. Know what I'm sayin'? One important thing to look for in this week's episode: We suffered while shooting the outdoor scenes. We had to wear coats on a hot summer day. Isn't that crazy? We had to act like it was cold when it was warm. For hours and hours. You would never know it by looking at us. Isn't that crazy? This is very, very, important. Pay attention!
I think I have officially run out of things to say. I just ask that you listen to this Meredith, the right Meredith and please watch
By the way, last May I had a moment with Meredith Vieira, backstage at Radio City Music Hall at the upfronts where they announced NBC's new fall season. The casts of all the NBC shows were there. It was amazing. I had to pinch myself. She was with her
cast, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry. I was with my
cast (most of us were there) - Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Mindy Kaling, Melora Hardin (and me, Kate Flannery). I almost stepped on the other Meredith's foot, because it was very dark backstage. She was very forgiving and great. So, I guess I forgive her for being the other NBC Meredith.
As for the Meredith on
? Don't even get me started.
, don't miss TVGuide.com's fresh Q&A with Melora Hardin, who plays Jan.