My greatest fear right now is that we may have just witnessed the exact moment The Office jumped the shark.
The wedding aisle dance.
I’m not saying this is definitely IT, because of course I can’t predict the future quality of the show. But it’s a benchmark. It’s definitely…something.
(sidenote: Can you believe the “JK wedding dance” video debuted on July 19, less than 3 months ago? The web has completely distorted my perception of time when it comes to events. I initially wrote that this video came out last year, January at the latest. Boy, was I ever wrong! [enthusiastic kazoo sound])
I get the intention of the bit. It was supposed to be bad, meant to be a horribly uncool choice by Jim’s idiot brothers that is embraced by all the horribly uncool guest list. An act of kitsch that Jim and Pam would abhor, thus they are supposed to realize that not only are they powerless to stop it thus should just give in and enjoy it, but that it comes from a place of love from their friends and family.
Yeah, I get it.
Or maybe that they realize they did in fact try to micromanage their nuptials too much? But I’m not convinced that the writers on the show do think Jim and Pam were acting like wedding douches so that one doesn’t hold as much weight for me.
Whatever, enough trying to explain or defend it.
For the record, I found many parts of the episode to be funny (see below). It’s just that the wedding aisle dance, and the entire cliche device of Jim and Pam running off to have their own ceremony, on their own terms, while blissfully, incredibly, uber-romantically happy…represents, for me, the apex of the growing trend of niceness on a show that used to run so efficiently on cruelty.
If this had been an exception to the standard of awkwardness, then it would have been a nice surprise. But there’s been so frickin’ many of those moments over the past couple seasons that I just wanted to boot my TV into a half-empty swimming pool full of decapitated action figures and drowned Frasier-lovers.
Even so, I still love the show and will give it a chance; I’m not condemning it to sitcom hell or anything. There’s already places down in that fiery pit reserved for Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and the new Jenna Elfman sitcom that is about three weeks in and could be the worst piece of abortion shite in the history of the medium (and shall remain nameless because it’s not worth the 30 seconds of my time it would take to look it up; Definitely, Maybe? The Happening?). So TV Hades is crowded down there, and The Office will run at least 4 more seasons, unless Steve Carell decides to leave (although I could see them continuing the show without him). And there’s still a lot of funny stuff left in there.
Mental picture taking? Really?
Is anyone else boiling with rage that their favorite sitcom has been hijacked by the Today Show?
Okay, it wasn’t ALL bad. There were funny moments…here’s my favs…
And sure, it’s tough to sustain the funny over two episodes shown back to back. But did we really need to open on a vomitorium?
My problem with this cold open was two fold…
1) I was eating a delicious tofutti cutie at the time.
2) It justified Pam’s riDICKulous request of her workmates that they cut down on perfume and adjust their eating habits because of her queasy pregnant stomach. Based on the TV writers that I’ve met (an egotistical, pretentious lot if ever there was one; at least the ones under 50 who haven’t yet experienced a nice humbling 2-5 year unemployment stint once their show, and style, “goes away” as they say), I’m willing to bet that The Office writers are frighteningly close to Pam and Jim in their belief that they are the first people ever to get pregnant and get married (in that order, because no one in Hollywood, real or fictional, knows how to use birth control).
Enough barfing. Mine and the show’s. I’ll end on a good note; I thought this little moment was hilarious…
I love the voice.
And I’ll be there next week. The steam should have stopped bursting from my ears by then.
reporting from a delightful cottage in scenic Niagara Falls,
Dan’s Scriptomatic Cinematic Telematic in 3D!