Friday, October 9, 2009

Guest Review: The Office Wedding Episode

Dear friend of the R&R Review and fellow blogger Trip Reed has offered us his review of last night's episode of The Office...

I would like to preface my review of "the wedding episode" with my thoughts on The Office so far. I have actually been watching The Office since its debut in America, though to be honest, I don't exactly remember what my initial thoughts were of the show. The short first season was pretty rocky as the writers didn't really hit their stride until the second season, but I was in from the beginning.

I think that I really came to appreciate the show when a co-worker let me borrow her copy of the British version of
The Office back in the beginning of 2006. Being able to watch that helped me get a better grasp on the origins of the show and its model characters, and to better appreciate the uniquely American perspective. It was also good to be able to contrast Tim and Dawn with Jim and Pam because for me, and for a lot of other people, that relationship is really what got me hooked on the show. I had a bit of an unrequited love situation happening at the time, and I enjoyed being able to commiserate with Tim and Jim.

While I sometimes wish that the British version had been longer because it was just so good, as the American version of
The Officehas pushed far past the 12 episodes of the original, I appreciate more and more how smart Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant were to end their show when they did. It had a happy ending, but was able to wrap it up with dignity. As the American version drags into its sixth season, there are sharks being jumped left and right. Pam going to graphic design school; Pam becoming a sales person; Michael and Holly; Charles Miner; the Michael Scott Paper Company; the engagement; the pregnancy; and now the wedding. The "less is more" aesthetic of the British Office is what continues to make it excellent while the far-out nature of the American version continues to wear on viewers. Most importantly for me, while watching the British version, I can really imagine it as a documentary. For the American version, this concept seems to have been pretty much thrown out the window (except for when it is convenient for the writers) even though this was the central premise of the entire seri

In spite of my griping, I do continue to watch
The Office weekly, though along with (or perhaps, because of) the endless parade of plot twists, its level of funniness (is that a word?) has continued to drop since, oh, probably the end of season three. I will be quick to admit, though, that season six has proven to be surprisingly funny so far. And it is with that, that we finally come to my review of "the wedding episode."

Being an hour long, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, though after seeing all of those sappy-looking commercials, I didn't have high hopes. However, as I watched, I did get quite a few laughs. Michael has a classic cringe-inducing moment during the rehearsal dinner speech, and his lodging situation (or lack thereof) was pretty funny as well. Suffice it to say, I was rather enjoying the episode until about the last 10 or 15 minutes. **Spoiler alert** Once the wedding dance scene kicked in, I was completely turned off. This was one of the most asinine things I have seen on a comedy in a long time. Again, keeping in mind that the point of the show is to be a documentary about real people working at a paper company, this was completely unrealistic and utterly absurd. And then to mix in mawkish scenes and Jim and Pam getting married on the Maid of the Mist--completely stupid (besides, how did they get dry so fast?). I think I saw the Fonz jumping over their boat on a motorcycle at one point.

On top of all of the nonsense that was going on there at the end, did anyone actually have an emotional reaction to them getting married? The whole Jim and Pam thing long ago ran out of excitement for me. I think the last time I actually had any interest in that relationship was in the season finale of season three when Jim interrupts Pam's interview to ask her out. While it is probably impossible to drag out an unrequited love story for 6+ seasons, I think that this again highlights the wisdom in ending a show after a specific number of episodes. When writers know their time line, they can create an actual story arc instead of an endlessly wagging story wet noodle.

So in conclusion, was the wedding episode as bad as some might have feared? No, it wasn't; it was actually pretty funny, though for me, the entire wedding sequence was irrelevant. However, I am giving this episode 2-1/2 sporks. It would have been 4 sporks, but the last ten minutes really blew it and cost the show 1-1/2 sporks.

Thanks to Chris Robinson and Mr. Roof for letting me post here.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Wow. I totally disagree.