From the outset, Jim and Pam’s wedding on The Office was nearly all but assured to fail: How does a couple in their situation (i.e. surrounded by a host of wacky coworkers) plan the perfect nuptials that would simultaneously please said deranged coworkers yet remain special and unblemished to them? Well, I’m so super-pleased to report that Dunder Mifflin’s golden couple managed to pull it off — in a completely dazzling and totally sweet fashion, no less! (Did you expect anything else from the pair?) But how’d they do it? With the smoothest move ever: By going AWOL, natch. Best. Move. Ever!
As you’ll all remember, this summer, the world was subjected to a terrifying wedding video where an out-of-touch, but clearly-having-fun couple turned their wedding processional into a dance party, soundtracked by the Chris Brown song “Forever.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you lived in a hole this past summer — or never visited YouTube, turned on a morning show, etc. The situation was, in my opinion, the most desperate, disgusting, faux fun thing of ALL TIME! Which, naturally, is exactly the currency The Office trades in. Like Jim, I should have seen this one coming.
New-manager Jim revealed that as soon as he saw the garish display of processional ridiculousness that his pals at Dunder would use the tragic mess as an inspiration for their own tribute. But instead of derailing Michael Scott and Co.’s well-intentioned, but ridiculous, love note, Jim smartly laid plans to secretly marry Pam on a Falls-viewing boat before they actually walked down the aisle in the Niagra church — just so they’d have a moment of bliss before enduring the crazy. “I bought those boat tickets the day I saw that YouTube video,” he told the camera, in a moment of sweetness. “I knew we needed a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C. The church was Plan B. And Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.” Awwww. Watching them giddily scamper off together as everyone gathered in the church felt so, so vindicating. Especially after the frazzled Pam ripped her veil and Jim chopped his tie in half in response. Awwwww, again!
What was genius about the split wedding was that everyone won! The fabulous-hat-wearing Phyllis and mother-of-the-bride-lusting Michael — and the rest of Dunder Mifflin and the wedding party — got to put their stamp all over the wedding, but Jim and Pam, ever trying to instill some sense of normalcy into their lives, managed to have their dream nuptials, too. But of course we viewers won, too! I sort of totally wanted the wedding both ways — didn’t you? And we got that.
As an addendum, I have to admit, as much as I hate that Chris Brown aisle dance (see: my rant above), using it as an inspiration for a totally Dunder wedding couldn’t have been more genius on the part of The Office writers. Bravo! Honestly, there’s no better use for the Chris Brown mess than with these characters, who so trade in such faux fun situations (like that mess of a hotel party in Andy’s room!) on a daily basis.
The lead-up to the ceremony was no less inspiring than the ridiculous ceremony, which I was glad to see Jim and Pam both reveled in while harboring their secret. In fact, I’d say the hour overall was one of the best episodes of The Office in a long while. Equal parts sweet and funny, cringe-inducing and bizarre. Seeing as how I’ve rambled so much already, here is what was initially intended to be a quick digest of my highlights from the pre-wedding festivities (but then got rather unwieldy):
- Pam warned her co-workers that it could happen, but when she barfed a bit — followed by the barfing of nearly everyone else in the office — I about fell out of my chair. The Office: Exorcist Edition! And even grosser: While it was all going on, Creed sat over at his desk scarfing down a bowl of noodles. The best part, however, was the perfectly prim Pam wiping her mouth delicately afterward, as if to say a big ol’ “F— you!” and “That’s what you get” to Dwight for peeling his hard-boiled egg at his desk.
- Angela’s quote about grandmothers. “Well, you’re lucky to have a grandmother,” she told Pam, who asked that folks not reveal she’s pregnant. “Some of us have to be our own grandmother.” What? What does that even mean? Love.
- The mental pictures Pam and Jim took of each other. Pam proposed that she and Jim remember to take “mental” pictures of the festivities, which parlayed into one of the cutest moments of the episode. That’d be when, during his speech at the rehearsal dinner, she snapped one of him. Swoon!
- Oscar’s freakout when Pam’s sister Penny thought Kevin was his boyfriend. “You thought I was dating this? What the hell is wrong with you?” Also: J’adore True Blood’s Anna Camp, who played Penny. I mean, she didn’t really get to do much, but that girl is golden. And I’m not just talking about her flaxen hair.
- “A little mo’ cardio.” I mean, honestly? I die. It’s my new catchphrase. I think there’s a trite pop hit in that, a la “Tardy for the Party.”
- Mema. Um, she was amazing. (But I have an obsessh with old ladies.) I loved that, after she found out Pam was pregnant, she explained that she had a feeling that things would go wrong, based on the fact that she couldn’t get the movie Bruno to stop playing on the TV in her hotel room. “I wondered, how could they pick such a hotel?” said the disapproving granny. “Now, I know.”
- Andy’s unfortunate accident. “Did someone change my name to Baskin Robbins? Because I feel like a banana split.” Oh, that was so, so loaded. In so many ways
- Pam swerving the car, to cause Andy pain, while driving him to the hospital.
- “There’s no such thing as a good hairpiece.” No statement has ever been more true. But then again, I didn’t think Kevin’s hair looked that bad. Did you guys? And the Kleenex boxes were out-of-control.
- Phyllis’ wedding outfit. I mean, there just are no words for that amazingness. Was she going to a revival in the South?
- Michael’s present creepiness: “They asked for cash, but you know, I give ‘em cash every week. How much cash does a person need?” he said, while toting in his wedding present — a hand-painted portrait of Jim and Pam. “And I have another one of them in the nude. But that one is for me.” Shiver.
- This quote from Dwight: “So tell me again the difference between Filene’s and Filene’s Basement?” I’ll keep that in my back pocket for moments when I’m desperate for conversation. Or something like that. It was just so random, I can’t help but revel in it.
So, PopWatchers, now it’s your turn to tell me your highlights from last night’s milestone wedding episode of The Office. What was your favorite moment? Your favorite sound bite? Do you ever tire of seeing Meredith dance? (I don’t!) Did you die when Michael got up and cracked jokes at the rehearsal dinner? And honestly, do we really get no reception antics? Really? Sound off in the comments below!
More ‘Office’ coverage from EW:
‘The Office’: Will you love Jim and Pam’s wedding…’Forever’?
This week’s cover: ‘The Office’ wedding exclusive!
‘The Office’ wedding: It’s almost time!
‘Office’ scoop: Jim and Pam wedding spoiler!
‘The Office’ on PopWatch