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October 4, 2015

The Office: Niagara

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 8th 2009 11:35PM
Pam and Jim get married in The Office: Niagra(S06E04 / S06E05) The one thing you knew going into this episode was that Pam and Jim were going to be married at the end of it. There wasn't any big mystery; no old lovers were going to come back to interrupt the proceedings; Jim wasn't going to say Karen's name instead of Pam's.

Nope, that's been the beauty of the Jam pairing from the minute they got together; they just continue being a solid couple in the background while the craziness spins around them. Even when one of them gets sucked into the craziness -- Pam defecting to the Michael Scott Paper Company, Jim becoming co-manager -- the pairing is still solid.

That's what made this hour-long wedding episode so enjoyable. It wasn't the fact that Pam and Jim got married, it's that they had a memorable, very PB & J-style wedding despite the presence of the crew from Scranton.

Because of the hour-long format, here was probably about ten or so minutes of material that could be considered filler. As funny as the scene was, did we really need to know about Kevin's toxic shoes, for instance? But it was definitely better than most of the hour-long Offices that have aired in the past. What really made it work well for me is that we had all the little storylines from the folks at DM-S (Dunder Mifflin-Scranton for the uninitiated):

  • Michael putting undue pressure on everyone by saying "this is a very important wedding for the company... at least until my wedding,"
  • Stanley bringing Cynthia instead of his wife to the wedding,
  • Michael stupidly not pre-booking a room, and having to stay with Dwight (more on that later),
  • Dwight hooking up with a hot bridesmaid -- for all his dorkiness, he seems to get the women, doesn't he? -- then completely ignoring her because she's a dental hygenist,
  • Jim taking pains to make sure everyone keeps Pam's pregnancy away from her über-conservative MiMa (she hates that "awful" Charlie Rose, for example), then blowing the secret himself during his rehearsal dinner toast,
  • Michael making a toast that no one laughs at except for one of Jim's idiot brothers,
  • Michael's "different sensation" speech. He didn't dig as deep a hole with it as he usually does, but it was still pretty mortifying,
  • Andy tearing his scrotum after doing a split to impress Erin (more on that later, too),
  • Oscar being completely offended that someone thought Kevin was his boyfriend ("You thought I was dating this?"),
  • Meredith enjoying her afternoon cigar,
  • Michael's and Dwight's awful gifts (a cartoonish painting by Michael and a turtle pot complet with live turtles from Dwight),
  • The entire DM-S branch dancing with the wedding party down the aisle to "Forever," a tribute to that dopey video on YouTube.
The gang at Pam and Jim's rehearsal dinner in The Office: NiagraIt was just one of those episodes where you saw a little bit of everyone's personality in it. Even those whose parts weren't as big had some good tidbits: Creed hovering just behind all the conversations at the rehearsal dinner; Kelly monopolizing Erin's attention in the back of Andy's car; Ryan trying to brag to a female guest that he was the youngest executive in DM's history. It was all weaved into the fabric of the episode quite nicely.

But let's get back to the scrotum tearing for a second. It seems like that's the sort of thing that would happen to Andy; he always takes things one awkward step too far in his efforts to fit into the group. And given his doubts about his sexuality (and the way he dresses -- striped bowtie? Tangerine sweater and pink pants?), a torn scrotum is the last thing he needs. Though hearing him yell that predicament to Pam was simultaneously the biggest laugh and loudest groan of the episode. But in tearing his scrotum, he may have finally gotten the attention of fair young Erin, so hopefully he wasn't grotesquely injured in vain.

Now on to Michael. He wanted nothing more than to hook up with someone at this wedding. In fact he was desperate, because he still had lingering thoughts of Holly on his mind, as he said to Pam's mother (Linda Purl, by the way...). As he was talking to the ex-Mrs. Beasley in the church I had a feeling they were going to hook up later; Michael just loves the older ladies. Heck, I thought he was going to hook up with MiMa when he went up to her room after the rehearsal disaster. But given his current bad feelings over his grandmother's new "friend," maybe that wasn't to be.

The hookup might be the only really bad consequence of the wedding. How horrified is Pam going to be if she knows that her mother is seeing her dorky boss? He already thinks he's family, to the point where he tied filled beer cans to his own car and soaped "Going to a wedding" on his windows. Now he may be even more horrifyingly involved in her life.

OK, now finally on to Pam and Jim. It was all cute, wasn't it? Jim cutting off his tie in solidarity with Pam and her torn veil, the terribly sweet toast he made to her at the rehearsal -- at least, right up until the point that he said "Not Pam, for obvious reasons" -- and the Plan C he had concocted as soon as he saw that dopey video on YouTube. Because of their Maid of the Mist marriage, they could just stand there at the church and smile, knowing that they had "their" wedding. It was the perfect way for these kids to finally get hitched.

Some more fun stuff:

  • Can't leave without mentioning the cold open, where Pam's unreasonable demands set off a puke-fest amongst the entire office. The only one unaffected is Creed, who just keeps eating his noodles as the office turns into a vomitorium.
  • How does Dwight get women? And he was joking about Burger-on-the-go... right?
  • MiMa couldn't work the TV, so she had to sit while the movie Brüno "happened" to her.
  • "I love finding a good set of twins." - Dwight
  • That nude portrait of Pam and Jim in Michael's house... too funny and creepy all at once. Cartoon nudity is bad enough, but when it's cartoons of someone you know? Ewwww...
  • Kevin takes his tie off to pee. Does he tie his ties long or is he just that stupid?
  • More Kevin, as he cooled his tissue box-clad tootsies in the ice machine: "I got six numbers... next time, I might get all seven."
  • If someone can let me know what it said on the office Do's and Don'ts list for the wedding, I'd appreciate it. I know "Cry" was under "Don'ts."
  • Jim's dad was played by none other than Robert Pine, former CHiPs star and father of young Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine.
  • How gorgeous was that shot of Pam and Jim staring at Niagara Falls as the episode closed? A fitting end, especially considering the episode started with all that puking.

[You can see clips and free episodes from our friends at SlashControl.]

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The puking thing was awesome, I especially loved Andy just staring knowing that it was going to make him sick. It's hilarious watching that with someone who does have that kind of gag reflex. My cousin was gagging so loud during that part. She didn't actually throw up but it was close... apparently.
The thing I loved about this show is how so much can go unsaid. Like the fact that Jim and Pam consciously gave their wedding day up to their friends and family. They could have said that into the camera, but they didn't have to, it was all just looks.

October 13 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did I miss what happened to Kevin's g/f - the one he was seriously making out with in the Caffe Disco episode?

October 12 2009 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chris's comment

I think they left out characters like Kevin's g-friend and Oscar's partner because the wedding was occuring on far away so the assumption is those folks "significant others" had to work and could not attend. Bob Vance could come because he's the boss of his company and can take off whatever time he wants (and I was glad to see him again too!). I wondered why we didn't see Toby & Meredith in any of the walk down the isle shots (maybe Michael locked Toby away somewhere so he COULDN'T participate ....)

October 13 2009 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Polish up the Emmy!

30 Rock's good, but I don't see them topping this episode. Great stuff.

October 12 2009 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good episode and a good show but The Office is so far off track from what it's supposed to be visually. Now it's impossible to compare to season 1 never mind the bbc original. Notice the complete loss of shaky documentary style camera angles through venetian blinds.

October 11 2009 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about Dwight kicking Pam's Sister in the face??? That was somethin'.

October 11 2009 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Niagara Falls Wedding

It doesn't occur as often as it used to, when Niagara Falls Weddings are celebrated and honeymoon destinations are featured in our town.

Thanks for promoting our amazing city!


October 11 2009 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr J

We needed Darryl!!!!

October 10 2009 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't watch this show, but my wife wanted to see the wedding, so I sat through it. I don't get it. Michael is a horrible, horrible person and I can't stand the discomfort every single time he opens his mouth. Why this program is considered funny is beyond me.

October 10 2009 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dave's comment

It's called 'cringe humor' and it's meant to be painful to watch. If it bothered you on this show, then never watch the BBC original, as the American version is extremely toned down in this regard in comparison to the brutal British version.

October 10 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Office is simply amazing. They pulled off Jim and Pam's wedding with cleverly blended humor and drama. I loved every part of the episode, even Andy's torn scrotum. Full review of the episode.


October 09 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to The1337's comment

Why do you always spam the comments with plugs for your own blog? It's a tacky way to try to draw hits, and (on me, at least) has the opposite effect.

October 10 2009 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this episode was good - all the parts that did not include Jim and Pam! I hate those two characters together (even though I wanted them together from the beginning). Something about them together - and the way their personalities are now - just really irritate me.

The rest of the episode was great, though. Well, except that I thought Pam's sister was an idiot (for saying "I'm sorry, I thought it was Gil?"). And I didn't care much for the dancing wedding scene (copied from Youtube) - I haven't seen the youtube video (thank goodness) but I had vaguely heard about it.

Jim and Pam just suck the life out of the show - for me... I know other people disagree.

October 09 2009 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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