Does anyone remember how the original U.K. Office came to lead TV comedy in new directions through the force of its genius and novelty? And then the U.S. Office surprised everyone by actually being good through the strength of its performances and the idiosyncrasies of its secondary characters?*
What happened? Jim Loves Pam swelled into this tsunami that flooded out any other subplots and diluted all the stuff that made the show innovative. Tonight was the culmination: the hour-long wedding episode that was a total inevitability from like the first time Jim looked longingly at Pam as she left the office with Roy.
The inevitability of wedding episodes is fine, I guess. Rites of passage and all that. But what a shame that The Office, in trying for something new and outrageous to do at a TV wedding, opted to grab some tedious viral video off YouTube.
Maybe you’ve seen it? Twenty-some million apparently have. Instead of the boring old Pachelbel a wacky group of wacky young white folks decided to play a pop dance song and like boogie down the aisle in shades! I don’t get it, right? I have no idea why anyone would want to watch this video.
But why does anyone watch anything on YouTube? This doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that a show like The Office, which I used to, okay, “believe in” in big ways that are probably silly, not only just took this whole idea and dropped it right into the script, but made sure to clue the audience in not once but twice! to the fact this is from YouTube. That this ridiculousness has been sanctioned on the Online, and so it’s not stupid and unfunny, but rather culturally relevant!
It’s like it’s more important for The Office to be in on the joke than it is to actually make the jokes.
* Dear The Office: keep Meredith and Creed on heavy rotation and I’ll still bring the love every week.