"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Office: Phyllis' Wedding

Yes, Michael Scott is a complete idiot, but I can understand people putting up with him because he is their boss. Whenever I see Michael out of that work environment, however, the illusion is stretched -- if you don't work for this guy, why would you put up with him? The believability of the show's reality was taken to a new extreme in "Phyllis' Wedding."

Michael is over-the-top in this episode, making his actions seem more like that of a crazy person than that of the self-centered boss who thinks everyone likes him. His obsession with being the center of attention is something I've seen many times before (such as when Kevin got his test results on Michael's birthday) but the difference here is that it wasn't just in front of the office, in front of his employees -- Michael was obsessing about being the center of attention in front of all of Bob and Phyllis' family and friends. The only reasonable reaction shown throughout was Bob Vance finally having enough during Michael's toast and throwing him out. Sure, we got backstory on Michael's wedding obsession (wetting his pants while the ringbearer at his mother's wedding) which somewhat explained his behavior (he's only been to one wedding in his life -- really?) but the whole situation seemed much more sitcom-y than The Office usually gets.

There were some great moments in "Phyllis' Wedding," however: Pam's growing shock at Phyllis copying her wedding plans, the priest saying "Bob Vance, of Vance Refrigeration," Michael saying the definition of wedding is "the fusing of two metals with a hot torch," Ryan knocking the bouquet out of Kelli's hands, Toby actually being happy, and Michael's conversation with Uncle Al.

The most amusing moment was the opening sequence, showing Jim and Dwight over the course of a couple weeks, as Jim experimented on Dwight, seeing if he could generate a Pavlovian reaction for Altoids. It's another great Jim-Dwight prank, and sadly the only scene actually set in the office this episode (apart from various characters being interviewed there).

I also saw a big progression in the Jim-Karen-Pam-Roy storyline, as Jim nearly admitted to the camera that he'd be interested in Pam, and Pam becoming fed up with Jim and Karen, and leaving with Roy. Roy was behaving more normal and likeable than I've seen him to date. It was clear that he's been trying very hard to change for Pam, and I saw an incredibly nice side of him in this episode, as he admitted some of his past mistakes (that he wasn't involved in the wedding planning) and seemed to genuinely be paying attention to Pam. Now Pam & Jim fans have to not just hope for Jim and Karen to break up, but for Pam and Roy to not get back together. That's just cruel.

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