I’m way excited for Pam and Jim’s wedding on “The Office,” Thursday night. Almost as excited as a bridesmaid who knows she’ll be getting some from the best man. Of all the sitcom romances I’ve seen over the years, theirs is the most real, the most subtle and the most fulfilling. They’ve survived five seasons of working in the same office and their love makes even more sense now. They both broke up with fantastic people to be with each other, bought a house together at peak market value, and are still happily paying the mortgage together. They psyched us out last season when they called off their last-minute elopement at the last-last minute, when the joy of Café Disco reminded them of how much they love cheesy celebrations. To seal the deal, last season’s final episode revealed that Jim’s bun is in Pam’s oven. And now, thanks to sneak previews galore, we know that Pam and Jim are bringing all their office mates to Niagara Falls for a one-hour destination wedding special.
But am I excited … or scared?Yes, last month when their wedding website went up, I rushed to get them an item from their registry. And I’ve already bought a dress. But as much as I want my besties to be together forever, part of me is terrified that this means the end of “The Office.” We all know that the life of a sitcom is carefully prescribed, and the formula says you must frustrate the romantic leads in order to keep the audience interested. A spoiler in Entertainment Weekly’s “Office” wedding issue warns that Jim will do something dumb and self-sabotaging at the rehearsal dinner, but assures us that viewers can still safely expect him to make it to the church on time. According to executive producer Greg Daniels, “We didn’t want to do the soap opera-y thing and cheapen it. Besides, our ratings keep going up, so I don’t think anyone minds them being together.”
I want to say I don’t mind, but I’m forced to think first. Does anyone remember the hilarious early ’80s TV show “Mork & Mindy?” Robin Williams’ star-maker character, Mork from Planet Ork, married Pam Dawber’s character in the beginning of season four, and let’s just say that there was never a season five.
And then there’s “Wings.” After six seasons, Helen married Joe with his hand stuck in a toilet. Season seven was composed of the couple’s mainstay—bickering—but, their married couple squabbles couldn’t hold the audience, so season eight was all she wrote. Oh, and what about “Joanie Loves Chachi”? It ended with the couple eloping in the last episode of season two. The show got axed before season three. It certainly seems like there’s a pretty big wedding sitcom curse. And while “Friends” lasted long after Chandler and Monica tied the knot, many argue that was the moment when the show started to slide downhill.
Please don’t counter me with the hilarity of “How I Met Your Mother” after Lilly and Marshal’s wedding at the end of season two. Ted & Ms. X (maybe Rachel Bilson?) are the main characters of that story, so three seasons later, the robust laughter Marshilly still inspires proves little, except that there’s hope for growth. I guess Thursday night will begin to tell us how much of a change we can expect from “The Office.”
In other news, for those of you who fondly remember “Office” guest stars, there’s a good chance you’ll see them Thursday. In a set of EW interviews, the actors portraying the perfect couple, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, drop a few more hints than they might have been supposed to. Jim’s dickhead brothers will attend, and Pam’s mom will be there, though she might not have enough snacks in her purse. Coworkers Kevin and Andy “go through quite an ordeal” to get there, and apparently Michael’s date will either be plus-sized or triplets. Anyone else hoping Katy and Roy crash the ceremony?
Congratulations, Pam and Jim. Whatever Niagara Falls puts you through, it can’t test your mettle like the forges of Dunder Mifflin. I just hope Greg Daniels is right, and your audience will enjoy watching you live happily ever after for many seasons after this. [Entertainment Weekly]
PS: Oh, and congratulations also to John and Jenna, in real life. They both recently got engaged!