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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Television viewers unite to watch wedding episode of ‘The Office’

Upcoming or previous night’s television programming can yield water cooler discussion on a regular basis. However, every once in a while, there is a momentous television moment that captures the attention of an even bigger amount of the American public.

The wedding of Jim and Pam on ‘The Office’ seemed to be on the tongues of many Americans with some grasp of popular culture. John Krasinski (Jim) and Jenna Fischer (Pam) were featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly before the episode aired, and NBC aired advertisement after advertisement to ensure that everyone knew what a big event this was.

Granted, it’s no secret that I am an enthusiastic fan of ‘The Office.’ The subject of the show often pops up in my daily conversations with people, so it’s on my mind a lot. With that said, I still felt as though everywhere I went, I heard people discussing the wedding.

I’d walk down the street, into my classes, into the Union or down my residence hall, and I’d overhear the words ‘Jim,’ ‘Pam,’ ‘Niagara Falls’ (the location of the nuptials) and ‘hourlong’ (the length of the special episode) in conversations. Since I make no secret about my love for the show, people came up to me asking about my excitement or reaction to the episode. It’s also worth noting that it appeared the University cleared out the NBC store, because I saw numerous Office-related T-shirts on campus.

Sophomore Emily Ancinec said that she experienced the same hype about the show, even from those uninvolved in the events of Dunder Mifflin-Scranton.

‘My mom, who doesn’t even watch the show, called me to make sure I knew that Jim and Pam were getting married on that episode,’ she said. As a resident adviser in Harshman Chapman-Dunbar, Ancinec said her fellow staff members were very vocal about their excitement leading up to the episode. It was an exciting event to get together with fellow fans of the show and have a viewing party, because so many people were just as excited.

It’s not the most-watched show on television, or even NBC. The wedding episode experienced a decent ratings boost on Thursday, but even with that increase in viewers, the show was still watched by less than 10 million people.

Of course, this discrepancy between the ratings and the buzz about the show could have something to do with its popularity among college students. Since Nielsen ratings do not record the viewing habits of students in dorm rooms, it’s possible that the ratings would be higher, and more accurately reflect the show’s popularity.

Yet, it seemed as though Jim and Pam’s wedding was something millions of Americans knew about. If anyone is remotely familiar with the setup of ‘The Office,’ then it’s easy to see why this is such a big deal to viewers.

Unlike its British predecessor, viewers of the American version can see the culmination of the high-profile relationship in the series. While the original Jim and Pam, Tim and Dawn, do find their way to one another at the end of the British series, we do not see them marry or start a family as we are with Jim and Pam.

Therefore, even if you don’t care about Jim and Pam as a couple, their relationship’s ups and downs are an integral part of the show, and as was the case with their wedding, helped to create amusing situations for the other characters (I, for one, never want to use an ice machine ever again after watching the episode).

So, for fans of the show, it was like the fairy-tale ending to their relationship (and it was a pretty hilarious episode to boot). It was an event that could bring people together, and although not quite as monumental as something like the ‘Seinfeld’ finale, it was still a television event for fans to remember.

Sure, there are more important issues in our lives and in the world than the nuptials of characters on a fictional television show (‘Office’ boss Michael Scott would probably prefer that we spend our time donating money to ‘Afghanistanis with AIDS’). Our lives could go on without Jim and Pam’s marriage.

However, it was nice to see that people could be excited about something as simple as the wedding. Sometimes we get a little too wrapped up in our own world and our own problems, and it can be nice to just have a conversation about a fun television moment.

Respond to Marisha at [email protected]

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