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John, Jenna, Jim, and Jam.

Yes, I am ecstatic that the shiny, shiny Entertainment Weekly cover featuring my favorite duo is mine.  All mine.  It exists in my hands as glossy, tangible proof of my (newly restored) love affair with The Office.  I was almost starting to think the magazine subscription wasn't worth its paid-for-in-Coke-caps price, after the last couple months of incessantly featuring vampires, but this makes up for everything ever.

Then I opened to the article proper and discovered that all the other pictures feature them shoving cake in each other's faces.  There is smeared frosting everywhere.  It's incredibly disgusting, and has served to remind me one of the reasons why I have this pro-marriage, anti-wedding streak in my brain.  Photo shoot failure all around.

Finally, I turned my attention to the article.  It's almost laughable how little we don't know about the episode..at this point it's like all we're missing are actual lines of dialogue.  Wait, now we have one of those, too.  The rehearsal dinner toast:

"People told me it was crazy to wait that long for a date with a girl I worked with," he says of bride-to-be Pam.  "But I think even then, I knew I was waiting for my wife."

SQUEEEEEEE!  AWWWWWWWW.  Thank God I got this quote ahead of time, because now I have two whole weeks, almost, to treasure and cherish and savor it, pretending that's all there is to it, before I know how this horrible warning plays out:

Moments later, a genuine gasp sucks the air out of the room when Jim, in a burst of excessive enthusiasm, commits a major faux pas by blurting out something that leaves his family - especially his uptight grandma, "Meemaw" - completely chagrined.

OH GOD I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.  I don't want to know on so many levels, not least because uptight grandmas and I TOTALLY see eye to eye, and that means I'm going to be horrified.  It's not like Jim has never made me want to die in horrific embarrasment before.  Clearly he's aiming to do it again.  Do not want!  I don't want that perfect, magical line marred by something horrible!  I'm afraid to even speculate.  I mean, I have a series of speculative guesses, but I'm hoping that if I don't say them out loud they won't come true. 

And this: Tensions will mount between Pam's parents when Pam's dad brings a young new girlfriend as his date, while her mom comes solo. 
DAMN IT, PAM'S DAD.  WHY ARE YOU SUCH A JACKASS.  Seriously.  I don't know how Jim and Pam came out normal considering how terrible all their male relatives are.  Think maybe I'm starting to pray they have a daughter, just in case.  Also, writers, screw you for not deciding to keep that separation BS an isolated Superbowl stunt gimmick and sweeping it under the rug afterwards.

Finally, somewhere along the way it became confirmed that the guestbook signature from "Penny Beesly" wasn't, as I was hoping, a bit of intern-invented website nonsense, but part of canon.  Nyergh.  It has always been my firm belief that Pam was an only child, and so bringing up this sister out of nowhere is...it's weird and it messes with my head.  (now watch, someone will tell me that a sibling was mentioned once in passing and I've just forgotten)

*sigh*  Everyone keeps swearing up and down that I won't be disappointed, but frankly I'm still pretty much terrified and expecting the worst.  With the sort of twisted hope that if I'm pessimistic enough and keep my hopes stuffed in a tiny box, I'll be pleasantly surprised by the good bits.  But mostly I'm just more afraid of this episode than I've ever been of one in my life.

Also.  Um.  I'm at Office Tally now, looking at the last picture there, and that really needs to be a thing that does not happen in the episode.  Please be specially done as a promo shot, and not a still from the episode proper.  Because I like looking at it, but it absolutely cannot happen in that context. 

You see?  You see why this episode scares me??  And this is theoretically something in the positive category!

==============
Or you could skip all that and just focus on my discussion of
The Office, 6x02, "The Meeting"

Can I just say that I love season 6 so far?  I can't even put my finger on why.  Considering how close we came to divorce last year, I'm amazed at the sexy new tactics this show is using to get me into bed.  This week, for example, we have minimal amounts of Kevin, Andy and Erin; David Wallace; Jim anchoring the A plot; Toby anchoring the B; Ryan & Kelly both existing in at least one scene that was not cut for time;  Pam & Angela having most of a civil conversation...

In a nutshell, all 3 plots were equally interesting this week - when was the last time that happened? 

I guess there's just something magical about even seasons.  1 was too short, 3 had Karen, 5 had art school and the MSPC.  2 focused on a UST relationship, 4 kicked off the RST relationship, and 6 has brought baby + marriage.  See?  Even years FTW.

Specific Thoughts In No Order
1. I move that the cold open be stricken from the record.  Were all the writers off working on the wedding episode so they gave this to the frat-boy intern at the last minute with no time for anyone to check and make sure it didn't suck?

2. "If we were living in Sweden, I wouldn't have to worry about this because we'd have universal health care."
Writers?  Your politics seem to be interfering with my show.  Look into that.

3. I just noticed that Toby has a little plush puppy in the corner of his desk, wearing a sweater that says "Toby" on it.  Discuss its origins amongst yourselves.  Or in fic. Preferably fic.

4. "Please don't talk about my breast milk."  Poor thing. *pats*  One more episode like this, and I'm going to be able to make a drinking game out of references to Pam's chest.

5. As much as I enjoy her having to walk around polling people about their RSVPs, a more foolproof plan is NOT INVITING COWORKERS TO YOUR WEDDING IN THE FIRST PLACE*.  Jim and Pam must be masochists at heart.  I mean, they both went to Phyllis' wedding, right?  They saw exactly how this scenario would play out, and they still want to risk it?

(* = It can't possibly be standard practice to invite everyone you work with, regardless of how small your office is or whether or not you both have worked there for the better part of a decade.  People have small family-only weddings all the time.  I'm almost sure of it.)

6. "I'd really like to be there to support Jim."
Special Wayward Jim/Kelly Shipping Radar: *pings*

By the way, that may be my favorite scene ever.  Kelly is talking to Pam, pining over Ryan, and being positive about Jim all at once.  It's the closest my four favorite characters have ever come to sharing a non-group scene together!  It's disgusting how easy I am.

7. Andy's wearing a pink tie with rainbows on it.  Rainbows.  Subtle sexuality much?  (It will become clear how smart that was, what I just said, when you watch the webisodes.  And/or if you read spoilers.)

8. Ahem.  If Jim's going to be wearing a sportcoat from now on, in the name of professionalism, I really must protest his advancement.  The object should be getting him to wear fewer layers of clothing as time goes on, not more. 

9. I feel like this episode explained a lot about why Toby's such a sad sack.  Because whenever he tries to come alive and share interests or do something exciting, the universe smacks him down.  Literally.  Did you see his forehead?

(on a related note: OH, TOBY.  That's pretty much all I said the whole night, in a mixture of admiration and heartbroken sympathy, because all of his scenes were PERFECT.  This is how you highlight the underused characters, show!  Basically he's taken several jumps up my totem pole of favorite characters and made up for all the creepy Pam stalking of seasons past.  I love this guy!)

10. Dwight's Darryl impression FTW!  As for Darryl's near-identical sister...best sight gag ever.  Is this show becoming funny in addition to emotionally satisfying?

11. Michael: "It would make me feel really good right now if you would just punch me in face."
Hey, I know that would always make ME feel better, regardless of whether I was doing the punching or watching someone else do it.  TAKE HIM UP ON THE OFFER, JIM.  Also, I love that he doesn't even have words to deal with Michael right now, he just makes a disgusted noise at the sight of him.  *rewinds*

12. I will just let you imagine the endless look of elation on my face during EVERY SECOND of Jim's scenes.  I have no commentary for them because they were brilliant.  Being A Responsible Grown-Up in the meeting with David Wallace.  Looks of betrayal.  Being rightfully pissed off at Michael (hot.  *fans self*).  The redemptive 3-way phone conversation.  The smile between him and Pam at the end.  FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL.

13. Of course, now I'm fretting, because Jim in charge = ungood things.  Always.  Without fail.  Jim sucks at management.  I don't know why, because he's plenty smart, he oozes charisma, and he's certainly capable of meeting the job requirements, but whenever he is given even an ounce of authority he promptly puts all his energy into performing faceplants.  Spectacular ones.  I see no evidence this will turn out any other way. 

14. Am maybe a little sulky that if this means he gets the office, or an office, or otherwise loses his regular desk as I can only assume he will, THIS MEANS CHANGE.  I HAVE HAD ENOUGH DAMN CHANGE IN THIS WORKPLACE.  I want to embrace the idea that Jim's stepping up his ambition as a means to provide for his family, really I do, but I just can't.  My hatred of things that are different and outside my comfort zone is too strong.

[14.5. Oh crap, I just thought of something horrible - if he values not getting fired for abuse of power, he won't be able to pull pranks on Dwight anymore!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I mean, sure, he can still get Pam to pull stuff off, but it won't be the same.  And don't you dare bring up the idea of being too old for that stuff.  You are never too old to build Dwight a wrapping-paper desk.]

15. This conversation, however, is still hearts:
"How many times have I asked you to put me up for a branch manager job?"
"I never recommended you because I didn't want to lose you.  And I didn't want to lose Pam.  And now I don't want to lose the baby."
"So instead you screwed me?!"
"That's what she said--"
"No."

Oh, Jim.

16. Which reminds me...Toby's File was harsh, but not entirely untrue.  Jim did spend too much time at reception.  He does slack off and antagonize coworkers (coworkers, a word which means almost-exclusively Dwight and Andy, but still).  And Jim's perfectly aware of that, which is what gives it its sting.  We all know that he handicapped himself, but at the same time, none of that would prevent him from doing well in a new position, and if his past had been swept under the rug rather than used against him - especially given the positive things he does have going for him - it wouldn't matter. 

17. I wrote all that and still did not express even 1/10 of my love for the show right now.  YEAH.


P.S. I caved like soggy cardboard and caught up on a certain FOX musical comedy.  I cannot wait to tell you about it.

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