Niagara (The Office)

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"Niagara"
The Office episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 4/5
Directed by Paul Feig
Written by Greg Daniels
Mindy Kaling
Production code 604/605
Original air date October 8, 2009
Running time 44 minutes
Guest actors

Linda Purl
Anna Camp
Kelen Coleman
Tug Coker
Blake Robbins
Rick Overton
Robert Pine
Peggy Stewart

Episode chronology
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"The Promotion"
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"Mafia"
List of The Office (U.S. series) episodes

"Niagara" is an hour-long episode of the sixth season of the U.S. comedy series The Office. It is the 4th and 5th episodes in the season's episode count and the 104th and 105th episode of the series overall. The episode was written by executive producer Greg Daniels and Mindy Kaling, and was directed by Paul Feig. It originally aired on October 8, 2009 on NBC in the United States.

The series—presented as if it were a real documentary—depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. The episode revolves around the wedding of Jim and Pam at Niagara Falls. Not all goes smoothly when Jim accidentally reveals Pam's pregnancy to all the guests, including Pam's very old-fashioned grandmother, and Andy injures his scrotum while dancing. Meanwhile, Michael and Dwight both try to hook up with women, with mixed results.

The episode was met with positive reviews from critics and fans. Although not all television critics reacted positively to Andy's dancing injury sub-plot, "Niagara" has nonetheless come to be considered a classic episode of the series. In a poll conducted by OfficeTally, the episode was named the second best episode of the series after the second-season finale, "Casino Night." The episode was viewed by 9.42 million households with a 4.8 rating/12% share in the 18-49 demographic making it the second highest viewed episode of the season after "The Delivery."

Synopsis[edit]

Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) head up to Niagara Falls for their wedding and the rest of the office follows them. Michael (Steve Carell) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) seek women to hook up with while Andy (Ed Helms) pursues Erin (Ellie Kemper). Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) and Oscar (Oscar Nunez) meet Pam's sister Penny (Anna Camp), who accidentally offends Oscar by thinking Kevin was his boyfriend Gil. Pam's mother Helene (Linda Purl) is visibly disturbed at the fact that Pam's father, and Helene's ex-husband, William (Rick Overton) has come to the wedding with his new girlfriend who is half his own age.

Everyone except Pam's grandmother, "Meemaw" (played by Peggy Stewart), is aware of Pam's pregnancy, so they are told not to mention it. At the rehearsal dinner, Jim gives a moving and romantic toast to his soon-to-be wife. However, closing the toast, Jim accidentally alludes to Pam's pregnancy by saying that everyone but Pam will drink to the toast. Both Jim and Michael try to cover up the fact, but only embarrass themselves further. In a final bid to end the embarrassment, Michael privately tells Meemaw that this kind of behavior should be encouraged nowadays and gives her false hope that the baby will be named after her.

Andy hosts a dance party in his room later that night, with the office staff attending. Andy punctures his scrotum trying to do a split. The guests rouse Pam, the only sober person, to take him to the hospital. Pam reluctantly agrees. Jim, on the other hand, is out drinking with his brothers, Dwight and Michael, and cannot help Pam take Andy to the hospital.

Michael and Dwight try their luck with women at the bar. Dwight, despite embarrassing both of them, is successful in getting Pam's friend Isabel (Kelen Coleman) to spend the night with him. Michael spends the night alone in the ice machine room as he had failed to make a reservation in advance.

Prior to the ceremony, Pam accidentally tears her veil and tearfully phones Jim. They meet in private, where Pam expresses her regret over their choice to invite their families and the office staff. Pam is visibly uplifted when Jim cuts off his tie in an effort to console her. They are then seen running away from the church together.

While everyone in the church wonders where they went, Michael and Helene begin to bond over their failed relationships. Dwight callously rebuffs Isabel's attempts at further contact. The rest of the office staff grow impatient, bickering about their right to take their gifts back.

Michael leads the office in the JK Wedding Entrance Dance

Jim and Pam finally return to the church after an hour with no explanation of their absence, and the ceremony begins. Meemaw is seen at the church, indicating Michael's attempts at getting her to stay were successful.

Michael, Dwight, and others close to Jim and Pam interrupt the ceremony by recreating the dance routines as featured in the JK Wedding Entrance Dance. Despite having asked their guests specifically not to re-enact the video, Jim and Pam react with uncharacteristic good humor.

During the dance sequence, a flashback reveals Jim and Pam's adventure during their absence: They are shown boarding the Maid of the Mist IV ferry boat and being married by the ship's captain below the falls. Jim explains to the camera that he had prepared the ferry marriage in advance after seeing the video, in anticipation of the likely chaos at the ceremony. He also said that he had three plans of marrying Pam: getting married on the boat, and getting married at church, and then said that his first plan all along was to marry Pam on the day he met her. The flashback continues with Jim holding Pam close to him and with her head on his shoulder, as they look out into the distance at Niagara Falls. Jim looks at the camera and smiles warmly.

The very end of the episode shows Kevin soothing his feet in the ice machine, as he had been wearing Kleenex tissue boxes to replace his lost shoes. While he speaks to the camera crew, Pam's mother is seen pulling Michael into her hotel room.

Production[edit]

The episode was written by developer and executive producer of The Office Greg Daniels and Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly Kapoor on the show. It was directed by Paul Feig, his 13th directing credit for the series.[1] The episode was initially assigned to Mindy Kaling, but executive producer Greg Daniels said he was interested in contributing.[2] The scene in which Jim tears his tie off took seven takes and was written by Greg Daniels.[3] In the original draft, the wedding was supposed to take place on the Booze Cruise.[4] The dance sequence during the wedding was choreographed by the same person who worked on "Cafe Disco" with all of the dancing pairs having 45-minute practice sessions to get their moves down. John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer made a surprise trip to the Niagara Falls area with a small crew in order to film the scene with their actual wedding vows, and Krasinski was feeling ill during the filming but insisted they do multiple takes even as he was getting soaked with water.

Cultural references[edit]

The dance down the church aisle to Chris Brown's "Forever" is based on the popular 2009 YouTube viral video, "JK Wedding Entrance Dance",[5] in which a young couple (JK, standing for "Jill and Kevin") dance down the aisle to the song along with their wedding party. Pam mentions that the song was specifically put on a "Do Not Play List", but was choreographed by the wedding guests and office workers regardless. The song played during Andy's party is Kardinal Offishall's "Numba 1 (Tide is High)" featuring Rihanna. Dwight is shown wearing the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt, made famous by humorous reviews on Amazon, before going out to the hotel bar with Michael to pick up women, commenting that "it's suggestive to women, because of howling during sex."[6]

Reception[edit]

In its original American broadcast, "Niagara" was viewed by an estimated 9.42 million households, with a 4.8 rating and a 12 share in the 18-49 demographic coming second in its timeslot after Grey's Anatomy.[7] Greg Daniels and Mindy Kaling received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for their work on "Niagara" at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, but lost to Modern Family's Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd for their work on the pilot episode.[8]

The episode received positive reviews from critics. The episode ranked 24th on BuddyTV's list of best 50 episodes of 2009 with them saying "It wasn't easy, but they did it all, creating a goofy, joyful, and special day for Jim and Pam that brought tears to our eyes."[9] Dan Phillip of IGN gave the episode an 8.3 saying calling it "Impressive" and "The episode certainly could have delivered more in terms of creativity and high comedy, but it still contained a great deal of entertainment."[10] Despite that, he said the episode failed in comparison to "Phyllis's Wedding".[10] "Niagara" was voted the second highest rated out of 115 from the series, according to a poll at the fansite, OfficeTally.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Office: Niagara, Pt. 2: Writers, Directors, and Crew on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  2. ^ "The Office wedding episode Q&A with Mindy Kaling". OfficeTally. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  3. ^ "The Office wedding episode Q&A with Mindy Kaling". OfficeTally. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  4. ^ "The Office wedding episode Q&A with Mindy Kaling". OfficeTally. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  5. ^ YouTube video of the real wedding Jim and Pam's was based on
  6. ^ "The Office: Niagara". OfficeTally. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  7. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Thursday broadcast finals: The Office, Bones, Grey’s, Supernatural up; Community, Private Practice down a tick". Tvbythenumbers.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  8. ^ Stelter, Brian (2010-08-30). "'Modern Family' and 'Mad Men' Win at Emmys". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  9. ^ By BuddyTV. "BuddyTV Slideshow | TV's 50 Best Episodes of 2009". Buddytv.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  10. ^ a b Dan Phillips (2009-10-09). "The Office: "Niagra" Review - TV Review at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  11. ^ "All-Time Fan Favorite Poll, 2010". OfficeTally. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 

External links[edit]