My four years in college had numerous highlights, but I clearly remember my lowest point. It was a Friday afternoon when I trudged back from class and sunk into my futon, miserable as hell, and switched on the latest episode of The Office on Hulu. As it turned out, it was the Jim & Pam wedding episode. You know, the one with that dance in the aisle, that shot of Jim and Pam on the Maid of the Mist, that look of almost paternal joy on Michael's face when they're declared husband and wife. "Why the hell are you smiling like an idiot?" my room-mate asked me when he walked in.
I just watched the series finale, and it's a heavy feeling. A moment from the show that keeps coming back to me is the final few seconds of the season 3 finale. Pam's in the conference room talking to the camera when Jim interrupts her. It was the moment the show had been building towards, and Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski absolutely nailed it. Jenna Fischer spoke about this scene in an interview on NPR's Fresh Air:
"In that moment when Jim burst into the conference room while Pam's giving an interview and he finally asks her out on a date and I turn to the camera and in that moment... the one that they used I'm sort of tearing up and the reason that I teared up was because when I looked back at the camera I saw Ken Kwapis and he... his eyes were full of tears and he smiled at me and gave me a little wink, like 'that's right, you finally got what you wanted sweetie'..."
Pam was right. The reason The Office worked was simple. There really is a lot of a beauty in ordinary things.