Wow. And here I thought Prison Mike was too cringeworthy. I had no idea what cringeworthy was. Wow. Just wow. During several scenes ("LADIES AND GENTLEMEN..." and the unwanted toast), I turned into Winona Ryder from "Heathers," closing my eyes and singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" at the top of my lungs so I wouldn't have to deal with what was unfolding in front of me.
Michael Scott was a little boy who never had any friends, never got any attention, never really learned any social skills beyond what he picked up on television. In the context of everything they've established about him over the seasons, do I believe he would make this big an ass of himself at Phyllis' wedding? Absolutely. Did I want to see it? No. It was too much, on too big a stage (the wedding videographer better have mad editing skills to make the film palatable for the happy couple), and Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration) shoulda stepped in much sooner, six week vacation or no six week vacation. Michael saying, "This is bull(bleep)" was hilarious, and I even liked him pathetically pushing the empty wheelchair up the aisle, but everything after that went too far, for the show if not for Michael himself.
(Speaking of Phyllis' vacation, is this how Daniels and company are going to deal with the overstuffed supporting cast? Come up with different excuses for why one employee won't be in five or six episodes in a row? I guess Meredith goes to rehab next, followed by Creed serving some jail time, Stanley going into a diabetic coma on Pretzel Day, Kevin's band getting hired as the opening act for Sting's lute tour, etc.)
Outside of Michael being more appalling than usual, I had a few other problems with this episode, most of it dealing with poor Uncle Al. ("He has brown hair and dementia...") This is the second week in a row where Jim has pulled a prank that harmed more than its intended target. If anything, Michael was completely unaffected by the Ben Franklin gag, and here Jim had to know that Dwight was going to start hassling innocent wedding guests, even if he didn't realize it would result in a senile old man being tossed out into the street. The shot of Uncle Al wandering into traffic also crossed a line. I believe that the camera crew wouldn't interfere, but just from a comedy viewing perspective, the joke felt mean.
I'm sure the 'shippers are all rending their garments over Pam going home with Roy and Jim once again half-heartedly throwing himself into his relationship with Karen, but I thought everyone's behavior here rang true, and didn't just feel like yet another stall tactic in what we all assume is the eventual JAM Unification Project.
For me, though, the highlights of the episode were all little bits involving the supporting cast:
- Stanley finally finding a use for the toaster he bought Pam and Roy (subject of a monologue delivered brilliantly by Leslie David Baker back in "Gay Witch Hunt"), only to get frustrated again when he realized Jim and Karen got the same thing;
- Creed slipping his own card onto someone else's present (at first, I thought he was going to just steal gifts);
- Kelly wearing white as "an emergency... (talking head) I look really good in white" (Appropos of nothing, I once attended a wedding where one of the bride's friends wore a floor-length white dress and went home that night with the bride's ex-boyfriend. Needless to say, she and the bride don't talk anymore);
- Ryan slapping the bouquet out of Kelly's hands;
- Toby's overjoyed, completely dorky reaction to having a hot date ("Toby! Yeah!," complete with weird cat-claw gesture);
- Angela continuing her streak of totally uncalled-for insults of Phyllis with her "So white my eyes are burning" description of her/Pam's dress;
- Kevin detailing Scrantonicity's other two gigs.