“The Office”: alcoholism = funny!

14Dec08

laughI love NBC’s “The Office.” And this Thursday’s show had me laughing out loud.

If you’re not a fan, I won’t try to defend the show to you. You either get it, or you don’t. For the writers, no subject is too taboo for source material: Homosexuality. Racism. Sexual discrimination. Cancer. Obesity. Even alcoholism, which just happened to be the inspiration for this week’s episode.

“Moroccan Christmas” has Meredith, the resident alkie, getting smashed and lighting herself on fire during the Dunder Mifflin holiday party, prompting manager Michael to stage an intervention.

Now, I’ve been drinking for almost 30 years and I’m just edging up on 60 days of sobriety. And while I’ve never lit myself on fire, I’ve done enough equally stupid things in my alcoholic career to be able to recognize some of myself in Meredith’s over-the-top character. And you know what? It made me laugh. A lot.

Mainly because that old cliche about “I had to laugh, otherwise I’d cry” just held true for me in this instance.

I laughed when Michael likened an intervention to a surprise party. I chuckled when the Dunder Mifflin shotglasses planned as staff gifts got nixed. (I’ve got my own collection of shot glasses that in my sobriety now seems at once ludicrous and funny.) And I giggled while watching the end of “deleted scenes” clips online, where you can see Michael label himself a “chocoholic” and propose that maybe he needs an intervention, then reconsider and remark, “Alcohol is very serious…and chocolate…just tastes good.”

It was all in keeping with the show’s style of humor, which trades in the awkward, uncomfortable and politically incorrect. And to me, a card-carrying alcoholic, it was funny.

By the way, if anyone knows where I can get a Dunder Mifflin shotglass, it’d be a nice addition to my collection…

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3 Responses to ““The Office”: alcoholism = funny!”

  1. Funny? I found that episode to be a little depressing! Perhaps because I was with you that time you lit your hair on fire, and clearly you don’t remember that. >:-) Kidding. I agree that they have a way of tackling politically incorrect issues without being offensive. I do love “The Office”.

  2. 2 C

    Does this mean there won’t be a Dunder Mifflin shot glass in my stocking from you next week?

    You know, I think lots of people probably didn’t like the episode or thought it was sad or depressing. I totally get that. But I just was in this place at the time where it struck me as funny. And the fact that I have this huge collection of shot glasses seems so silly and yet perfectly appropriate for me.

  3. Hey, that’s me in that photo.

    Can’t wait to see you on Sunday.

    xoxo


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