I participated in a dying art today: I had a watercooler conversation about something I’d seen on TV the night before. Although neither Steev, nor the Keegs, nor Madame G (via e-mail and Twitter) had managed to catch the actual episode itself, it turns out the movie Working Girl was far more popular than I remember (I was like six).
Yes, the watercooler conversation about something seen on TV the night before is a relic from the days of “Must See TV” when everybody spent Thursday night glued to the television set lest they be scapegoated as a social pariah at the office the next morning for having not seen the best entertainment mankind had ever experienced (until the following week). From Cheers to Cosby to Seinfeld to Will & Grace to well, let’s face it, television kind of died a little after Will & Grace ended. The point is those watercooler conversations aren’t happening anymore, because broadcast television has become irrelevant in the age of Apple TV, Hulu, and DVRs. Now people don’t plan their nights around TV like they used to in the good ole days – they sort of vaguely know what night the show will hit their DVR or Hulu and then watch it when they’re good and ready.
Me: Did you watch Hawai’i Five-O last night?
(Completely fictional) Coworker #1: No, I DVR’d it. I was too busy playing Vampire Teaparty on my phone.
Me: Loser. How about you?
(Similarly made up) Coworker #2: I’ll catch it on Hulu. My Sim family threw a Zombie Debutante Ball and I had to be there to take pictures for the album.
Me: (blank stare) Taco Bell 4Loko Susan Boyle Rebecca Black Friday HELLO! Culturally relevant over here!
Coworker #1: Gotta go. The other vampire just used the wrong fork for their tea cake and this situation has to be dealt with.
I reference. It’s just the trailer, but you get the picture. Note Joan Cusack’s epic hair:
Now, not to spoil it for you kiddos who haven’t seen it, but at the end of the film. Melanie Griffith sits in her office and calls Joan Cusack and says, “Val, guess where I am.” and Joan Cusack screams into the phone.
Fast forward 23 years to 2011 and an episode of The Office where Dwight becomes Acting Manager.
After ordering a coworker to move his things into Michael’s office, he sits down at the desk, picks up the phone and says, “Val, guess where I am.” and there’s a scream on the other end of the phone.
I love thrown-in references on sitcoms to obscure bits of movies in roughly the same genre. That’s good watercooler talk, people. Get with the program.