One of the dangers I run into by constantly re-watching The Office on Netflix is gathering all the small details and nuances that you miss initially. They can be invigorating (like with Arrested Development) or they can make you hate what you once loved (for me its Friends, Sex & the City and SOME aspects of The Office.)
With that said, I concluded that Jim and Pam are truly the worst characters on the show and one of the worst “romantic TV couples” ever.
Yes, it’s a controversial statement. I can go into a lecture on their often praised and awarded mediocrity, co-dependence, mean spirited nature – there are countless examples of them being pure assholes & bullies. (Thank God for Phyllis for putting Pam in her well-deserved place once in a while.)
But there is one particular scene that tells you all you need to know about them as people. And eventually as a couple.
When Jim was dating Katy (beautiful Amy Adams) – the gang was stuck outside during a fire drill and they end up playing the Deserted Island game to kill time. You basically name movies, books, and music you would want to take with you to deserted island.
Naturally, because they are high and mighty, pretentious, know-it-all assholes, they laugh when Meredith mentions Legally Blonde (since proven to be a timeless, intelligent, feminist masterpiece) because that film is so beneath them. Mainly because Reece Witherspoon plays a bubbly, uber-feminine, valley girl talking college student getting a law degree at Harvard while wearing ton of pink.
Naturally, any whiff of extreme femininity is a cause for cackle and a laugh. Women who are extremely feminine are viewed as vain, stupid and empty.
It was Pam’s “cool girl” moment and I hated her since. At least she attempted at a “cool girl” stereotype by mocking Meredith & Katy. That scene made me absolutely loathe her character and nothing after that really managed to redeem her.
Pam is just boring and mediocre… like her failed art.
So finally, Katy shows up to meet with Jim and he asks her about her deserted island films. She also says Legally Blonde. Pam burst into a mocking cackle (because Jim was mocking Meredith for liking the same movie.)
“Look how stupid your girlfriend is” – what that laugh signified to me and Jim’s first reaction is to silent his new girlfriend whose bubbliness and femininity didn’t appease “cool” and “nerdy” Pam Beasly.
They are both such trash in that moment. At least a step forward from just being so boring.
Pam dares to mock Elle Woods, who goes on to graduate Harvard with honors ON HER OWN merits, makes a friend out of female enemy and romantic/school rival, gets rid of a useless, mediocre ex boyfriend, while remaining feminine, positive, fun…
Pam fails art school and makes her mediocre husband quit his dream job so he can live a mediocre, BORING, stale, Scranton life.
Don’t even get me started on Jim Halpert - the poster boy for pretty, white boy mediocrity. You make Ted Mosby seem more approachable. At least that a$$hole was an architect who cared about ANYTHING.
Apparently the key word here is MEDIOCRITY.