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jim and pam, the perfect non-shark jumping romance

May 24th, 2009

I was in Europe for the last episode of this season’s The Office, so I just now caught it. And it was wonderful, and don’t read on if you haven’t watched it and didn’t catch the lovely and rather emotional little finale in which Pam’s–SPOILER–pregnancy was revealed.

I woke up this morning still thinking about Jim and Pam and smiling about the episode. The Holly Michael stuff was both hilarious and touching, too and Ryan playing volleyball while on his cell phone, perfect! But the whole thing got me thinking. How did they do it? How did The Office manage to do the impossible? To let the two unrequited lovers get together and not ruin the show? Not only not ruin it but deepen it and make it funnier. The Jim-Pam romance hasn’t turned into a slog or annoyingness. It remains funny but also really sweet and occasionally so touching.

I don’t understand how this is, and as a writer, I would like to. Is it because the rest of Dunder Mifflin is so depressing, so mired in inertia, that Jim and Pam are the necessary sunshine and forward momentum? Is it because the relationship isn’t a heavy focus, you just get funny little glimpses? Is it because the actors who play Jim and Pam, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, are just that good?

I’m not sure. Maybe I don’t need to know. I should just be glad that such a sweet romance exists. And that such good television can exist and sustain for several seasons. Even after the star-crossed lovers get together. And get knocked up.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts on this, if you agree with me, that these two are just the damn cutest couple ever to hit network TV?

  1. Oh my goodness, I know..It’s so amazing how the writing staff let’s us see all those important things with Jim and Pam’s relationship that people wouldn’t normally share with their co-workers. Like having their adorable fake wedding reception at Michael’s coffee house/disco or Pam finding out that she’s pregnant at a company picnic. I think your right – it’s the little glimpses that make us love Jim and Pam and totally want more!

  2. i think she’s particularly terrific in this part. he’s adorable but sometimes mugs a bit, whereas she’s always perfectly deadpan and delicious. there’s something so humane about her, too — the writers have been great about showing pam’s yearning and ambivalence and ambition (i’m thinking about her earlier engagement, and her decision to go to art school, and her response to her colleagues’ response to her art), and jenna fischer just knocks those feelings out of the park.

    my brush with greatness: john krasinski was at my cousin’s wedding. (the groomsmen all called him “kraz.”) very cute in real life. a young man with nice manners, to sound like my own mother.

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