Derek Johnson Muses

Home of the Straight from the Cornfield Podcast

Why Jim and Pam’s Struggles Didn’t Bother Me

When I read the criticism of Jim and Pam’s relationship, I shake my head. The Office‘s perpetual sweethearts, who moved seamlessly from crush to couple to married couple over the shows nine seasons, spent the better part of the show’s farewell season fighting over Jim’s absence, in direct contraction to their relationship over the previous 180-some episodes, where they moved on from fights in a heartbeat.

This is, America what you expect have in your relationships. Don’t be surprised when you see this generation’s Harry and Sally come close to calling it quits. It speaks to how the concept of marriage being a stable and permanent institution in our culture is long over. But I digress.

Jim and Pam Halpert just go to show how much even secularists want to believe in marriage, even when they find the institution “unrealistic.” Yes, Jim and Pam’s behavior this year has not as consistent with what they have been, but Jim undermined Pam’s engagement with Roy, and Pam proclaimed her feelings for Jim while he was in a relationship. The show has never dealt with their emotional infidelity.

And to be fair, it wasn’t just Jim and Pam fighting. One of the best episodes this season was “Junior Salesman”, that took place after the Halperts had a huge fight on the phone. Instead of just throwing Jim and Pam back into bliss after that fight, the show did something more realistic: they showed Jim trying to do the right thing for Pam on that day. When two people are having fights as big as they were, you can’t just go back to happy bliss without some work. It goes one day at time.

I’m actually glad that The Office went the way it did with Jim and Pam, and I’m not a fan off TV relationship drama for the sake of drama. Unlike the storyline with Jim being tempted with Cathy last season (oh please), this storyline was believable. And honestly, what could the show have done that would have been better?

Almost happily ever after...

Happily ever after…

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