Show: NBC’s The Office
Featured Characters: Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly
The distinctive camera techniques for The Office’s mockumentary form of storytelling played a vast role in creating one of the greatest love stories on television. It’s partly why the characters feel so real and why their relationships appear to be so organic. Throughout the nine seasons, the series gave audiences incredible opportunities to watch Jim and Pam fall for one another in a way that would pave the road for comedies following in its footsteps. It was the simplicity behind it all for Jim and Pam—the showcase of how beautiful the ordinary could be.
Thus, while Jim and Pam exhibit that there’s indescribable beauty in ordinary things, they also revolutionize the idea that the most extraordinary adventures are the tender moments in which loving someone makes everything remarkable.
“All I know is that every time I’ve been faced with a tough decision, there is only one thing that outweighs every other concern. One thing that will make you give up on everything you thought you knew, every instinct, every rational calculation. […] Love. No matter what happens, you’ve got to forget about all the other stuff. You’ve got to forget about logic and fear and doubt. You just got to do everything you can to get to the one woman who is going to make all this worth it. At the end of the day, you got to jump.”Jim Halpert, The Office Season 9, Episode 23 “A.A.R.M.”
Though it’s been years since Jim Halpert uttered these words aloud, the fact remains, we should add this description of love to the dictionary.
Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly and the Joy of it All
What viewers can see through the duo is that wherever you end up in life, as long as you’re with your best friend, it’s bound to be a great adventure. The best part is, we watched a salesman and a receptionist have fun for nine years. And through their happiness, we were able to see that love can be the most beautiful playground—the one place where most of our troubles disappear because even when we scrape and bruise, the tears are momentary, for the laughter keep calling us back.
Their journey is anything but easy—it takes three years for them to go on a date finally, and in-between, we watch them each suffer while seeing the other in the hands of a different person. However, that suffering isn’t a waste of time, for it was during those moments where they grow the most as characters. It’s in those moments they take the boldest risks. And it’s those moments that make The Office excellent television.
Let’s take it back to Season 3, Episode 22, “Beach Games,” for it features one of the most incredible character-defining scenes in the show’s history. Pam standing up for herself, her art, and her friendship with Jim is, without a doubt, one of the most vital moments. It’s not easy to be the person who feels neglected, and for so long, that’s who Pam is—she’s just the receptionist. It’s disheartening, discouraging, and most importantly, it’s a form of treatment no one deserves. During those times, Jim and Michael are the only people who ultimately see her as she is—an artist, a compassionate soul, a hilarious spirit, and an extraordinary woman worthy of whatever she desires. However, it’s in that scene where the rest of Dunder Mifflin sees her for her bravery.
And though this scene isn’t as joyous as all the other times they’re able to have fun together, it’s a critical showcase of why it’s easy to have fun with Pam Beesly. Her spirit and her bravery to break free from the mundane and into something bolder. She has the soul of an artist and it’s that very soul Jim Halpert falls in love with.
Worth the Wait
That’s why Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly are so great—they’re ordinary people who were brave enough to take a chance on love. They aren’t princesses and princes or vampires and witches in an epic love match; they’re just people—a reflection of us all. If Jim hadn’t confessed that he was in love with Pam, she might’ve stayed with Roy. If Pam hadn’t admitted that Jim was the reason she called off her wedding, he would’ve probably stayed with Karen.
And that’s unfair to all parties because this way, everyone’s kept away from their one true love that’ll make every little thing in life worth it. Every love story is unique, but for Jim and Pam and us, it’s the fact that their lives weren’t all that glamorous. It takes nearly a decade for Jim to find a career he is passionate about, and it takes Pam a while to realize that school’s not for her.
However, in the midst of all that, they’d spend every day of their lives making the best of their ordinary jobs. Whether it’s the pranks they play, the adoring gazes at every interval, or the silly break room conversations, together, they were everything. It’s so easy to love them so much because it’s so inspiring to know that the little things in life are the most beautiful. It’s always been about each other, whether it’s Jim buying a house with an art room or cutting his tie at the wedding to draw attention away from Pam’s veil, or Pam selling that very house to move their entire lives to Austin so Jim can pursue his dreams. Nothing is off-limits as long as they’re doing it together.
Jim and Pam loved each other so ardently that they made the best of everything, even the downfalls—they listened to one another, praised one another, and always made sure their partner was at their best. And when their children grow up, they’re some of the lucky ones who’ll always know in their hearts that their parents are soul mates. They’ll know in their hearts that no matter what happens in life, love is truly the most beautifully rewarding risk you’ll ever take.
They were great in a time where so few couples weren’t, and it makes us wonder how much better they could be today. Part of us doesn’t even want to know, considering they already set nearly impossible standards. But the fact remains, Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly create one of the best love stories by loving every part of the other in a way that no one else could. They create something magical by making the ordinary joyous and cementing that when you find love, it’s best to acknowledge it ceaselessly. It’s why they stood as an example for everyone at Dunder Mifflin. It’s why Dwight takes the risk to fight for Angela because the depth of Jim and Pam’s adoration is so transcendent, it’s easy to find inspiration in it.