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Jim Halpert: He Always Leaves Us Satisfied and Smiling!


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#2791

Sister Magpie

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Posted Jan 24, 2009 @ 10:59 PM

I'm with LiberryLady on this. I don't get all the negative vibes from the Pranks. First because they mostly seem like something they do because it's a thing on The Office. But if I was into practical jokes I'd bow to Jim as the master. Who cares if he spends money? It's always been that way. Not because he has nothing better to do--though he doesn't and neither does anyone else in the office, it seems--but because it's a creative outlet and he enjoys it.

I liked this last one because it seemed do-able and was pretty subtle. It had a nice mystery to it, taking something completely boring--a piece of red wire fake-attached to a computer monitor--and making into something irresistably tantalizing for Dwight. As I think a re-capper once said, even though Dwight "should" know better he can't stand the alternative, which is to live in a world where there's no aliens or time travel or he's not in the center of some exciting mystery. Much more creative than the ones that are just small irritations for Dwight.

#2792

LiberryLady

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Posted Jan 24, 2009 @ 11:12 PM

As I think a re-capper once said, even though Dwight "should" know better he can't stand the alternative, which is to live in a world where there's no aliens or time travel or he's not in the center of some exciting mystery.

Exactly! Whenever Dwight falls for a prank again, the LiberryLord says, "Dwight is always open to a world of wonder."

#2793

Ms Misabel

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 12:28 AM

I don't even like Dwight, but IMO the pranks are largely unfunny and continually prove that Jim has the maturity of your average sixth grader.


While I do find amusement in Dwight's reactions to the pranks, the pranks themselves highlight what I dislike about Jim. His whole LookAtMe,I'mSoCoolAndClever schtick. When, in reality, he's a grown-ass man acting like a petty school boy.

#2794

Trikywu

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 10:33 AM

I'm with LiberryLady on this. I don't get all the negative vibes from the Pranks. First because they mostly seem like something they do because it's a thing on The Office. But if I was into practical jokes I'd bow to Jim as the master. Who cares if he spends money? It's always been that way. Not because he has nothing better to do--though he doesn't and neither does anyone else in the office, it seems--but because it's a creative outlet and he enjoys it.


With much respect, I don't know why something that is personal and prone to personal taste - such as comedy - is up for confusion by those who loved something that others may not have found hilarious. Jim's pranks were wonderful, but to me, the current pranks are becoming formulaic. I used to love them more than I do now because Jim is at a new level in his life, and although he's working on his job a bit more, I'd hope they would show him spending more time doing something meaningful, keeping the pranks a once in a while special thing. We've had more Jim pranking Dwight in the last three episode than interaction between the future Halperts.

Edited by Trikywu, Jan 25, 2009 @ 10:35 AM.


#2795

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 10:57 AM

the pranks themselves highlight what I dislike about Jim. His whole LookAtMe,I'mSoCoolAndClever schtick. When, in reality, he's a grown-ass man acting like a petty school boy.


Exactly! For me, the best thing for aimless, complacent Jim and his rather pathetic lack of storyline/character arc would be some eye opening incident that showed him he's really not as awesome as he seems to think he is. He's always gotten feedback about how well-liked he is; he now has a small promotion and some quasi authority at DM; he's got the woman of his dreams; he gets away with continually harassing Dwight and seems to think the pranks just further illustrate what a funny guy he is (as opposed to what a juvenile loser he is IMO). Currently, he has no motivation to change or grow.

How about writing some incident that makes Jim question who he is, where he's going and what his goals/dreams are? Honestly, until he's jolted out of this complacent haze he's in or at least humbled a bit, I can't even begin to root for this complacent, arrogant and just plain boring 'prankster.'

Edited by bookwrm74, Jan 25, 2009 @ 10:59 AM.


#2796

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 11:02 AM

Jim's pranks were wonderful, but to me, the current pranks are becoming formulaic.

I agree. I've always had a problem with Jim's post-promotion pranks, because attacking from a position of power is to me much less excusable than rebellions against authority. But the other problem that's developing now is the repetitive and unspontaneous nature of the pranks. The desk-wrapping and the wire-pulling require so much time, effort, and, well, assistance from a prop department, that it strains believability. Is Jim really taking time away from the house, Pam, nephews, etc. to set this stuff up in his off time? It just doesn't fit.

In the past, the elaborate pranks (vending machine, nickels in phone receiver) were mixed with much more spontaneous stuff. The "alliance" playacting, the tips for flirting with the purse girl, the puncturing of the exercise ball, the goose-killing instructions at Benihana, were stuff Jim just did in the moment, when the opportunity presented itself or he became really irritated. Plus Jim himself expressed a bit of shame and self-criticism about the pranks, e.g. in Conflict Resolution and Benihana Christmas. Now this stuff just doesn't have any relationship to where Jim is in life, what Dwight is doing to provoke, or even what each episode is about. So the pranks are not just boring but also jarring and out of place.

Edited by LastBlue, Jan 25, 2009 @ 11:02 AM.


#2797

Sister Magpie

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 12:51 PM

With much respect, I don't know why something that is personal and prone to personal taste - such as comedy - is up for confusion by those who loved something that others may not have found hilarious.


No no--the only confusion was in my wording. I meant I didn't "get" the negative vibes meaning that as a viewer I didn't feel the negative, cruel energy from them that other people do and which therefore makes them unpleasant. I didn't mean I was confused why other people would--I completely understand why others do. I feel lucky that the pranks don't leave a bad taste in my mouth because it's a regular thing on the show, but that's all it is for me is luck. I feel like I could just as easily fall on the other side, as I have in other stories where somebody plays pranks, because in real life I don't really like them. I don't think there's anything weird or wrong about that reaction at all and I always hated it when people would act like I was just being intentionally difficult by not laughing at the pranks like I was supposed to do.

Jim's pranks were wonderful, but to me, the current pranks are becoming formulaic. I used to love them more than I do now because Jim is at a new level in his life, and although he's working on his job a bit more, I'd hope they would show him spending more time doing something meaningful, keeping the pranks a once in a while special thing. We've had more Jim pranking Dwight in the last three episode than interaction between the future Halperts.


Yes, that's what for me comes across as it just being done because it's a thing on The Office. It seems almost disconnected from the actual show and that's another reason it doesn't bother me. Unlike, for instance, an ep like the one with the bat where Jim was obviously just inspired and amused by this thing that happened in the office that day. That, to me, is more something attached to what's actually happening. A lot of the other stuff just reads to me like a writer coming up with a good prank. But I liked this one because I think Dwight does enjoy this sort of wild possibility on some level, and also because it's something Jim could actually do...unlike wrapping the desk in paper.

#2798

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Posted Jan 26, 2009 @ 2:08 PM

We caught up on our DVR last night, and my boyfriend, who is generally far less critical of The Office than I, turned to me after the cold open and said, "Now that was just stupid."

I think some posters hit it on the head earlier that the pranks used to feel like they came from frustration. The frustration of being bored, of being trapped, of being surrounded by idiots, of being in love with someone unattainable. It felt like Revolution. Now it's....what? I dunno. Honestly, it's kind of bat shit insane. The Christmas Prank I thought was awesome, because it felt like someone going the extra mile in the spirit of the holidays, if that makes sense. Like a weird sort of gift in the context of two people with a very weird relationship. But stuff like the wire and a lot of the more recent shenanigans...he just comes off nuts.

And speaking of Jim coming off nuts, Jim and Pam don't seem like outsiders anymore. They seem like a couple of card carrying Office Weirdos. Just as involved and "quirky" and accidentally obnoxious as the others. Which is probably why Oscar has been given so much screen time this year. He's the new Jim. A nice, intelligent guy, prone to the occasional flights of fancy, just trying to keep his head in a bizarro work environment.

Maybe there was no way to keep the show on this long without Jim and Pam evolving (or devolving) into what they are now and keep it believable.

#2799

likeserendipity

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Posted Jan 28, 2009 @ 11:39 PM

I can't be the only one dying for context for Jim's, "---I'm not saying Kevin's a feminist---" line.

As for the pranks, I think that they were effective when Jim was fighting authority and Dwight being annoying. But, since we've seen less of Dwight being annoying towards Jim and more of Jim being the authority, it's a screwed power balance.

The Office has always been a subversive show, at least to me, and Jim's pranks were never just about Jim. They were also a win for every bored coworker in America who ever wanted to stick their annoying coworker's stapler in a plate of jello. But, now that we have Jim in a position of power and pulling these pranks, it almost sends the message of, "Corp rate American can piss on you and aggravate you and make you run in circles and, hey, there's nothing you can do about it." Which I understand isn't the message they're trying to send, but it's the one I've picked up on.

On the other hand, I still want Jim to be my eye into the office, the way he was in S2. I still want him to be my Middle Class Hero. And it makes me uncomfortable to see him in this light. I don't mind Jim as being romantically flawed, because he was never my Romantic Hero, nor would I expect him to be flawless or dreamy, regardless. I can't even argue that the writers are clueless to this possibility, since they brought it up in ABC in S3 with Jim rejecting Pam's Christmas gift.

Which leaves me back at square one: unsure of how I feel about the whole thing, but more concerned with his overall lack of character development that I'll let it go.

#2800

Colin McG

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Posted Feb 15, 2009 @ 7:38 AM

For all the talk about Jim's smudgeness and arrogance this season, I like that we got a picture into Jim's personality and how relational he is. One of his favorite birthday memories is spending time with his father at a museum and getting a trinket dinosaur at the gift shop. For all his failings with the party planning, which I look at as largely being a gender thing, he did genuinely care that Kelly get her party and that she like it.

#2801

LiberryLady

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Posted Feb 15, 2009 @ 3:34 PM

For all his failings with the party planning, which I look at as largely being a gender thing,

Yeah, remember his party in Email Surveillance? Hot dogs, chips, and beer. Oh, and a karaoke machine.

Mindy likes to write Jim as kinda a goofus (see: Night Out) but I enjoyed what she did with him in Lecture Circuit. Jim and Dwight were fighting on an equal footing (since they were co-party-planners) and in the end he did come up with a unique party idea that Kelly enjoyed.

#2802

Sister Magpie

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Posted Apr 24, 2009 @ 1:33 PM

I mentioned on the ep thread that I really liked the way Jim was used in this ep. I've also noticed in the past couple of eps that they're subtly showing Jim as probably the most competent guy in the office--though I don't know if "competent" is the right word. In Golden Ticket when Michael first started asking if anybody had any ideas to make some money, Jim immediately comes out with his idea about renting the trucks. He'd obviously been thinking about it and it sounded like a really solid idea (which Michael of course ignored, but the joke was that it really was a good idea).

Then here when Jim's meeting with Dwight and DW, it's not just that DW likes Jim. It's that when they cut to the meeting Jim's the only person we hear giving actually a really good idea: would any of these clients go for a one-time discount for returning customers?

It's not like he's the Einstein of paper sales, but that was a good idea (that probably would have worked, actually). Dwight shot it down on the ridiculous notion that it would "make them look weak" and Charles seemed to be against it just because Jim said it and Dwight was against it. But again, we've got a meeting--and really a whole episode--where Jim's the guy who sees what's going on and steers it to get what he thought was best. It was a rare moment where we saw how Jim's business style works the best, where he's not putting himself forward but is gently encouraging people in the way that's best for them.

Just putting that out there as steps in what could be a storyline of Jim coming into his own as a good boss one day.

#2803

ScarletBlue16

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Posted Apr 24, 2009 @ 6:57 PM

Charles seemed to be against it just because Jim said it and Dwight was against it.


I got that vibe too. My mother asked me why Charles called Jim and Dwight idiots when clearly Jim was just trying to point out that Dwight couldn't be trusted on sensible details. Charles didn't like him the moment he saw him in a tux. It's very clear that since that moment, he decided Jim was useless, and possibly even started liking Dwight because Jim had hinted he didn't like him.

Man I loved Jim in Broke. Especially that shot in the end when he looked genuinely proud and happy for Michael. His moment of telling Pam things really were going to be ok alerted me that he intended to use what he knew to twist this in their favor.

#2804

Colin McG

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Posted May 1, 2009 @ 5:43 PM

I never really thought of the MSPC arc as a positive one for Jim, but folks have brought up some interesting points. It was great to see him struggle with Charles, but then in Broke, especially after DW greets him, he becomes comfortable in who he is and really does a masterful job of directing the outcome while not contriving the outcome in a deceitful way. Isn't the sign of a great manager getting people to do what you want but having them think it was their idea?

I have always seen Jim as someone who works to live rather than lives to work. Despite the claims from early on that if this was his career he would throw himself in front of a train, I think from S2 on, when he applied for a job in Stamford rather than quitting DM, it is obvious this is his career and he is actually pretty good at it. It also makes sense to me that at this point, even if he wanted to leave, it would be difficult because he is presumably making decent enough money that entry level money just wouldn't cut it.

Edited by Colin McG, May 1, 2009 @ 5:44 PM.


#2805

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Posted May 2, 2009 @ 1:19 PM

Was finally able to watch "Broke" online (missed it live) and on a purely shallow note, early-morning rumpled Jim was absolutely adorable. Love how he walked Pam to the door at that ridiculous hour to tell her good bye.

Loved Jim in this arc and I think Charles got a good glimpse that Jim may not be an idiot after all. Not motivated, yes, but crazy like Dwight? Nope.

#2806

chipper

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Posted May 7, 2009 @ 12:17 AM

Ok, I know this is a little thing but I've recently been rewatching all the seasons and I noticed something. It looks like Jim has a new coffee mug after he and Pam started dating. Anyone know what it says or what it is?

#2807

LilJen

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Posted May 7, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

Diggin' this screencap. For some reason the expression on Jim/JK's face cracks me up. "What's a rundown?"

http://www.nbc.com/T...lery#item=69081

#2808

ikar

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Posted Aug 18, 2011 @ 9:04 PM

Two and a half years later...

10 Reasons You Don't Want To Work With Jim Halpert.

#2809

LiberryLady

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Posted Aug 18, 2011 @ 10:44 PM

Omigod, I couldn't stop laughing at the complaint about the guy changing the business cards to read "Horse Whisperer" instead of "Graphic Designer"!