With the premiere of the final season of The Office this past Thursday, I was reminded of the amazingness that is Jim & Pam. Otherwise known as “Jam” among shippers, they are the quintessential cute couple that you rooted for to get together. I’d like to say “spoiler” alert, but I’m sure after almost a decade of this show, any relationship status news would have been out in the open by now.
It began 9 years ago when a young paper salesman had a crush on the cute office receptionist who, to his dismay, was engaged to a guy from the warehouse. Jim’s mundane days were made better with frequent trips to the front desk to chat with Pam, and the ridiculously adorable flirtations and friendship that developed was enough to make many viewers swoon. They schemed together to prank Dwight, or to round up some office camaraderie and in spite of her relationship status, it was clear that there was undeniable chemistry between the two. One of the first, most memorable moments was in the first season when Pam falls asleep on Jim’s shoulder after a horrendous day of “Diversity training” and, in spite of the awkward day, Jim declares it to be “not a bad day”.
Cut to the season 2 finale entitled Casino Night. This remains one of my favourite episodes in one of my favourite seasons of this show. As the title of the episode eludes to, on casino night, people take risks and lay their cards out on the table. In a way, I wish I caught on to that theme prior to the episode but let me say, the last 5-10 minutes of this episode I probably didn’t breathe. Jim, deciding to finally take a chance with his still-engaged office crush declares his feelings for her. *cue the loud gasp and intake of breath* She tells him that she can’t (be more than friends), a TEAR rolls down his face (*SWOON*) and he walks off while she sadly spins the engagement ring around her finger. Cut to Pam in the office, on the phone with her mom talking about the conversation she just had when the door opens and Jim walks in. And the picture to the right happens. And I would have gasped even more if I wasn’t already holding my breath from 5 minutes ago with his declaration.
Even though that kiss happened, things still didn’t work out for them then. To distance himself from her, Jim transfers to another branch and he doesn’t know that she breaks off her engagement. The timing for the two of them just isn’t right and while Pam’s now finally single, Jim starts dating someone else. Then, one day, in one of the best “talking head” interview moments with Pam, she’s talking about how things just never worked out with Jim when he opens the door, interrupting the mockumentary interview and asks her to dinner. She looks back at the camera with tears in her eyes and grins, forgetting what the original question was.
Finally. They’re finally together. Many viewers worried that it would change the dynamic of the show once they got together, like the Ross & Rachel factor, but The Office has a group of very talented and hilarious writers that kept things fresh. After a couple of seasons dating, and a baby on the way, Jam finally ties the knot – and what a wedding it was. In true swoon-worthy adorable fashion, when Pam accidentally rips her veil and is stressing out about everyone at the wedding, Jim takes a pair of scissors and chops off his tie so they both had a wardrobe malfunction.
Now, into the final season, with two kids and a settled family life, it looks like the writers are trying to shake things up a bit again. After talking about what they did in the summer and how Jim’s friend is starting up a sports marketing company using his idea, Jim laments that it’s in Philadelphia. The camera then shifts askew, as if their interview portion was done, and Pam wonders whether they have enough material already, it’s “just a paper company”. The film crew off camera say that they are more following their story anyway, wondering how they’ll work out. After chuckling that there was a lot of drama in their early days, they’re pretty quiet now with their family and home life. They’re removing their microphone packs and Pam walks off as the camera stays on Jim with a wistful look on his face. I’m sure they’re going to tease it out for a while what will become of them and, with the end of the show, this is probably a way to have closure with this couple we’ve all fallen in love with.
Regardless, I can’t wait to see where this goes. While, admittedly, I lost a bit of interest in last season – this start to season 9 looks to be fantastic. It’s sad that the show is coming to an end, but I’m really excited to see how they’re going to tie things up in this series.