Want Romance? Skip Soaps and go for a Sitcom

So how is it possible that after watching Days of Our Lives for almost a year, I have seen more romance and positive driven angst on a sitcom mockumentary, The Office?

I started watching The Office this past season mainly due to the fact I heard it was hilarious. Given how the job I just recently left was growing maddening every day, I thought the idea that this show’s over the top scenarios and extreme characterizations would cheer me up that at the very least, my current job wasn’t that bad. Well, ladies and gentleman, it’s pretty bad when you realize you WISHED you worked at the Scranton office of Dundler Mifflin.

Course that’s all a different conversation and this week I finally got to watching the first disk of Season 2 I received in the mail from Netflix. I knew about all the relationships of Season 3, Michael and Jan’s ill-matched pair, Dwight and Angela’s secret romance (oddly probably the best matched pair), and of course the star couple Pam and Jim. My experience with the latter couple was mainly from season three. I knew season two ended with Pam finally had become aware of Jim’s interest in her and though she turns him down only to be kissed by him, season three picks up where she finally ends her lifetime engagement to Roy but Jim has moved on, literally, to an office in Stanford.

Of course, a few episodes into season 3, events work out for Jim to return to Scranton along with his co-workers from Stanford, and it’s obvious by then he is dating Karen. He pretends to have moved on but from time to time you see moments where he obviously still thinks about Pam. Pam watches Jim from afar with that longing look (something I so want to see someday with a “soon to be obviously ruined estranged” couple on Days) but she isn’t brave enough to tell him.

So my perception of what Season 2 would be, actually, is like a Friends‘ first season version of Ross/Rachel, where Jim is holding a torch to Pam who is oblivious to his affection. Imagine my surprise to see proven untrue as it’s obvious Pam is probably matching feeling for feeling for Jim’s, but the fact she has devoted years to her long suffering relationship to clueless Roy, she immediately rejects any idea there is anything between her and Jim other than merely friends. What’s interesting about Roy is, he is not meant to be anything more than an obstacle for Pam’s feelings to Jim and though I tend to hate characters that are only used as catalysts for the obvious couple, I am comfortable with Roy in this role. I just wish in season 3 he would be able to move on and out of Pam’s life.

So, it’s just refreshing to see a long built up romance on TV that is done well and never overtakes the A plot* of the show, which in The Office‘s case is the dark humor of the show. I must fully admit when you work in an environment and you realize that your boss is actually dumber than Michael, it takes a little away from the enjoyment of the series. However, I’m fully on board now with my shipper’s heart, watching to see whenever Jim and Pam finally hook up.

*In my earlier comparison to soap operas, yes I’m fully aware that soaps, the A plot really is supposed to be about the couple falling in love while the B plot is the subject of scenes that just push them together faster. I’m just really down on my soap right now and just need to recover. I couldn’t help but wonder when fans do their mail campaigns and send DVDs of their veteran couples classic scenes to the head writer, they might just be better off sending him in clips Jim and Pam so he knows what desire, angst and eyesnogging is.

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5 thoughts on “Want Romance? Skip Soaps and go for a Sitcom

  1. What? The Office has relationships? Hmm, maybe I should give it another try. I tried the first episode, but didn’t find it funny so have avoided it ever since, but now…

  2. Well, the romance stuff is still a bit funny. Jim and Pam is what is treated with your typical “awwww” cheesy moments. It never overtakes the show.

    Dwight and Angela were the hilarious comedic couple who dated in secret. At first I thought it was played for laughs, but surprisingly, even on a small occasion, they have showed signs of devotion and gentleness. (I’m speaking of third season).

    The show, as dark as it is written, does compassion actually really well actually. Michael is always written as the world’s most self-centered boss and then suddenly he will surprise you with reaching out to help someone, even when he himself doesn’t realize he has done it. It’s really sweet.

  3. Me too!

    And yes, having a boss like Michael (without the weird moments of kindness) is painful. Especially when that boss was high all the time and insane (he thinks he can fly out of his body to any place in the world.)

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