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Pam/Michael relationship
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Apr 29th 2009 edited

Hi, guys...long-time reader, first-time poster...

I've been commissioned to write a criticism piece based on my assertion that the relationship between Pam and Michael is by far the most complex, heartwarming, compelling, melancholy and original relationship on network television today.

This season hasn't been my favorite, but it appears as this has been a central theme...

The piece mainly states that despite years of eye-rolling and repulsion that still sometimes exists, Pam has taken to protecting and admiring Michael's child-like whims because deep down she admires it...she wishes it for herself. The relationship is almost parent-like...Pam being the mother Michael still so desperately needs and Michael serving as the child full of encompassing wonder that Pam wants to be. We have seen her, in a very subtle, drab, real way, fall in love with him...and not in the sort of love we expect from our sitcom characters.

Anyway, that's a brief thesis...I bring it here because this is the closest I've seen people take a scalpel to these characters and analyze them...thoughts, opinions, suggestions, citations?

Apr 29th 2009 edited

Hi P Situation, as a long-time reader, who do you think is the second smartest person on this board?

The Pam/Michael relationship is my favorite of the show, and I think your fourth paragraph is a great description of it. Maybe something interesting to add was the scene in Business School where the roles were reversed, Michael for once acting as the nurturer and comforter of the two.

Apr 29th 2009 edited

Pam definitely has stepped in as Michael's mother figure. At the bird funeral
in Grief Counseling, for example. But there she seemed to be doing it out of
sympathy, (or perhaps empathy is a better word as she was at that point coming
to grips with the lack of fulfillment in her own life) while in these later episodes,
I suspect she may be honing her skills for the real motherhood. Did you notice,
by the way, how maternal she was with Kevin recently when he got excited
about the change in her candy dish from regular jelly beans to cinnamon?
“Okay, be careful, Kevin. They're kind of spicy...” she tells him. “...so maybe
you should just try one at first and, if it's okay, have a couple more.”

I agree that what was particularly touching about Michael bolstering Pam's
wounded spirit at the art show in Business School was that he was
returning the favor by stepping in as a father figure for her. Nice touch.

"That is our building. And we sell paper. I am really proud of you." -Michael Scott

Apr 29th 2009

P, you can probably get a good quote from the Safety Training commentary. In it, Mindy says that Greg described Pam (and Jim) as the parental figures to Michael. I can’t remember exactly what she said but I know it was something to that extent.

Apr 29th 2009 edited

(From the Safety Training commentary)

B.J. Novak: (Quoting Greg Daniels) Jim and Pam have a kid from their
previous marriage who is Michael. And even though Jim is now with Karen,
the new wife, when the kid is in trouble, the kid's acting up on the roof,
the parents just speak this special language and Karen's left out while the
two of them solve the Michael problem...

Mindy Kaling: Are we allowed to talk about John's hair?

"Hey... uh, Michael! Don't jump on the bouncy castle!" -Jim Halpert

Apr 29th 2009

Your memory works better than mine.

Apr 29th 2009 edited

Oh, I totally cheated, lem! That dvd was in one of my players when I read
your comment, I brought it up and played it back so I could get the exact
words because, as you wrote, it's a good quote. I particularly like that commentary
because Mindy keeps trying to pry drug stories out of episode director and SCTV
alum, Harold Ramis. Ramis also does interesting commentary on another TO
he directed, Beach Games.

"I collect spores, molds and fungus." -Harold Ramis as Egon in Ghostbusters

Apr 29th 2009

Print is dead.

Apr 29th 2009

I particularly like that commentary because Mindy keeps trying to pry drug stories out of episode director and SCTV alum, Harold Ramis.

Me too! I love how BJ keeps getting embarrassed by Mindy.

Apr 29th 2009

If I may intrude, P, who commissioned you to write this piece?

Apr 29th 2009

Another example of their sort of symbiotic relationship was the the beginning and end of Dream Team where first Pam has to encourage Michael to pick himself up and get started and by the end he returns the favor.

Apr 29th 2009 edited

Another example of their sort of symbiotic relationship was the beginning
and end of Dream Team where first Pam has to encourage Michael to
pick himself up and get started and by the end he returns the favor.

True, DC. Although my theory is that Pam's meltdown was more or less
acted out by Pam for Michael's benefit. She'd stated earlier that, when one
person is freaking out, it weirdly makes the other one calmer, so she put on
a semi-fake freakout to encourage Michael after he got ditched by Nana
and Vikram. Also, she started her little meltdown speech by using Michael's
exact opening line: "I can't do this!" Seemed a little sweetly suspicious to me.
(I say "semi-fake" because Pam was pretty scared and had real doubts.)
In any case, they were definitely there for each other.

Apr 29th 2009

I didn't see Michael as freaking out after the Nana debacle though. I thought she had really come to the realization that the MSPC was the terrible idea we all knew it was.

Apr 29th 2009

I thought she had really come to the realization that the MSPC was the terrible idea we all knew it was.

Me too.

Apr 29th 2009

You're probably right. If she had pulled something off, they'd most likely have
Pam throw a look to the camera signifying what she'd done. I just like to speculate.

Apr 30th 2009

If she had pulled something off, they'd most likely have Pam throw a look to the camera signifying what she'd done. I just like to speculate.

I too like to speculate. I'd like to speculate about what she pulled off, what colour it was, and how she would then give that come-hither look to the camera, which I would take to mean she was looking right at me...and saying, "if you want me to, I will take off all my clothes for you. I will take off all my clothes for you, if that's what you're into"

Apr 30th 2009

Oh,Daoust! Whoa! Boner patrol!

Apr 30th 2009

Somehow the thread has veered off topic. That never happens around here.

Apr 30th 2009

Somehow the thread has veered off topic. That never happens around here.

So true. Hey, did you hear the universe is expanding?

Apr 30th 2009

The price of oil is back above $50 a barrel.

Apr 30th 2009

You guys are like a herd of wild okapis.

Apr 30th 2009

I am a semi-trained kudu, thank you very much! You feral gnu!

Apr 30th 2009

Somehow the thread has veered off topic. That never happens around here.

Isn't that the default topic, though?

Apr 30th 2009

Season 3 sucks.

Apr 30th 2009

Like your mom.

I had to type that! I just had to! D keeps leaving these perfect setups out there and I just had to capitalize on it!

Apr 30th 2009

(sounds of can opening)

Apr 30th 2009

(sounds of can opening)

Oh, so Daoust's mom is about to get some Alpo.

Apr 30th 2009

Oh no you dii-unt.

Apr 30th 2009

Boom! D's Mom roasted.

Apr 30th 2009 edited

Boom! D's Mom roasted.

And a totally unwarranted roast... my favorite kind!

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