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''The Office'': Jim and Pam's unresolved issues

On ”The Office,” after Pam turns Jim down, he starts life in a new office; plus, Michael causes another human-resources crisis

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Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, ...
The Office: Paul Drinkwater

”The Office”: Jim and Pam’s unresolved issues

Stupid, stupid, stupid Pam! How could she be so boneheaded as to break Jim’s heart? For doofy warehouse guy? Only to call off the wedding with him? (I’m refusing to use his name in protest, even though he had the best mug shot I’ve seen since Nick Nolte’s.) Yes, I know that resolving the sexual tension between Pam and Jim that quickly just isn’t a good recipe for television longevity, but aawwww, man. That was one heartbreaking scene. You know the one. The only one they were in together this episode? When their hands slid away from each other…(sob).

Who’s going to laugh at Michael and Dwight with you now, huh, Pam? Apparently not the humorless temp turned staffer Ryan. You, Pam, are not allowed to laugh at Jim’s long-distance gaydar gag. No more inside jokes for you. That calculator in Jello is a classic, isn’t it? You miss it, don’t you Pam?

I’m just taking out my frustration on Pam, folks. I actually sort of like her, and Jenna Fischer is a sweet, earnest actress who truly loves her craft and is grateful for her success. Can I be one of your MySpace friends now?

Okay, with that out of the way, it’s on to the rest of the shenanigans.

As someone who just this week sat through a really long company standards and practices video and is freshly reminded about professional decorum, I have to say that seeing the entire Scranton, Pa., office of Dunder-Mifflin standing around a computer watching gay porn, each employee showing varying degrees of interest, was deliciously appalling and cringe-worthy. This big dysfunctional family is no better able to coexist than when we last saw them. (Did anyone get a bead on how long it’s been since the casino night? Pam’s got five more weeks of refrigerated wedding food and Roy, er, doofy warehouse guy, has had time to fall apart, pull himself together, and pledge to get her back. And Jim, a.k.a. the Big Tuna, can’t have been at the Stamford office for more than a few weeks. Guesses?)

Why is it that Michael can say the most idiotic, prejudiced things, out a gay employee, insult his boss, and then, when someone rightly calls him out on it, make me feel sad for him? Steve Carell is a genius, that’s why. A genius, I say. Watching him damn near molest Oscar to prove just how not prejudiced he was sort of made me feel dirty. That kiss (such as it was) was the most uncomfortable-looking thing. And when Dwight tried to get in on the act…oh my. Nope. I know what you’re thinking. No Brokeback joke to be found here.

Isn’t it great that we’re still getting those glimpses of the personality quirks of freaky side characters like Creed, Angela, and Meredith? Who licks Purell? Really. Who does that? And if I never have to think of creepy Creed having sex again, it’ll be too soon.

I have to say that the show loses something for me without the Jim-Pam banter, but I suppose they need to keep it a secondary story line and keep you wanting more. Lord knows there’s no shortage of hilarity (this is one of the few shows I laugh out loud to), but Jim and Pam’s relationship is where my emotional investment lies.

How about you? Were you surprised at how the Jim and Pam situation turned out? How bad do you want them to get back together? And wouldn’t any company in the world have fired Michael by now?