Fans of great comedy look back fondly on NBC’s version of The Office. And rightfully so. The Office was brilliant and it also paved the way for other excellent shows like Parks and Rec and Modern Family. The Office also introduced some of the most iconic characters in modern TV history. One of those icons was Jim Halpert, a character that is perceived one way on TV, but would be seen in a whole different light in the real world.
Here’s how the character Jim Halpert is described on IMDB:
“Jim is a lovable underachiever with a passion for pranks and receptionist Pam Beesely. He rarely bothers to fulfill his full potential and insists that his job as salesman for Dunder Mifflin is just a job, and not a career, despite the years he has spent there.”
And that’s all true of the character. We did love Jim, he did love Pam and pranks, and he didn’t care about his job.
But now imagine one of your friends describing their coworker and it sounding something like this:
“So there’s this guy at work named Jim. He does not care, at all, about getting any work done. He’s just constantly screwing around. He pretends to be friends with our boss, who is a little lame, but then he just makes fun of him during meetings.
Then there is this other guy Dwight who has really poor social skills, and I don’t think he has any friends. Jim is constantly pulling pranks on Dwight, which at first seemed funny because we all find Dwight weird and annoying, But then Jim just wouldn’t stop. He’s locked him in rooms, payed everyone to call him the wrong name, tells him to go to meetings that don’t exist, and he’s constantly stealing or messing around with Dwight’s personal stuff. Dwight doesn’t really know how to handle all this, because, you know, he’s a little different. So he gets mad, but that just seems to make Jim want to do more stuff to him.
Oh, and also, he blatantly hits on our receptionist, who is engaged. And her fiancé works in our building and Jim knows him and everything.
But here’s the worst part, when you’re talking to him and you say something, a lot of times he looks at someone else and does this weird little thing with his eyebrows. He just mocks you, right to your face. He just acts like he’s so much cooler than everyone else at our office. It makes you feel like crap.”
Yeah, not as much fun in the real world is it? But that’s what keeps the world of television fun. We get to pop in and be third party observers in the Dunder Mifflin office. If we had to actually show up and work there every day these characters and the way they act would get tedious pretty fast. And we might very quickly go from adoring Jim Halpert, to hating his guts.