Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Office Spinoff in the Works?
2007-10-30 16:12
by Jon Weisman

That's what thinks.

However, unlike Practice, which stole Grey's regular Kate Walsh to anchor the new series, the proposed Office 2 is not expected to include any of the mother ship's core cast. In fact, producers are already casting about for a "name" to headline the potential show.

2007-10-30 16:17:27
1.   trainwreck
They might as well copy "The Newsroom," which is the Canadian equivalent of the Office and it is very good.
2007-10-30 16:23:15
2.   regfairfield
(Note that this could cause controversy)

The more I watch The Office, the more I think that all of the main characters are pretty unlikeable (yes, including Jim and Pam). The only people in the cast that stand out as not a sad and/or terrible person were Kevin and Karen, so I don't know if the creators are capable or generating enough interesting characters for a spin off.

2007-10-30 16:26:27
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - "all of the main characters are pretty unlikeable (yes, including Jim and Pam)"

Good lord, man. That's ... just ... wrong.

2007-10-30 16:32:21
4.   regfairfield
3 I know. At the beginning I did empathize with Jim, but the more the series goes on, the more I dislike him. He treated Karen and Amy incredibly poorly, and he's incapable of taking charge of his life. In the beginning of the series he said that he would kill himself if he made Dunder Mifflin his career, but he looks like he's on that track, and the life of his Second Life character shows that he should be taking control of his life instead of dealing with paper.

At least Pam seems to be shooting for something with the fancy new Beasley. Jim just seems like he's destined to be a corporate drone all of his life, and I can't really support the man for his lack of ambition.

2007-10-30 16:36:17
5.   regfairfield
And I can include Ryan in the people who have found success. I don't know, the series definitely tries to set up Jim as the hero, but more and more he comes off like a loser to me. Until he leaves Dunder Mifflin, I don't think I can like him anymore.
2007-10-30 16:38:45
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - You would have really hated Alex Reeger.

I think you're being hard on Jim, if not objectively wrong. As far as career goes, he's fresh off pursuing the big promotion, which he had in the bag but sacrificed for love. Hardly qualities of a bad person.

Any career change, like say sportswriting (which he might not even have any talent for), would involve starting over. I think it's okay that he gets to enjoy life alongside Pam for a little while before he figures out his next step.

2007-10-30 16:45:52
7.   regfairfield
6 Thing is, I thought it was either

-Out of character to pursue that promotion in the first place.

-Him giving up on his life goals and resigning himself to a life of paper.

I want to make the comparison to the British Office, but I've only seen the first season so I can't quite say this with authority. Tim realizes he's working a dead end job, so he quits. Maybe he ends up staying and Werner Hogg, I don't know, but that one act makes him a better hero than Jim.

The man has worked for at least seven years at Dunder Mifflin, and seems like he's given up. I do agree that's he's partly staying for Pam, but unless they're setting Jim up to be some kind of tragic figure, I think the choices he's made makes him not all that likeable of a character.

2007-10-30 16:50:52
8.   Jon Weisman
6 - So when he does what you want him to do, you say it's out of character. And what life goals was he giving up on, since you said he has no ambition.

It's funny - had this whole Little thing not happened, I was going to do a post this very day wondering aloud how Jim ended up at Dunder-Mifflin. But I think for the past three years, it's clear that his life goal was Pam, and though that may not be enough of a life goal, I don't see how that makes him unlikable.

I'm not going to tell you to like someone you don't like, but your rationale isn't making any sense to me. He clearly hasn't given up - if anything, he's reborn. Meanwhile, you're making the case that anyone who doesn't put career ahead of all things is unworthy.

That makes ... you unlikable :)

2007-10-30 16:53:17
9.   Benaiah
7 - I love the British Office with the heat of a thousand suns so I will chip in that you are wrong about what happened. At the end of season 1 Tim gets a new promotion that keeps him from quitting and going back to school. The promotion is small and pointless, but Tim sells out just the same and even uses the promotion initially to put distance between him and Dawn. I personally think that he attempted to punish her for rejecting him a few episodes before.

However, at the end of the second season Tim is offered a much larger promotion and he refuses because he doesn't want to make Werner Hogg his career, even though clearly already is his career as he is 30 (not that you can't change careers at 30, but Tim isn't going anywhere). Tim is a borderline masochistic person, but that show is much darker (and better in my opinion).

2007-10-30 16:59:50
10.   regfairfield
8 Hey, don't bring me into this :)

Maybe I'm putting too much stock into a throwaway line from season one, but the last thing Jim wanted then was to get promoted. Since then, he's seems to do nothing but advance in the company. I think that Pam has grown throughout the years, but I'm seeing no real rebirth in Jim. In fact, I think the fact that Pam has shown real change while Jim has remained pretty much the same is what's going to cause the seemingly inevitable conflict in their relationship. Jim feel for quiet, mousy Pam, not fancy new Beasley.

2007-10-30 17:03:03
11.   regfairfield
9 It must be the beginning of season two, because I haven't seen that yet. Dang.
2007-10-30 17:08:51
12.   regfairfield
I think it comes down to this. If the point was for The Office to make Jim a cautionary tale of what corporate life can do, then they succeeded. If they wanted him to be a hero for the people stuck in dead end jobs, then they failed.
2007-10-30 17:15:48
13.   dzzrtRatt
The Office is breaking all the rules.

Don't let your sexually charged friendship ever pay off. Well, they did it, and they did it in a way that leaves every option open, everything from Pam trying to inspire Jim to become more like "Philly Jim" to them breaking up b/c Pam is attracted to guys like her "bad boy" fiance.

None of the characters is perfect, to be sure. But in all their flaws and self-deceptions, they are well-rounded characters who are getting rounder and rounder as the writers pay more attention to intially more marginal characters. And that's another aspect of the show's genius; there really isn't just one protagonist. Everyone on that show is the star of their own life, and their various strands of life bump into each other in this small world they all share.

But to reg's point, yeah, Jim is a little bit of a sellout. He's kidding himself in ways he doesn't see. He's got a cruel streak, like all practical jokers do. So? He's still likable. Just not all the time.

2007-10-30 17:17:35
14.   regfairfield
13 Maybe I just dislike Jim because I thought Karen was a much better person than Pam.
2007-10-30 17:23:15
15.   Jon Weisman
10 - You're the second person to say that, when a big point of the Pam-Roy-Jim triangle was that Jim encouraged Pam's blossoming, while Roy tried to stifle it.
2007-10-30 17:26:00
16.   regfairfield
15 I understand that, but I'm not sure if he knew what it would bring. The Pam that Jim has wanted for five years is different from what Pam is now. Maybe Jim is okay with that, but if anything would cause a rift in the relationship, it's that.
2007-10-30 17:30:04
17.   Jon Weisman
14 - Not trying to put her down, but Karen was about as insecure as they come. So how did she escape your judgment?

13 - I don't run into too many non-sellouts in the working world. I think all things considered, Jim ranks among the better ones as far as decency.

2007-10-30 17:31:22
18.   regfairfield
17 Quite honestly, it could be because I thought she was far better looking than Pam. I've never said I'm not shallow :).
2007-10-30 17:32:55
19.   Jon Weisman
16 - But she's really not different, and Jim would be the best one to point that out. Jim is the person who recognized first and foremost what Pam had inside her.

What is the evidence that Jim will have any kind of problem at all with computer animation Pam? That he was kind of bummed he had to ride home with Marilyn? Pretty skimpy.

2007-10-30 17:35:31
20.   Jon Weisman
18 - You can be shallow, but it's a bad position to be in if you're going to put down characters for being shallow :)
2007-10-30 17:36:59
21.   regfairfield
19 No, not that, really more pure speculation. It wasn't the animation thing that triggered warning signs, it's just that Pam is now a different person. Maybe Jim likes the new Pam. I don't know. But Pam has shown far more development than Jim over the last three years, and it could cause problems.
2007-10-30 17:38:56
22.   Jon Weisman
21 - Right. Or Jim could stick one of Pam's drawings in the freezer until it dies. I mean, anything can happen.
2007-10-30 17:39:31
23.   regfairfield
22 Who's to say :)
2007-10-30 17:39:38
24.   Jon Weisman
21 - I do actually think you're underestimating the emotional development in the step Jim took in leaving Scranton a year ago.
2007-10-30 17:40:47
25.   Jon Weisman
Okay, I'm headed out to Springsteen. Carry on!
2007-10-30 17:51:56
26.   overkill94
Nothing for over a week and all of a sudden there are 25 posts? Have you people been in a coma? ;)
2007-10-30 18:06:27
27.   overkill94
Regairfield, I think you're waaaaaay off on this whole Jim/Pam thing.

First of all, I must say that I'm a lot like Jim in many ways. I'm not all that ambitious when it comes to work, I'd rather just have a happy life while using work as a way to make enough money to get by. This seems to be how Jim operates - he doesn't necessarily like his job, but he loves being around Pam so much that it doesn't matter to him if he has to put up with all the crap that goes along with it.

As for him not liking New Pam, I don't really see how different she is than Original Pam. Her personality is pretty much exactly the same and I'm pretty sure that's why Jim fell for her (and why I like her better than Karen). I also find Pam way more attractive than Karen, but to each his own.

As for Jim being unlikeable, it's true that he wasn't all that fair to Karen and Amy, but as a viewer it was easy for me to sympathize with him due to his unshakable love for Pam.

2007-10-30 19:49:40
28.   Terry A
18 - I don't see that. I've heard many others say the same thing, but to me, Karen looks a bit like a... well, like a muppet. A hot little muppet, perhaps, like Janice from the band, but...

Holy cow, I've typed myself into a corner.

2007-10-30 21:42:43
29.   Bob Timmermann
I've deleted "Heroes" from my DVR series recording list.
2007-10-31 09:36:44
30.   ToyCannon
28 I wasn't a big Pam fan but the more I watch the show the more I just want to see her smile. Maybe the best smile on TV.
Really enjoyed the bar scene and the video last week. Stanley smiled, it was cool.

Yes it is now off my list as is the How I met your Mother. I'm down to the Thursday Night Lineup.

2007-10-31 13:37:12
31.   Terry A
30 - I agree on the smile. In fact, my first draft of 28 included a comment about how I felt Pam's most attractive moment was that scene at the end of season three just after Jim returned and asked her out. That tearful, ebullient smile was a thing of beauty.
2007-10-31 16:53:11
32.   Jon Weisman
Inside the Office's "Second Life"

2007-10-31 17:38:49
33.   bhsportsguy
6 As Alex Reeger once said, "Me, I'm a cab driver, I'm the only cab driver here."

Last season's conclusion was very subtle in its reference to how the original series (Christmas special) ended but this time in reverse, its Jim who while on the verge of making a life change sees Pam's gift. And wasn't some standard cliched sloppy little note professing everlasting love but instead it was something that showed him that she only wanted him to pursue his dreams and that she would always care for him just like Dawn getting the art supplies and then realizing what was really important.

Now, I only realized this afterwards because I had not seen the Christmas episode until after last year's finale and really hadn't thought about the similarity until right now.

My point is that now Jim and Pam are in this strange time where they are still doing their shennigans in the office but now they are a couple and they have to figure that part out. It really isn't that big a piece of the story so far and I think how Jim reacts to Pam's growth will be a continuing storyline.

And Pam may have the best smile on TV.

2007-10-31 17:42:16
34.   overkill94
32 I happened to run across a special on MSNBC the other day about computer games and they talked about Second Life. Apparently people actually purchase items for their character (with real money) as a person would in real life. They interviewed a lady who sells Goth dresses on Second Life (computer graphic dresses remember). They also showed where you could buy paintings for your house/apartment and even this Japanese lady who is a real estate agent for Second Life homes. I'm all for realistic computer gaming and all, but this just seems ridiculous.
2007-11-01 10:50:27
35.   Zak
34 LOL. That is hilarious. I am a gaming fan, especially simulation games, but this is way over the top. I never got a chance to get into The Second Life, but I guess it can get expensive.

About the Office characters, what makes the show endearing to more people than not is that the characters are not without realistic flaws. I agree with regairfield that there are certain things about everyone's personalities that are grating, even though I don't necessarily agree with all the things he listed. But that's true about anyone.. at work, in family, etc. etc.

Also, you can't take something Jim said about his career a few years ago and apply it to now. Everyone makes grand statements when they are younger about how they will never end up a certain way, and yet people do. And it's not a bad thing. After years of being a salesman, he could easily have come to the realization that he is good at it, and the money's good and he gets to be around people he loves and he doesn't hate his job as much as when he first started, and all that is enough for now. I have no problem with that.

About Pam, the same logic kinda applies. People change and she has changed a lot. But sometimes, when you like a person (say a girlfriend or even any close friend) and you watch them evolve, the change does not always feel drastic and it doesn't make you not like the person because they are different at 30 than they were at 25.

I still love my Office, but I am not looking forward to the spinoff. I will watch it, but usually the idea does not turn out well. But, one of my favorite shows of all time spun out of another one of my favorite shows and as much as I used to like the original, I became a bigger fan of the spin-off.

2007-11-01 10:59:22
36.   Zak
Trivia - The spin-off in the last paragraph of 35 featured a lot of scenes at a radio station, KACL 780AM (named to honor the show's creators).
2007-11-01 11:31:40
37.   DXMachina
Joss Whedon has a new show coming out, and it stars Eliza Dushku.

2007-11-01 19:26:22
38.   Jon Weisman
36 - I never knew that about the initials.

37 - On a slower day at DT, I would have led with that.

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