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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 10 December, 2018

An internet-wide argument has broken out about whether Jim in The US Office was actually a bit of a d*ck

It goes deep.

635927223188301534-622930799_JIM Source: NBC

IT’S 2017 AND everyone is now re-examining old, beloved institutions of pop culture to see if they’re actually a bit shite.

First it was Joey and Rachel in Friends – supposedly the worst romance in the show’s 10 year run… but maybe they weren’t so bad? Maybe Ross was an awful boyfriend and Joey and Rachel should have got together? Yeah, it sounds like a bad argument but it kind of made sense by the end of the thread.

Anyway, that was a whole three weeks ago and things move fast.

Yesterday, Buzzfeed published an article that has enraged and intrigued millions of people

halpert Source: Buzzfeed

And boy has it opened up a fault line among fans of The US Office

6361597972289366971220904497_tumblr_mkxjvjXft71s5drvyo3_1280 "Oh god, my legacy as a noted TV sounder is on the line here" Source: NBC

The central thesis, as laid out by Hilary Mitchell, contends that even though Jim Halpert is a famously lovable character, if you break it down he’s “actually a dick”.

Why? To summarise:

  • He treated Karen awfully throughout their relationship, lying at key moments
  • He didn’t show up to Pam’s art show. *That* art show
  • He sabotaged Pam’s plan to get out of something with a fake phone call, but often saves himself with lies in the same situations
  • He bought a house without telling Pam, and took a new job without telling her. He then planned to move away… and didn’t tell her
  • He invested $10,000 in his new company… without telling her. Jesus, there’s a pattern here
  • Jim refuses to dress up for Halloween, or basically participate in anything

And many more besides.

It eventually argues that Pam should have actually ended up with Brian the boom mic operator.

Now, some of the points range from small things to massive life decisions… and Jim doesn’t come across well in any of them to be fair.

It’s obviously trying to make the point that Jim isn’t the romantic hero he’s known as… so naturally it doesn’t include any of the sound things he’s said and done over the years

jimandpam Source: imabeast78 Tumblr

Which is why the piece is so deliciously divisive – meaning it’s been everywhere over the past 24 hours

6716d4d3cd3133167fe418f13850c17b Source: Pinterest

Straight away, the backlash was strong

disrespect Source: @trevisahn_

People have an emotional response when you question their favourite character

Simple Office meme responses were going viral

kellykapoot Source: Twitter

But, looking at it objectively, a hefty chunk of people were swayed. They were big fans of Jim, but no more

Twitter made the controversy a moment on its homepage and it took it to another level

It would be remiss not to point out that The US Office is supposed to be full of complex characters and relationships (especially in the first five or six seasons) so it’s only right that people make mistakes and aren’t perfect all the time. It just falls to whether you think Jim’s dodgy actions outlined above outweigh his general soundness.

But it should also be noted that it’s JIM HALPERT. And PAM. These aren’t your run of the mill characters that you can easily bash around.

It’s going to divide families, friends and loved ones around the world

haw Source: @janieminnella

So it naturally leads to the question… do you buy into the theory?

Poll Results:

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About the author:

David Elkin

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