Space Ramblings

The Office, Female Characters and Women’s journeys

film critic david denby wrote that the new romantic comedy standby is basically loveable loser men and smart competent women, it used to be the reverse, the man was more cold and the woman was less responsible most of the romances on the office though fall into that category

Angela and Dwight

Jan and Michael

He’s about thirty, though he may be younger, and he spends a lot of time with friends who are like him, only more so—sweet-natured young men of foul mouth, odd hair,
he watches football, basketball, or baseball on television, or spends time memorializing his youth—archiving old movies, games, and jokes. Like his ancestors in the sixties, he’s anti-corporate, but he’s not bohemian. He’s more like a sullen back-of-the-classroom guy, who breaks into brilliant tirades only when he feels like it. Whatever he does, he hardly breaks a sweat, and sometimes he does nothing at all.

..sound familiar? well it fits jim too really but it’s a general stereotype

But if he does have a girlfriend she works hard. Usually, she’s the same age as he is but seems older, as if the disparity between boys and girls in ninth grade had been recapitulated fifteen years later. She dresses in Donna Karan or Ralph Lauren or the like; she’s a corporate executive, or a lawyer, or works in TV, public relations, or an art gallery. She’s good-tempered, honest, great-looking, and serious. She wants to “get to the next stage of life”—settle down, marry, maybe have children. Apart from getting on with it, however, she doesn’t have an idea in her head, and she’s not the one who makes the jokes.

now they haven’t reduced pam to this on the other hand jan was so there, until they destroyed her to boot

There they are, the young man and young woman of the dominant romantic-comedy trend of the past several years—the slovenly hipster and the female straight arrow. It’s hard to think of earlier heroes who were absolutely free of the desire to make an impression on the world and still got the girl. And the women in the old romantic comedies were daffy or tough or high-spirited or even spiritual in some way, but they were never blank.

and to their credit pam isn’t blank which is why this is interesting and season 3 is justified mainly because it forced pam to emerge as a person

now this is how he describes the original way that men and women were paired in romantic comedies in classic movies

The man is serious about his work (and no one says he shouldn’t be), but he’s confused about women, and his confusion has neutered him. He thinks he wants a conventional marriage with a compliant wife, but what he really wants is to be overwhelmed by the female life force.

…now this today is sorta clark kent on smallville but not seen much elsewhere and smallville itself dates back to the superman stories of the 20’s and 30’s and 40’s so it’s classic in the end, when they made clark into a suave guy in Lois and Clark it didn’t work

The slacker has certain charms. He doesn’t want to compete in business, he refuses to cultivate macho attitudes, and, for some women, he may be attractive. He’s still a boy—he’s gentler than other men.

All the movies in this genre have been written and directed by men, and it’s as if the filmmakers were saying, “Yes, young men are children now, and women bring home the bacon, but men bring home the soul.”

The perilous new direction of the slacker-striver genre reduces the role of women to vehicles. Their only real function is to make the men grow up.

Pam herself is engaging on her own terms and episodes like today’s show that and it’s why they do it she also has a journey and she’s also her own person, she’s not just there as a vehicle for jim she’s not just there to make him grow up, so it works where a lot of tv romances don’t

tv romances try to sometimes give the girl a journey but it usually consists of her being attacked or hurt and then making her get tough which is a male perspective and ass backward. a journey is about finding out who you are and growing up and male controlled shows rarely let women have that journey

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