Being Pam Beesly: Part 1 – the Problem with Pammy (and don’t call her “Pammy”)
“Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.”
It’s funny how the most innocuous things can make you feel so much. Nostalgia. Longing. Warmth. Slight annoyance. Complete disdain.
When we first met Pam, we instantly loved her. And it wasn’t the kind of love TV producers usually try to elicit from us either…and by “elicit”, I mean going through the usual routes, AKA our pants: (the sexy vixen, the sexy tough girl, the sexy lawyer, the sexy nerd – seeing the pattern here?)
No, this was REAL love. The kind that makes you nervous, the kind that makes you think about forever, not just tonight…What you can give, not what you can get away with. The show’s producers once described her character as “a flower blooming in a closet” – that is to say, something beautiful and undiscovered. And I think that was pretty accurate.
With her frizzy hair, dowdy clothes and understated demeanor, Pam quietly became America’s unlikely sweetheart – she was that nerdy girl you were friends with but never saw in “that way” until she started going out with someone else and suddenly became the only thing you could think about.
Maybe we loved her because she reminded us of someone we knew or perhaps because she reminded us of ourselves. After all, isn’t that the fantasy? That there’s something special inside us that, while invisible to the world, is a shining beacon to that special someone we were meant to be with? (Agree or disagree, Disney has built an empire of tween dollars based on that very conceit, so there’s got to be something to it.)
Or maybe Jim just loved her so much that we couldn’t help but see her through his eyes as they gazed lovingly down at her from the moorings of his gigantic head as it loomed over her from 4,000 feet in the air.
However it happened, and for whatever reason, stealthily and effortlessly, Pam Beesly became the girl men wanted and women wanted to be.
So when did she become such a B?!?
On tonight’s episode “Double Date”, Pam said the most self-aware thing I’ve heard her utter – EVER. “I have the worst attitude in the office.”
YES. YES SHE DOES. And this includes Stanley “Did I stutter?” Hudson. Over the last season and a half, even Blindman McSqueezy could see she’s become disruptive, selfish and self-absorbed, which considering how selfless and sweet she was when we met her, is pretty offensive. Plus, she’s not funny…so…double offensive.
In short, her heart disappears to be working. We don’t know who Schruted it down in the writers room, but we want our girl back soon or…we might have to start seeing other people. (Is Karen still in Pawnee? I wonder how she’s lookin these days?)
In the next entry, I’ll break down some of the ways we think Pam has lost her charm, the reasons she got off-track and what we think needs to happen to summon back Cupid’s sparrow and rekindle our dying love affair with Miss Pamela Morgan Beesly-Halpert.
Until then, drink with me to days gone by. Here’s Sweet Diss and the Comebacks with “Pam Pong” with heartwrenching visuals by seat18b Productions. Play me off, boys…!