Second Character Saturday: Jim Halpert 2.2.13

Who: Jim Halpert/ Tim Canterbury


From: The OFFICE (US/UK)

Played by:  John Krasinski / Martin Freeman

Created by: The US version of the Office was adapted from the UK series for an American audience by Greg Daniels  / The British version of the Office was  created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

Date first appeared: 2005 / 2001

Jim attends an office Halloween party as s"Three whole Jim"

Jim attends an office Halloween party as “Three Whole Punch Jim” [Image courtesy: NBC]

Why: Is there a more “everyman” currently on television than Jim Halpert? His dogged humility, humor, kindness, and all around good guy-ness has appealed to audiences since the Office appeared on NBC’s schedule in 2005. Actually the character originated on the BBC as part of the Gervais/Merchant original Office in 2001.

Martin Freeman in the BBC's The Office (Image courtesy the BBC)

Martin Freeman in the BBC’s The Office (Image courtesy the BBC)

Martin Freeman (yes, today’s Bilbo and Dr. Watson) played put upon Tim Canterbury to Gervais’ David Brent.  Jim/Tim play the straight man to Michael/David and annoying co-worker Dwight / Gareth. There is also a certain Cinderella thread running in Jim/Tim’s story with Pam/Dawn the receptionist.

Pros: Friendly, creative, funny, inclusive.

Cons: Unmotivated, somewhat insecure, indecisive, competitive with Dwight/Gareth

Shining moment: My favorite Jim moment is when Michael and Dwight are away and he and Pam cook up the Office Olympics.

It helps that both John Krasinski and Martin Freeman are such good comic actors. Both men can evoke a lot of emotions without saying a word (something Krasinki had to do when he lost a jinx to Pam and couldn’t talk for most of an episode.)

Here’s a sampling of Freeman’s emotional facial expressions:

tim Canterbury faces

In general the BBC version of the show runs a little more on the blue  than it’s American off shoot. Garreth is more insufferable, the boss, David, is more slimy. That makes Tim’s road even more pathetic than Jim’s.

But Jim Halpert has had several more seasons to develop. The American version of the Office is still on the air and Jim is continuing to grow as a character. Here’s a youtube video featuring Krasinski’s Jim faces:

I think Jim or Tim would be an asset to any office.

So have you seen the BBC version? Who is your favorite? AND do you think Jim Harper (from HBO’s Newsroom) is the next generation Jim Halpert?   Discuss.

John Gallagher Jr. plays good guy Jim Harper on HBO's Newsroom. [Image courtesy HBO]

John Gallagher Jr. plays good guy Jim Harper on HBO’s Newsroom. [Image courtesy HBO]


About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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