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 / 2001Why: 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 (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:
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.
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