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October 13, 2015

Why did Pam get so angry with Michael?

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 3rd 2006 3:04PM
The Office: DiwaliAt the end of last night's episode of The Office, we saw Michael make a very clumsy advance towards Pam right after his very clumsy public proposal to his "girlfriend," Carol. Ah, Michael... not only does he not know how to conduct a real-life adult relationship, he always complicates things when he misinterprets someone offering a shred of compassion towards him.

But you'd think Pam would have known that, having worked for Michael for so many years. His heart just got broken through his own doing, and she knows he can't handle that kind of thing. It was admirable that she tried to comiserate with him, but she shouldn't have been surprised that Mike might take that the wrong way.

So why did she get so pissed at him? Knowing what she knows, you'd think that she'd just back away and say something like, "Uh, Michael, I know you don't mean that." I mean, she did give him a ride home. But she made him sit in the back and not talk. Hm... maybe Michael got what he deserved after all.

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She had to shut him down hard, so he would not misunderstand her response.

November 04 2006 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Moncur

Many females I know, including my wife, would have decked Michael in that situation, so it seems like Pam showed lots of restraint to me. I would have been bothered if she was more polite about it. She deserves to stand up to him once in a while.

Actually "I'm rejecting your kiss" is one of my all-time favorite lines of the show. In one sentence she brought all of the awkwardness of the moment right into the open, diffusing it in the process. It's the sort of thing you'd never see on most shows.

November 04 2006 at 4:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i would have gotten more angry than she did. she basically got sexually harrassed, and then there's the extra ickyness of a guy, who just proposed to another girl, trying to kiss her. what the hell?

November 03 2006 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I coldhearted? I thought that line was hilarous. She turned and asked "what are you doing?" "I'm rejecting your kiss." If we're analyzing the line, I don't think it's at all over the top. The way Jenna Fischer said it was what made me laugh. Plus, think of the situation they're in. Michael just proposed to another woman and Pam is getting over a long-term relationship. Last, but not least, this is Michael.

November 03 2006 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Ryan

Simple -- Michael, like David Brent of the UK version, mistakes human decency for friendships. Pam's constant outreach to Michael obviously has different meanings to Michael because of it. She still gives him a ride because she feels sorry for him, not because she's a dick.

November 03 2006 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know, this CLEARLY demonstrates one difference between the British and American versions: No matter what happened, there was an undercurrent of love and friendship on the British show. It wasn't mean and cruel.

Last night, Pam was mean and cruel to Michael. Yes, he deserved it, but I'm saying: maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe Americans just don't appreciate a more subtle approach to the comedy of agony, but there is an undercurrent of genuine animosity in the American version.

By no means to I intend to imply it;s not funny, because it is. I'm just pointing out something I noticed after last night's episode.

November 03 2006 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes mamaloo and diego...I agree 100%. Pam definitely had every right to be repulsed and angered by his actions, and I thought her reaction was pretty realistic, if maybe not strong enough. And despite that, she offered to take him home because she's a "nice girl"; but making him sit in the back seat sent a clear message that he was not to read ANYTHING into her goodwill gesture, and I loved that she was able to keep the assertiveness going even in the car, when she threatened to stop the car and leave him on the side of the road if he said another word. Pam has made it clear to me that, although she puts up with a lot of inappropriate behavior at work, outside the office she's much less passive.

November 03 2006 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

-- Michael trying to kiss Pam was wrong on so many levels.

Pull your head out of your ass, Keller. --

I don't think Keller was denying it was wrong, just that knowing what we know of Pam's character, it was jarring to see her act that way. At least that's my take on it.

November 03 2006 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Diego (#6), Pam's head was probably a little messed up because she was waiting for Jim's response. To add to the anxiety, she had just put herself on the line by making a (sort of) move towards Jim (after being rather non-responsive to his previous advances). It seems obvious that she would be on edge (as evidenced by her glance towards the phone).

Therefore, the last thing she probably wanted to happen was for Michael, who she often finds despicable, to make an ill-timed move towards her. Once he tried it, she lost it on him.

As a side note, this scene reminds me of the original BBC Office Series. Watching Michael making his more was incredibly uncomfortable. It's nice to see the American version take a few risks with the viewers.

November 03 2006 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that, in part, Pam is learning how to assert herself better after having had the guts to end it with her fiance after being belittled by him for so long.

In addition, she's not in work, so while she couldn't deck the guy, she's not about to pretend something didn't happen like she might during work hours.

Finally, as a women, having Michael assume she was interested in him after watching him propose unsuccessfully to his girlfriend - well, I would have been VERY angry to be treated like that. And, by a boss?!

I don't think Pam reacted strongly enough!

November 03 2006 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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