Summer Viewing Club: “The Convention”

Since we won’t have a new episode of The Office for another, oh, 4 months or so, I thought it would be fun to have a “viewing club.” Basically, based on what episode is repeating on NBC each week, I recommend another 2 or 3 episodes with the same “theme” and post some discussion questions.

Jim and MichaelThis week’s rerun: The Convention
The theme: Jim and Michael’s odd friendship
Despite his apparent disdain for his boss, Jim has forged a bit of a friendship with Michael, and surprisingly has confided in him on more than one occasion.

The Viewing List:
Booze Cruise (2.11): Though Jim spends the majority of the episode goofing on Michael, he receives surprising advice from his boss after Pam and Roy set a wedding date.
The Secret (2.13): Michael is on the verge of spilling the beans about Jim’s feelings for Pam, so Jim attempts to distract Michael by going to lunch with him, which Michael misinterprets as a sign he and Jim are great friends.
The Convention (3.02): Jim and Michael see each other for the first time since Jim transfered, and Jim tells Michael the real reason he left Scranton.
A Benihana Christmas, Part 2 (3.11): Jim and Michael have a heart to heart after Michael gets dumped and has a rebound (or at least attempts to).
extra credit, Email Surveillance (2.09): Though Michael “crashes” Jim’s barbecue, the episode ends with an early glimpse of this odd friendship Jim and Michael have.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?

2. It’s been said Jim and Michael’s personal lives often parallel each other. Do you agree? If so, then in what way?

3. If Michael wrote a letter of recommendation for Jim, what would it say?

4. For some reason, Jim is setting up a blind date for Michael, what does Jim say to convince a woman to go out with Michael?

You can just think about these questions as you watch the episodes, or type up some answers and post. I’ll be posting some of my own answers later.

Also, feel free to post suggestions for what the theme of next week’s viewing club should be. Next week will be a rerun of “The Coup.”

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8 thoughts on “Summer Viewing Club: “The Convention”

  1. 1. I think Michael is just always there at Jim’s most vulnerable, and Michaels does have his sane moments no matter how rare 🙂

    2. I guess they do to a certain extent, when they both had woman troubles and they shared that look when Jim was at his desk and Michael i his Office in season two (if any one knows what that episode is could you please tell me, I would be really grateful :D)

    3. this is one cool dude

    4. He has a cool car…

    I’m sorry they were all so crap 🙂

  2. 1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?

    I think it has to do with Michael’s personality. You can say a lot of things about Michael, and one of them is that I really think that he cares about the office and the people who work there. For some people it really is just a job, but that office is Michael’s life and that kind of dedication, even if he is sort of a bubbleheaded man who wants to be thought to be cool, he’s open, friendly (but not to Toby), and yes, sometimes a good listener.

    Although I have to say that lunch at Hooter’s was a very desperate attempt to get Michael to shut up. XD

    2. It’s been said Jim and Michael’s personal lives often parallel each other. Do you agree? If so, then in what way?

    I can see it, although I haven’t done a lot of thinking about it. I can see Jim sort of being stuck professionally, as Michael seems to be although not out of incompetence or any of the other thoughts that plague Michael. Personally I think Jim’s job isn’t particularly engaging to him which allows him to do things like play the pranks. It’s like kids who make trouble in class because they aren’t being challenged enough. But I digress. >_>

    (Have to go for now, might be back later to answer the other two. :x)

  3. 1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?
    – I think that (like one of the other people mentioned) it’s because Michael happens to be around Jim at his most vulnerable moments. To add to that though, a lot of the times that Jim confesses his feelings (usually about Pam) to Michael, he’s put into a situation where he either makes up a crazy lie to cover or tell the truth. Like in “The Convention” he confesses that he left because of Pam because Michael thought that Jim left because of HIM. Jim wanted to reassure Michael that he did not leave Scranton because of the boss (basically). And I think that ultimately Michael is a good listener. Despite all of his really insensitive, downright…inhuman…moments, he IS a good listener and he really cares about the people that work for him — even if that isn’t always evident.

    2. It’s been said Jim and Michael’s personal lives often parallel each other. Do you agree? If so, then in what way?
    – They’re both naturally charismatic? Haha. I don’t know if I’d agree with that. So I’m going to skip over this one…

    3. If Michael wrote a letter of recommendation for Jim, what would it say?
    – Typical Michael babbling. 🙂 Haha, I’m not really sure. I wonder how Michael writes letters of recommendation. Is he professional about it? Or does he joke around with them? I think that Michael would give Jim a good letter of recommendation — in Michael’s words. So it might be a little awkward for an outside party to read, but in Michael’s heart, he’d believe that he was saying wonderful things about Jim. 🙂

    4. For some reason, Jim is setting up a blind date for Michael, what does Jim say to convince a woman to go out with Michael?
    – He’ll take you on a free vacation to whatever location in the world you want to go. Carol was one crazy lady to pass up that free trip to Jamaica. Jan made the right move on that one. 😉 Haha!

  4. This is a cool idea! n__n

    I was watching some season 2 episodes a few days ago, and “The Client” was one of them. At the end when Michaels gets off the phone with Jan, and Jim inadvertently upsets Pam about their ‘date’ the previous night, they give each other a look that says, “Pfft…women!” (CAITLIN, this is the episode you’re referring to.) There’s an unspoken connection they have when it comes to their misadventures in love.

    1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?

    You know how it’s often easier to talk to a little kid about something than it is to talk to another adult because you feel like they won’t judge you or look down on you? I think Michael has somewhat of a childlike innocence (notwithstanding his occasional sexist comments), and that makes it easy for Jim to confide in him.

    2. It’s been said Jim and Michael’s personal lives often parallel each other. Do you agree? If so, then in what way?

    Professionally, they’re both really good salesmen and have risen through the Dunder Mifflin ranks rather quickly. But as far as their personal lives are concerned, I think they’re different in the sense that Jim tends to conceal his feelings whereas Michael puts it all out there for everyone to see.

    3. If Michael wrote a letter of recommendation for Jim, what would it say?

    “Jim Halpert is not only my best friend, he’s also my protégé. I taught him everything he knows. We’re best buds. He confides in me. Like the time when he told me he has a crush on our receptionist who was engaged at the time.” I feel like a letter about Jim would end up being a letter about Michael. Heh.

    4. For some reason, Jim is setting up a blind date for Michael, what does Jim say to convince a woman to go out with Michael?

    “He has a big heart.” ^__^

  5. Thanks for posting, everyone, such great answers! I’ll probably post my own at the end of the weekend (though I might piggyback on a few of the answers given).

  6. Okay, here are my answers:
    1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?
    Some of the reason have been mentioned: Michael does really care about his employees, he can be a good listener, and he also has just happened to be around.
    I also think it’s because Michael never judged Jim for having feelings for an engaged woman. On the booze cruise, Jim had a defeated tone to his voice, like he was saying, “I know it’s pathetic and hopeless to feel like this about someone whose engaged.” I don’t know if Jim had ever talked to his friends or family about Pam, but it was clear Michael was the first person to ever tell Jim to “go for it,”

    2. It’s been said Jim and Michael’s personal lives often parallel each other. Do you agree? If so, then in what way?
    I do think there have been a lot of parallels in Jim and Michael’s love-lives. It started with “The Client” where both men thought they had great “dates,” but in the end both woman wanted to deny anything had happened. There’s not much else in season 2, except maybe both Jim and Michael took “big gambles” with their love-lives on Casino Night (but with pretty different results).
    The parallels returned in the second half of Season 3. In “Back From Vacation” Michael has just jumped into a relationship with Jan despite recently breaking up with Carol, and Jim decides to forge ahead with Karen despite knowing she’s a bit of a “rebound”. Both women have the appearance of smart, pretty, successful businesswomen, and neither Jim nor Michael seem overly happy with their relationships. Then of course Jan gets on a one-way train to SelfDestructionville (or maybe Patheticville 😉 ), and we won’t know the fate of Karen for another 4 months or so.

    3. If Michael wrote a letter of recommendation for Jim, what would it say?
    I’m going to go with Kat (#5) it would say nothing but nice things about Jim, but probably spin off into why he, Michael Gary Scott, is responsible for the great man Jim is.

    4. For some reason, Jim is setting up a blind date for Michael, what does Jim say to convince a woman to go out with Michael?
    “He’s . . . spontaneous, affectionate, good listener. And has a full head of hair.”

  7. Hey! I’m late but catching up. And hoping to go through all of these, because they’re brilliant, and exactly what I need to soothe me for this aching Office-less summer.

    1. Why exactly does Jim confide in Michael time and time again?
    I agree with Auna about Jim needing to cover something up, and, often, confiding something is how he does so. To me, Jim is just a really nice guy who feels bad for Michael sometimes because he’s kind of a lonely, isolated man… So Jim shares personal information with him to make him feel like they are closer friends than they are, and as if somebody truly trusts him.
    Also, Kat – good point about Michael’s innocence, he would be very easy to talk to because of it.
    & I really like what you said, Lauren, about Michael being the first one to encourage Jim to go for Pam despite her attached status. I love the look on his face there, like “who would have guessed Michael of all people would be a friend on this one?”

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