Reviews For Never Give Up
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Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 26, 2020 03:54 pm Title: The Target

I think the salesman-client thing seems at least plausible for the show's universe. And the Dwight material is hilarious. (I also couldn't help but thinking reading this how *dramatic* Angela's life is if you take a step back and look at it. Husband in an adulterous homosexual affair with a co-worker and friend, child by another man, two separate duels fought for her affection, a long-running family feud - the long-form Angela fic would be worth reading.)

The parallel to Office Olympics is neat, I think, and it fits well with what I think the show was trying to do with making Pete the new Jim. (I also love the callback to Stanley's lighthouse dream!)

Author's Response:

The best part about Angela's storyline?  It's ALL canon.  Didn't change a darn thing.  It's great.  And writing Dwight is always a treat.

But yeah, I've been looking stuff up to make this story as staunch in realism as possible, but I also have to consider that this is a sitcom I realize I just have to make it sense within the show's universe, not necessarily in legitimate reality.  And I HAD to bring back Stanley's lighthouse.  One of his best moments.

I'm really gonna work with Pete more, since he never really had an identity besides the 'New Jim' label (and abs), but at this instance they're similar in that they're making the most out of their boring job.  Pete and Jim really don't interact much, not like Pam and Erin do (and will).  But yeah, the OO and the Tower just felt too similar not to point out.

Thanks for the review, as always!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: September 26, 2020 12:27 pm Title: The Target

The episode recaps are still going good. Interesting to see Jim's thought process here. It feels like he has just as much stress here as he did in canon going back and forth to Philly. I liked his conversation with Phyillis and Stanley.

Likewise the interactions with Angela, Oscar, and Dwight were written well.

Nice job.

Author's Response:

Many thanks! 

Like I said, I really like the Senator arc because it brings out Angela's humanity and really develops the relationship with the accountants; plus Dwight is probably the best he's ever been in S9.  I love recapping all of this and really diving into what they're experiencing at the moment.

As for Jim, that same sense of stress is what I want to keep at here; he still feels like he's had to choose one over the other, like in-canon.  And as for Phyllis and Stanley noticing, not only do they not care about their jobs as much as Jim, but also it's proof that Pam is not the only one that notices something is wrong with him.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 22, 2020 08:00 pm Title: Work Bus

In addition to being funny and including some sweet Jam moments, this has motivated me to rewatch this episode.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliment!  I enjoyed the episode myself.  I just wished things had gone differently, but this whole fic is built on wish fulfillment anyway.  It's an excellent Dwight episode too, which is why his dialogue is relatively unchanged in the chapter; the conversation that he and Jim have about pregnancy is one of Season 9's best moments.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: September 19, 2020 10:42 pm Title: The Boat

Yeah I agree with you there about a plot summary kind of chapter. Though the issues with Andy's family and the boat I think were the best written section this time around. Especially when we get into Erin's mindset. She's trying, but more and more she's seeing that Andy really isn't there for her. He's to caught up in his own world. Which is really a shame because Erin is so sweet. And there's of course Pete waiting in the wings. Good for him to take things easy.

Always fun to see a prank on Dwight. Especially with Pam being so perceptive of Jim. Looking forward as always to seeing where we go with this.

Author's Response:

Exactly!  I love Andy as a character, flaws and all, but he does a lot of actions without thinking them through or understanding the ramifications (as he will later on), especially when it comes to Erin.  She knows him, she loves him, but she's not getting what she really needs from a relationship.  And Pete is a better match for her I feel (sorry like 80% of the fandom), but in the AU I wanted to develop his character a bit more and show why he's not straight up Mr-Steal-Yo-Girl like he seemed to be in canon.

And yes, Nellie being in on it was fun.  Again, that's the absolute highlight of the episode because it felt like S2 when Jim and Pam just troll on Dwight and he is none the wiser.  And since there's no real big pranks towards Dwight by Jim (besides the penultimate episode), I figured he'd be done with them for the time being.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 18, 2020 11:08 pm Title: Here Comes Treble

This is reminding me both how much canonical Season 9 bugged me *and* how little of it I retained... the JAM story is familiar, but yee cats is there a lot of other material that I feel like I'm reading for the first time. I'm glad you're doing it.

Author's Response:

Thank you!

And that's the thing: there's a lot about season 9 I DO like.  Asian Jim and the Dunder Code are two of my favorite cold opens.  Dwight's storyline felt like an amazing conclusion to his character (so a lot of it will show up here).  And the finale is near flawless.  But amidst the JAM conflict, the extra characters that had no real depth, and Andy's character degradation, it was a trying watch, especially for a farewell season.

My only thing is trying to make sure the AU and the canon moments are interwoven better.  I'm not confident in prose so trying to accomplish that has been difficult.  But after working with "Lice" (which is very canon divergent), I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: September 12, 2020 12:10 pm Title: Here Comes Treble

Yeah, all sorts of stuff going on at DM. Interesting to see Erin's thought processes. She is starting to realize that maybe her relationship isn't the best. Though she's also loyal and trying to work on it.

Nice to see some more moves to a resolution with Jim and Pam. I like that they're communicating better. Not quite the best yet, but still better than what we might have seen in canon. Nice job.

Author's Response:

Many thanks!

Erin's disillusionment is what I wanted to focus on primarily with her character because she's one who cares and will always care about Andy (despite absolutely everything they've done/will do to each other), as she cares about everyone else in the office.  That's why she's sticking her neck out, because she wants to see everyone, especially him, happy.  They're like her family, after all.

I wanted JAM to communicate better, certainly; even though he's not saying what he wants and even needs to say, he's listening, and she is as well.  I'd like to think Pam made it clear that it was "under $10,000", not "$10,000 or less".  And at the very least he's thankful that she's even gung-ho about helping out the company to begin with.  And that's what stopped him from going all in.

Thanks for the review, as always!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: September 06, 2020 09:18 am Title: Work Bus

A lot of similar beats to canon, while still keeping up with the feel of the AU. I liked that it was Pam who planted the popcorn. Nice to see here that they're both in sync about pulling those kinds of pranks.

You really did a good job leaning into the jerk that Andy was turning into in this season. For no real reason it seemed other than power was getting to his head. I really liked how you had Erin and Nellie bonding about everything.

Author's Response:

One of JAM's strongest aspects as a couple is their camaraderie.  I wanted to present them working as a team despite their communication issues, and it's when they don't communicate *or* work together that problems begin to surface.  And yeah, they love pranking Dwight, but they still want to give him a little leeway.

That's just it about Andy's transition: it felt incredibly out of left field.  The writers made it clear that it was familial issues, sure, but it was barely even mentioned when he came back.  There's a better way to write the "fall to rise" plot he deserves without public humiliation and a time jump.

Erin standing up for Nellie was really fun to write; Andy knows how Erin feels about the foster care system already, so the fact that he wouldn't give Nellie the chance despite his beef with her, it will not only sting, it'll set her off.  And I felt it necessary to end the feud there, because what Andy did was *big* for Nellie and I can see both parties become closer after that.

Thanks for the review, as always!

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 02, 2020 03:38 am Title: Andy's Ancestry

Welcome to MTT! I’ve been slow to jump onboard with this fic - mostly because I’m a little scared of anything set in Season 9. I have such a love/hate dynamic with Season 9... I love that it’s so very real and that’s what a marriage is sometimes, but also all the angst drains my soul...

Your writing is really lovely. I think you’re doing characters like Nellie, Erin and Pete a lot of justice with this story.
There’s a nice blend of humor sprinkled throughout too. “ Andy proceeds to make it weird.” This line made me chuckle.
I’m interested to see how you really diverge things from canon.

Author's Response:

Glad you're enjoying it so far! 

Trust me, with the canon S9, I get it.  There's some plots and a lot of jokes I felt like they did really well, but wow is it a tough watch.  I myself love the Halpert conflict *in concept*, because I like that they're not painted as this amazing fantasy love story, it's a real relationship.  However, like I've mentioned, their lack of communication is what annoys me.  It felt like such a regression from how they were the previous 5 seasons; just because they have trouble communicating doesn't mean they wouldn't make an attempt.  And yeah, there will be conflict in this, but nothing that's unresolved.

I actually really like writing those three in particular a lot.  Erin is one of my favorites and I like both Nellie and Pete, I just didn't think the show knew what to do with them.  I want to do more with Clark, but there aren't a lot of plots dedicated to him yet, though I know that'll change with "The Whale".  The biggest canon divergence will begin in "Lice".

And I'm really glad you like my writing style!  I'm very not used to prose so this proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Thanks for the welcome, and the review! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: September 01, 2020 07:20 pm Title: Andy's Ancestry

Nice to see the mindsets of the everyone. I liked Erin here. With her realization that the relationship with Andy isn't really all it's cracked up to be. I liked Pete still there waiting in the wings.

Nice job on the Pam and Nellie friendship. Same goes for the Jim and Darryl conversations.

Really liked that Jim and Pam have the open discussion about everything. The big problem they faced in the start of their relationship and the problems they faced again in S9 is they wouldn't communicate clearly. Nice to see that changed around a bit here.

Author's Response:

Writing Erin has become one of my favorite parts of this fic.  I can tell in S9 she became a more independent thinker, and I loved that aspect, I just didn't like Pete to be such a vital part of that development.  He's there for her, and she does like him, but there are conclusions that she needs to make herself before she's ready for a relationship with him.  And he understands that.

There'll be more Pam and Nellie friendship, trust me.  I love writing Nellie as Pam's friend, gives her both more stuff to do and makes her truly feel a part of the office.  And, to be honest, Darryl needed Athlead more than Jim ever did, so I wanted Jim to make that same offer since he has such a strong connection to the company even when he's not working there.

And that's why I wrote that open discussion: communication.  It's not the strongest pillar of the relationship - not by a long shot - but S9 felt like S1-3 where they didn't even bother to talk about what they really want and leave it up to blind faith.  They will have communication problems in this story as well, but I want to accomplish a balance between getting over their own insecurities and talking them out.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 27, 2020 09:51 pm Title: Roy's Wedding

Better job this time around with this chapter. Seemed to flow better. I liked that Pete is looking out for Erin. Andy is being Andy so that's fun to read.

Where this chapter really shines though is the JAM parts. Both Jim and Pam have some good introspective type moments. I like how you had us get into their mindset as they watch everything at Roy's wedding. There's still a hint of the conflict that was in canon S9 so nice job still bringing that in.

Even though it might be a while before we get an update, I'm still looking forward to seeing what happens.

Author's Response:

Much appreciated!  It took a while but I think I'm finally getting my own "voice" for this adaptation of events in order.

Erin is a character that I love with so much potential and felt she wasn't given the effort she deserves by the show.  I had a lot of fun with her and the new guys, I'm wanting them to form their own dynamic of sorts.  Also, writing Andy was less difficult than I was fearing.  Hopefully I'll do him better justice than S9 did...

The JAM comment is appreciated, since that is what this is in its core (although I love working with all of these characters).  A person like Roy Anderson with a wedding like that... there won't not be a conflict, even without Athlead in the picture; I wanted them to still stand by each other and love each other, but it's a sign for the difficult times to come.  But they'll make it, of course, and the challenges themselves won't be as severe or strenuous.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: DoomGoose Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 24, 2020 09:03 pm Title: New Guys

"Oh, the difference six months will make." Well now that's just ominous. I can't tell if that's foreshadowing or retrospective, but some of the tags you tacked on this story have me leaning towards the former.

Overall I feel like it's pretty canon compliant right now, although the flashback Jim has the convinces him not to go all in was a nice touch, it really showed how conflicted he was with the decision. I'm glad Jim didn't go for it without talking to Pam again.

I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this, hopefully nothing too scary or scarring, in all aboard for fluff so we'll see if I need to jump off the ride at some point in the future.

Again though, you set the tone really well and maintain a cohesive narrative even with all of the perspective changes, well done!

Author's Response:

Yeah, Pam was quite the risk-taker and far more assertive during Seasons 3-5, and a little during 6 ("Your mom came onto me." *SMACK!*), but it goes to show how quickly her perspective has changed after S6.  I've noticed this with her hair too; most of the time during 7-9 it's in a similar style as S1-3, before Fancy New Beesly.  I want to explore that and see if she eventually makes more difficult decisions

And, yeah, Jim taking that call... it annoyed me, even though I completely understand the motivation.  Both him and Pam made mistakes during that period, but it seemed like he didn't even consider what dropping everything and going for a new job did last time, bolstered by the fact he has so much more to lose.

And, knowing your writing, I understand your concern.  Don't worry, the Halperts will be more happy and fulfilled this time around.  There will be hurdles,  *big* ones, but at the very least they'll better communicate, despite their insecurities.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: DoomGoose Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 24, 2020 08:45 pm Title: Miami

I'm excited to see where you go with this. Season 9 is something thatedt a sour taste with me too, do a fixit is just what the doctor ordered! Overall this chapter covered a lot of ground and I think you did well. You covered a lot of different perspectives, which was pretty ambitious, but none of the transitions stood out from the others, so well done there.

Author's Response:

Much appreciated!  Yeah, I wanted to get a feel for how the story should go. A lot of it is canon (especially Dwight's story, he got the most from that season), but that one diverging decision (which you've already read by this point) will reshape how the series will work. It is ambitious, but it helps me get into the characters' heads.  I wanted to represent them well.

Apologies for the late reply, btw.  Life and quarantine, you know.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: August 22, 2020 12:54 am Title: New Guys

Like you said it was a decent summary of the episode. So in that regard, not bad. There were some things that threw me off though. Switching from present to past tense got a little confusing. Usually it's best to stay with one as much as possible. Helps keep things more consistent.

Likewise switching to script format for their talking heads is another thing that pulled me out of the story. It's still possible to give the talking head lines, but just using regular quotations. So that's the critical part of the review.

I did like how you got more into Pete and Clark's mindsets. Nice to see what their motivations are for everything. I also really liked the thoughts running through Jim's mind as he almost calls Mark. That felt very real. I'm really looking forward to seeing where we go from here. How will the dynamic change with Jim not running off to Philly? Should be really interesting to see where this goes.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the response as always!

Tense has always been a difficult thing for me to keep consistent.  And the "talking head" thing is something I thought would work, but I need to go back to the drawing board with that.

Like I said, this is my least favorite passage and it will definitely be getting a rewrite and repost.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 21, 2020 04:44 am Title: Miami

Thus far, not bad. It was nice to see some of those opening scenes from Season 9 fleshed out. You've got a great feel for everyone's though processes.

A critiquie I found was the Erin/Nellie section. We started out with Erin's POV then the quick shift to Nellie within the same section there. At first I was a little confused, but then saw what you were doing after a quick re-read. So not bad, but could have maybe been a bit clearer.

The Jim and Pam section was great though. Nice to get some backstory about everything. Jim sparring with Ryan over the table was a fun nod to their rivalry. Likewise the continuation of the Finer Things Club was a fun moment as well.

I loved the part with Pam's thought process. Mama Beesly needs to become a thing. It might have flowed a little better a little later in the section though. We start off with Jim's thoughts. Quick detour to Pam's mind, then right back to Jim. If that section with Mama Beesly had been moved to where Pam is putting away the Finer Things Club stuff as Jim walks in I think it would have flowed better since that's the first time Pam makes an appearence in this story so to me it makes sense that that's when we'd hear her thoughts.

That's not to say I didn't like this. I did. You've got a great pace and I could easily envision every scene.

Welcome to MTT. Great start for your first time here. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Author's Response:

Good to hear from you!  And thanks from the welcome.

Again, it's extremely clunky, and I'm definitely going to repost it as I watch Season 9 (heck, maybe later today if I have time).  But I appreciate your critiques, and they'll be extremely useful going forward.

Erin was the most difficult because she starts off extremely content.  She'll grow as a person and become more independent as the story goes on, but her story ended happily in S8, whereas everyone else mentioned here (aside from Kevin) will definitely be going through the wringer.  Nellie especially is one of the most underutilized characters (the other two are in this story, too), and while I get why she's unpopular I like the character well enough, but not much is done with her.  And Lord knows her and Andy's (non)rivalry needed work in this season.

Glad you liked the Jim and Pam sections, since those are obviously the crux of the story.  The switching of POVs is something my scattered brain is not skilled at just yet, but I know it'll become more clean as I go.

Thanks for the review! 

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