Date: March 22, 2021 07:50 pm Title: 'tis the damn season
I'll be back with an actual review at some point, but I just need to say I will forever hate you for Call It Even. Like... forever ever.
Author's Response: I'd apologize, but 1. Taylor said it first and 2. I'm not sorry. I'm just not.
Date: March 10, 2021 07:14 pm Title: tolerate it
This is a really fascinating dark take on the Pam-Roy relationship. Whether or not you think canon Roy was capable of this sort of violence towards Pam, I think you've given us a lot of insight about how their canon relationship developed. You can see, even amidst the horror, how they managed to last as long as they did and make it work in the first place. Ironically, this feels like a very plausible version of the happy high school days of Pam and Roy. I actually really appreciate you giving us and her that before what she goes through next.
I also thought you did well with the frog-in-the-pot descent in domestic violence as seen through Pam's eyes.
The hyper-awareness of him feels scary and realistic, and the details of how they plan her escape are spot on - the code, the slow process of getting her things out of the house.
The way it impacts her relationship with Jim and the escape he provides, how much sharper it makes the contrast between the two of them, and the lack of big dramatic scenes - it's a slow boil in its own right.
And that it ends on June 10th is the cherry on top of this very depressing sundae.
Date: March 09, 2021 02:36 am Title: tolerate it
H O L Y G O D A G
I don’t think any other story has ever had my heart in my throat so completely. This was incredibly well written & totally gutting.
Somehow in the midst of it, there were still hints of humor & such perfect characterization - I lost my mind at: “even if there was way too much tape” because it was a completely brilliant line.
You captured the reality of the situation so unnervingly well. I don’t think I’ve ever hated Roy so deeply as this section: “And besides. He’s mentioned tolerating a few of her quirks, too.”
This version of him is truly the worst.
This version of Jim though? He is everything that is good & pure in this world & I love him so damn much.
Everything about this was just SO well done. Do you think that making me cry is cool?
Date: March 04, 2021 04:16 pm Title: tolerate it
I had assumed this song/chapter would be about Pam and Roy but the approach you took here was bold and powerful and haunting. There was a power in the way the flashbacks slowly went from her history with Roy (and the slow evolution within this relationship) to her history with Jim. That really spoke to me. You really show your talent in the way you construct the narrative in your writing.
Because of the increments you set up - small warning signs were interpreted as compromises and later things that should never have been tolerated are overlooked because of grand gestures that came after you allowed us to see how Pam (or anyone) could become accepting of their situation - through justifying and remembering good times and self-blaming.
I am glad you gave her strength to find her way out and a "Jim" to help guide her way.
Well done on a topic that is not easy to write.
Date: March 04, 2021 06:19 am Title: tolerate it
That was a hard reading (and I had to make a few pauses to respire a little), but wow! That's fantastic. I love its realism and Pam's escape (I'm a sucker for 'Pam saves herself' and 'Jim in shining armor' tropes, and here we have both! yay!), and the structure with presence and memories is amazing. Thank you!
I'm dying to know what happens after June the 10th, but, of course, it's up to you. Thank you once more!
Date: March 04, 2021 03:06 am Title: tolerate it
This is 1000% the most perfect interpretation and application of this song. It is so hauntingly beautiful and incredibly accurate and an absolutely flawless telling of the abusive Roy storyline. It’s the kind of story that sits with you and you have to process it but in the end it feels organic and real. You did an amazing with this AG!
Date: March 03, 2021 04:22 pm Title: tolerate it
Hoo boy that was...well that was intense. The slow slide of what Pam had hoped for with Roy into the nightmare was heartbreaking. However the slow build up with Jim helping her to rebuild herself was the perfect counterpoint. I loved that Jim is just there for her. He's not pushing any agenda or making demands of her. He's just there to be there for her. Exactly the kind of slow quiet strength she needed to finally get herself out of her situation with Roy. Even though she still has a long way to go there at the end, she knows there's is hope, healing, safety, and just maybe that love her heart has always craved. Well done as always.
Date: March 03, 2021 02:32 pm Title: tolerate it
oh, AG. This is beautiful and sad and you did it so well. I have a significant number of emotions about this, which is a hallmark of excellent writing. This really gave me an emotional response and honestly helped me name some emotions and thought processes and feelings that I’ve struggled with in a similar situation that really does feel safe. Thank you for sharing your talent with us, friend.
Date: March 02, 2021 02:00 am Title: 'tis the damn season
“she’d quickly learned that workout clothes were great for laying around in and she could fit two glasses of wine into her new water bottle” Umm. I feel very called out by this specifically (& the entire resolutions thing really).
The. Nicknames. Coley.
Call. It. Even.
I got far too caught up in this to form a coherent review. I love EVERY-DAMN-THING about it.
Date: March 01, 2021 07:01 am Title: gold rush
Oh Sprinkles, I am in love with this story from the very first sentence. To open with Dwight is genius and you wrote him so very well here!
For like, 2 seconds, you had me feeling a little guilty about being a super fan but then I remember that I've never actually thrown lingerie at Jim... I'm not saying I wouldn't have, if given the chance, but the point is, I haven't. So I don't feel so bad anymore.
Mark is such a dude here and I kind of love and hate him for it. I'd say poor Jim, but then I got to Pam's section and ugh.. poor Pam! I'm really sad that Jim didn't reach out to her through all of it.
"The camera zoomed in on his face, and Pam got lost in a well-worn fantasy of Jim’s arm around her shoulder as they walked somewhere by the ocean, him looking down at her with those eyes, and smiling…" Ooof, that line killed me.
"Jim hung up the phone and paced his apartment, his thoughts racing. Was she ok? Was she freaking out? What would Roy do when she told him?
He thought he should call her. Or at least text. Just to check in and make sure she was ok in all this insanity." Okay, I'm not quite so mad at Jim anymore.
Love Isabel here - you know how I feel about Pam's Wild Summer.
I don't know why, but knowing that Karen fast forwarded through the Scranton parts of the show and only watched the Stamford parts made me laugh - it's so perfectly in character.
"“Why did you break up with Roy if you weren’t interested in Jim? ‘Cause watching the show, it seemed to me like you were pretty into Jim all along.”" DANM KAREN. Okay. I love this.
Michael's "Family Dinner". You nailed every single personality at that table.
Ooh, the idea of a fan catching Jim and Pam having this fight? I'm sad we didn't get that on the show now, but this entire scene more than makes up for it.
You write angry, pining JAM so well and I never want you to stop because we're so lucky to read these gems you keep coming up with.
"It wasn’t long before they were in a dark room being shown footage of Pam on tiptoes kissing Jim on the cheek by the vending machine in the break room." One of my all-time favorite scenes of the show, I'm so glad you added it here.
"Ready?" No ma'am. No, I wasn't ready for this story to hit me in all the feels.
Author's Response: I was here to enjoy the reviews on your chapter and then I saw this. You are so kind and I'm happy that you loved my quirky take on this. Thank you for giving me the gift of a long review!
Date: February 27, 2021 05:59 pm Title: 'tis the damn season
Okay, listen. You know how I feel about this but I feel like I need to go over it some more. I will refrain from copy/pasting the entire thing but just barely.
“I wasn’t asking if you were anything,” she clarified quickly. She smirked. “I was just asking if she liked it.”
“She hates it.”
Pam rolled her eyes. “She would.” She ran her thumb across his jaw and studied him carefully. “I like it.” Her eyes focused on his mouth for a second too long and she blinked those familiar and not quite forgotten thoughts away just as quickly as they were there. “Did you do it to be sexy or because Scranton is so fucking cold in the winter?”
I just…will always love this?
scream-sang an old Alanis Morissette song — also this
“It didn’t even register that he wasn’t grabbing for her, but for the leg of the barstool she was sitting on until he used it to pull her closer to the stool he was sitting on. “ —Just stop.
“What even is motel art?” Their faces were so close together on the pillow they were sharing that she could see him roll his eyes as she told him about the way her snobby classmate constantly put down her artwork for undetermined reasons. He won a third round of thumb wars and grinned, linking the rest of his fingers with hers. “He sounds like a prick. Invite me to your next exhibit and see if he says anything with me standing there.” —This is why Weekend Jim is my new favorite thing.
“how many times can she get bored and fall onto your dick again?” This. Entire. Conversation.
grey sweatpants - I love you for this visual that will be forever burned into my brain.
Kitchen items flying at smoke detectors — you know how I feel about this issue. Please also never stop.
““Sometimes I regret not going with you.” His arms tightened around her with one breath and relaxed with the next.” —Kill me now.
““Pam.” He looked at the ceiling and then back at her. “Do you really want me to say it?”
Oh. “No,” she said quickly and quietly. “I don’t.”” — Why do you hate me?
“Call it even?” — No, seriously. Why do you do this to me?
I’ve read this at least four (5? 6?) times now and every time I find some other little nuanced detail I love more than the last one. Coley, this is perfect.
Date: February 27, 2021 05:28 pm Title: 'tis the damn season
Don't you ever tell me not to get excited about something you have written ever again.
This 10000% embodies this song and my goodness did it hurt in the best ways. The "I can't stay" "I can't leave" part brought imminent death. And their nicknames. And how comfortable, yet painful, and also complicated, their relationship is.
I loved it, so so much. Really truly. You're a genius.
Date: February 27, 2021 03:55 pm Title: 'tis the damn season
Yup so I'm now dead. I mean it hurts so much because it's written so well! You can just feel everything in them that wants to be together, but they can't. Uugh. Especially when we find out the more involved history they hav with each other. I mean all the feelings are there. They both clearly havn't really moved on from anything despite other distractions or relationships. And then there at the end. "I can't stay...I can't leave." Double dead. Phnominal writting even if it's a shot to the heart.
Date: February 27, 2021 10:26 am Title: 'tis the damn season
Okay. I have some questions.
Who do you think you are?
What gives you the right?
No but seriously: you broke my heart with these two and their longing and their willingness to talk about what divides them and their inability to get beyond it. This relationship felt very lived in, and it's interesting to read a Jim and Pam who are able to communicate... even as it's hard to read them able to communicate and STILL can't get past it.
Really good use of canon references here, too.
But mainly, props on giving them the unhappy ending. This did not feel like a version of them that one day is going to be solved by a big dramatic gesture, and while I resent you for that immensely, I like it a lot.
Date: February 27, 2021 08:56 am Title: 'tis the damn season
Coley. This is amazing. I want more but also I don’t, because it is a singular piece that is so heartbreakingly perfect and captures all the feelings of angst and want and bittersweet love that can’t be that the song embodies. You killed this, sister. I have to go reread it right now and make sure it is burned into my brain. Perfection.
Date: February 27, 2021 08:46 am Title: 'tis the damn season
I love this song, and I knew that the fic to go with it was going to be deadly. But this takes it out of the potentially sappy Christmas season, and into the darkness of mid-winter. The feelings you invoke with your words are perfect for the song and for the place Jim and Pam find themselves here.
I love that we don't have a lot of details - like where she lives now, did they ever really date - and yet we do have some backstory because you've written it in perfectly.
The sex is so hot and steamy and yet it's not the centrepiece. You just fold it into the story so that we get the searing pain of how much these two like each other, and how well they fit, and yet how this is just not their time.
The way you set a scene is masterful. The bar, and then Jim's house, and then the goodbye in the driveway. Even though this chapter is long, I feel like you say so much with so few words.
Date: January 26, 2021 08:50 pm Title: champagne problems
“…her only reaction was to take a swig right from the bottle.” Haven’t we all had an ex trigger this reaction? No? Ok then.
This version of Roy feels so spot on and heartbreakingly realistic. We get this sort of caricature of him on the show, so to see this more complex version of him (and her brief slide back into their relationship) is really just *chef’s kiss*
“She would do anything she could to get the image of another woman scratching his back out of her head. It was a small gesture but so intimate and was the type of thing that she herself had never been brave enough to do.” Ugh. This tiny moment always hurts to watch. But now, thinking not only of her sadness over him moving on, but of her regret over not being more brave… way to clobber us with the feels, lady.
BT. I have no idea how you dreamed up this take on champagne problems, but I’m obsessed with it. This seriously feels like a glimpse into a real life Pam’s Season 3. Not sure what it says about me that I love a messy, fucked-in-the-head Pam as she’s just trying her best to make it through, but here we are.
Date: January 26, 2021 07:42 pm Title: willow
I love them, B. Your London/Paris JAM. Dreamy, romantic, charming, and yet still realistic. You know Paris holds a special place in my heart, and you capture the city and the vibe of being there so perfectly. It’s such an easy place to get caught up in the romance of it all. “…the city around them sighed in relief at another love story reaching its natural end.” That. I mean… that and the terrace ;)
“…auburn curls falling wildly around her like a mesmerizing crown.” Just beautiful.
You had me goofy grinning at “I had you,” she smirked triumphantly.
Ok, so I got to Rue de Rivoli and just really started to miss traveling… and then you hit us with the vision of Danny sandwiched between two half-dressed women and… and… I’m sorry, what was I saying?
“I can definitely imagine.” Stop!!
“…droplets from his hair falling carelessly on her shoulder.” I just really need to thank you for this mental image.
“She’s a beautiful fool.” I. See. You.
And oh, man with these villain Danny vibes!
My mouth dropped open at Karen showing up (and I may have mumbled “no, no, no, no, no”), but I love how he handled her and the entire situation. Still the gentleman, letting her crash at his place, but going to see about his girl, where he belongs. So good. I also really appreciate him being protective of Pam’s food.
“I’m in love with you… I needed you to know… Hey, can I talk to you about something?” My heart. Get her, Jim.
Sorry I'm only now getting to this (it's me so...yeah)
I love, love, love your reviews as always AND that you picked on my big hint. <3
Date: January 26, 2021 01:15 am Title: willow
I really like reading fics that address the effect of the documentary / crew on the characters (that said, I really did not like the canon attempt with Brian, which just felt kind of distasteful to me), and you've done a great job with this one. Transmission of the documentary in real time (ish) opens up a whole new raft of possibilities, and I really like the way you've explored that.
I also liked the way you tackled the WHY THE **** DID ONE OF THEM NOT MAKE THAT CALL conundrum.
Really enjoyed this. Thanks!
Date: January 21, 2021 09:06 am Title: gold rush
"Someone asked you to marry them when you walked through that crowd. You have options!” Can I just say that Isabel is my FAV
"He developed a slightly different personality that he put on as soon as he got to work every day." WOW, I mean...I hate and love this Jim equally. I can totally see this happening! He puts on a facade every day with his feelings for Pam, but now it's for the show too? This was such a great little trail.
"Instead, the summer was a blur of drinks on patios and men whose names Pam couldn’t remember." HELL YA GIRL GET YOURSELF SOME
“Why would I watch it?” she told the camera in a talking head. “Who wants to watch people work?” I'm going to gush about this entire idea later but I can ABSOLUTELY see Karen hating the entire idea of a doc about a paper company! Too high and mighty to see the interest. LOVE this. Even if she did use Jim for personal gain.
"but clearly Corporate liked him, and she needed to have a good handle on the competition." EXCUSE ME--
"He cut his eyes at Pam, so quickly she almost missed it." UGH. This wounded me. Poor Jim. Caught up in feelings and also fame. Sigh.
"And that meant that the man she had feelings for...the man she was in love with...was just a figment of her imagination, a distant memory." Again. Lady. You're KILLING me with this.
I just LOVED this concept as a whole. The fact that Jim could lose himself in the doc? Having them watch it in real time? Pam seeing not only her own faults, but then getting to watch Jim and not have him? It adds a whole extra layer to their communication issues, like an "I didn't call because I saw that you were better off without me."
Listen, I wouldn't be mad if you made this an entire saga. It was excellent!
Author's Response: Aw AG - what a great review! Thank you for this. Yeah, this could become a whole saga, like those fics where someone wrote about each episode. It was a bit of a mind f**k to write, but it was fun. Thank you for the kind words. It means a lot coming from the author who enticed me to join MTT in the first place with a little fic called Wake Me Up.