Before he was the reluctant adventurer Hobbit and before he became the fangirls favourite as Watson in Sherlock, Martin Freeman already had a place claimed in our hearts in the year 2000 when he played everyman Tim in Ricky Gervais masterpiece The Office.
Now I know in a very small grown up part in my mind that Martin Freeman is an actor and the only reason I should admire him is for his frankly brilliant acting talent. No matter how many nice guys he plays for all I know Martin Freeman might actually be a terrible creep who sneaks into peoples houses at night turn the volume up to max on the telly and then hide the remote so that the next time you turn on the TV you are deafened by the Eastenders drums as you stuff your hand into the sticky crevasses of your sofa trying to find the remote.
But I digress, whatever Martin Freeman is actually like to me he will always be lovely because he played Tim in the office. And Tim is awesome.
Here are five ways Tim stole our hearts.
- He represented us
In the Office Tim is the character we are meant to relate to. He is the norm in an office populated with bizarre personalities from ego-centric boss David Brent, army mad Gareth to the incredibly awkward monosyllabic Keith.
Tim was our window into this world. That’s why when anything strange happens it is normally Tim who gives the ‘See what I have to put up with’ look to the camera. He reacts with the same disbelief, and sometimes glee, that we do.
2. He’s funny
Not much needs saying about this but we do like a guy who is funny. Tim is a committed wind-up merchant. From putting staplers in jelly to building a box wall on his desk to avoid Gareth’s face, and his quick responses to the idiocy, around him brings some light in what would otherwise be a very grim place indeed.
3. His Honesty made him vulnerable
To say that Tim is a classic prankster and wind-up merchant, he also has moments of heart breaking honesty in his one to one with the camera interviews. They would normally start with a bit of self-deprecating humour but then as he was allowed to keep on talking he would drift in to true reflection of the disappointments in his life. He let us in to his fears and insecurities which are similar to our own.
Tim: No I don’t talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don’t have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I’m a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I’ve had since yep, since I was born. That’s seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I’m a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.
4. He has mad moments of Courage
In many ways Tim was a bit stuck in life. Stuck in a job that bores him, stuck in a town that holds no interest and stuck in love with a girl who is engaged to someone else. Yet Tim doesn’t take all this lying down, there are times when he bravely takes action to break free. He decides to quit and go back to Uni as the result of a dire staff development day. OK he changes his mind by the end of the episode but it was a good effort. He refuses a promotion that would have further tied him to a company he didn’t care about, and most importantly he told Dawn how he really felt about her.
The interesting thing is that not many of these brave gestures worked out at first, but even though he kept on getting knocked back it just took him a bit more time to build up courage to try again. I think that makes him more admirable than if all of his courageous deeds had been successful first time round.
5. The sweetest romance in the history of work-place relationships
The loving looks, the accidentally-on-purpose hand touching and the fizzing chemistry between Tim and Dawn kept us on the edge of our seats. There was something very authentic in their affection. And the show kept it all very understated until the last possible moment which made that Christmas kiss all the more triumphant.
My favourite Dawn/Tim moment was the Comic Relief kissing booth kiss, where they are both desperately not trying to reveal how much they would love to snog the socks off each other!