James is super repressed. You get hints now and then that he really wants a life more adventurous than the one he's living, but he's too terrified to go out there and live it. He's crap at emotion and doesn't really know how to deal with real, actual people --- he's a very capable doctor, until it comes to comforting patients or delivering bad news. He's quite smart, but at the same time, an utter, utter twit. He's, in general terms, the negative aspects of David Mitchell's persona times nine, basically. And some of his adorable aspects too.
I love him, I love him, I love him. Whilst there's obviously a lot of similarity there, he's not as cringeworthy as Peep Show's Mark Corrigan, he's definitely more secure in his self-esteem. Unlike Mark, deep down, not even all that deep, you can see that James has a heart of gold. Shiny, shiny gold. He starts off being semi-antagonistic towards his mother, Sal, since he ousts her from her job as Practice Nurse without talking to her (in the name of 'creating order in the practice', giving his wife a job, and also because, as mentioned, he's a twit.) There comes this moment in the second episode of the first series when you think he's going to show his colours as a nasty little twerp, but he doesn't! He does quite the opposite. Plus, he's a protective older brother, which everyone should know hits my fictional kinks (To his sister's fiancé: "Remember, I'm a doctor. I know how to save lives. But I also know how to kill." Which would be creepy said by anyone else, but is mostly sweet here.) And his speech at his sister Tash's wedding is one of the most wonderful things ever, ever, ever.
James pretends he's a middle-aged curmudgeon in so many ways, but, on the inside, I think he's, maybe, five years old. There's a staring thing he does with Tash which is so adorable, my heart burst with joy for him. Also, he's insanely pleased to dress up as Charles I for the 'reenactment of the battle of Clatterford', and goes all out with it. He has a sense of humour, but it errs on the side of looking down his nose at everyone who isn't him. At one point, he seems poised to become a Lib Dem MP with Tory leanings, which I wasn't all that thrilled about --- why can't people understand that it's perfectly possible to be conservative with a little 'c' personality-wise and still not be a Conservative politically?
In the end of the show, James clearly wants to tell his mother something, and never gets the opportunity to, and I am here going "oooooh, I wonder what it was?" to the point I'm practically fanficcing.
Jam and Jerusalem is by no means a great show, but I am really glad I've watched it. It is the emotional porn I needed for the last week and a half of term.