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The Office Writers Planned On Having Jim And Pam Get Divorced

by : Julia Banim on : 30 Mar 2020 13:01
The Office Writers Planned On Having Jim And Pam Get DivorcedThe Office Writers Planned On Having Jim And Pam Get DivorcedNBC

It’s one of the greatest TV love stories of all time, with plenty of ups, downs, silly pranks and moments that had us in absolute floods of tears.

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Jim and Pam’s ever-evolving relationship was at the very heart of The Office (US), which begins with their mutual but unspoken attraction to each other and ends with them as married parents about to set off for a new life together in Austin, Texas.

It’s therefore baffling to consider the writers had originally planned on having the couple divorced at some point in season nine before bringing them back together in the reunion episode. Yes, this would have brought a little more tension into proceedings, but think of our hearts

John Krasinski Jenna Fischer Jim and Pam The Office USJohn Krasinski Jenna Fischer Jim and Pam The Office USNBC Universal
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Penned by Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene, this book brings us ‘the true inside story’ of the beloved workplace sitcom, complete with extensive research and exclusive interviews.

Shockingly, John Krasinski – who of course plays Jim – was the one who initially pitched this devastating idea to showrunner Greg Daniels, telling Greene:

My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do.

For me it was, ‘Can you have this perfect relationship go through a split and keep it the same?’ – which of course you can’t. And I said to Greg Daniels, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well’.

Writer Brent Forrester added:

Greg really wanted to do something extremely risky and high-stakes, which was the documentary airs and we see what effect it has had on these characters, and there was going to be a reunion episode where you see that Jim and Pam have split up by this time, and they will have their reunion in the reunion episode.

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Although Jim and Pam did indeed have a few disagreements in later seasons, they stayed strong until the cameras stopped rolling, providing a moving portrayal of the many complications and misunderstandings that come with long-term relationships.

It would have been a very different show indeed had the writers chosen to veer off down this route, and although I can understand the idea’s merits, it might not have have been something audiences would have chosen to watch over and over again.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, divorce, Jim, Pam, The Office

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    The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History