‘The Office’ Wanted to Make This Character Pam’s New Love Interest
For those who live and die for The Office, the ninth and final season of the much-loved sitcom was a bit of a doozy when it came to Jim and Pam’s marriage. After Jim (John Krasinski) accepts a position in Philadelphia, leaving Pam (Jenna Fisher) in Scranton with their two children, their relationship turns sour after nine years of being #goals. However, things could have gone even farther down the drain in The Office Season 9—Pam was originally going to gain a new love interest after she and Jim broke up.
A new book by Andy Greene, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, reveals that show creator Greg Daniels sat down with the cast ahead of Season 9 and discussed where the characters could go in the final season.
Krasinski put a potential Jim-and-Pam breakup on the table. Why, John? Why?
“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, Krasinski told Greene, according to Collider. “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, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.’
The initial plot Daniels wanted to go with was one in which Jim and Pam break things off only to reconcile in the season finale. During this break, Pam would start a relationship with Brian, the cameraman who comforted her during her tense period with Jim in The Office Season 9.
Breaking the fourth wall with Brian was a controversial decision that fans had a hard time getting on board with—imagine how devastated fans would be if Brian actually acted on his crush on Pam. We shiver at the thought.
The idea of introducing a new potential love interest—specifically, a new love interest who was working behind the scenes—was something kicked around by writers since Season 5, writer Warren Lieberstein told Greene.
“The idea was to introduce some romantic triangle with Jim when they were such soul mates that you had to say, ‘How could she possibly be interested in somebody else?’ Liberstein said. “What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years? It just seemed very intriguing.
Though, if it’s any consolation, Daniels never wanted Pam and Brian to take their relationship to a physical level. But even so, people hated Brian so much that the original idea of him coming between Jim and Pam until the finale had to be reworked mid-season.
“We had to pull the ripcord on it because it was so painful to the fans of the show,” writer Brent Forrester told Greene, per Collider. “John Krasinski said to me, ‘Brent, this final season is for the ultra fans of the show…Jim and Pam splitting up is too painful for them to sustain all the way to the reunion. We have to get them back together immediately.’”
Krasinski may have almost ruined everything, but at least he righted it in the end. Thank goodness things were turned around before they went too far. Sorry not sorry, Brian. You never stood a chance.