Among the greatest TV Shows — at least comedy shows — of all-time, The Office can hold its own with any of them. Is it atop the list? Nah… but it is certainly iconic. That legacy could have been seriously tarnished had Jim cheated on Pam, like the writer’s room wanted to have happen.
It didn’t, thankfully, and John Kraskinski claims that he is the reason why.
In Krasinski’s new book “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office” he recalled that there was a Season 8 script that had Jim set to “make out” with Cathy (Pam’s replacement), while Pam was on maternity leave.
That would have been ice cold, bro.
“That’s the only time I remember putting my foot down … I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, ‘I’m not going to shoot it,’” Krasinski wrote.
“My feeling is there is a threshold with which you can push our audience,” Krasinski wrote, according to the New York Post. “They are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them. But there’s a moment where if you push them too far, they’ll never come back. And I think that if you show Jim cheating, they’ll never come back.”
He was 100% correct. I could not imagine the fall from grace that show would have taken from the masses had that scene been shot.
Though, per Collider, Krasinski did push for the couple to split up, which would have been a very odd dynamic for the show but not a death blow.
“My whole pitch to (the writers) 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,” he wrote. “And I said to (them), ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'”
Apparently that plan was for them to break up in the middle of the season and then work towards reconciliation in the finale.
It would have sucked. It would have been way too serious. No one was turning into The Office to have that level of intimacy from two major characters.
Anyways, good call John. We did not need to have Jim cheat on Pam.