‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Thinks Pam Deserved a Spinoff With This Character and No, It’s Not Jim
Let’s be real, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) ruined what could’ve been a beautiful friendship between Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones) on The Office. Both women competed for Jim’s heart in the NBC comedy’s third season. Of course, we all know Pam and Jim’s relationship was endgame. But it was clear Pam and Karen would’ve gotten along if not for the love triangle. Then recently, Fischer pitched a Karen and Pam Office spinoff. And Jones was totally on board.
Jenna Fischer and Rashida Jones discuss their chemistry on ‘The Office’
In the Office Ladies podcast published on Aug. 5, Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin, discussed “Benihana Christmas.” Then when Jones hopped on to talk about the episode, the actor reminisced over her audition process and how her chemistry with Fischer helped her get the part.
“I remember I got a distinct feeling when I got to the point, Jenna, where you and I sat in a room and read lines together and got to improv a little bit,” Jones said. “Everything just made sense all of a sudden … It made me feel like, ‘Oh, I really feel like I get this dynamic.’ And I feel like you kind of got me the part in a lot of ways.”
Meanwhile, Fischer revealed that reading lines with Jones felt like her audition with Krasinski.
“I had that same experience with you in the room, and it’s very similar to when they paired me up with John,” Fischer said. “I was like, ‘When I’m paired up with this person, I just turn into Pam.’”
Jenna Fischer wants an ‘Office’ spinoff featuring Pam Beesly and Karen Filippelli after re-watching ‘Benihana Christmas’
Although Fischer and Jones had chemistry as Pam and Karen, The Office actors noted it wasn’t shown on-screen until “Benihana Christmas.” In the season three episode, the two characters plan a Christmas party after Angela kicks Karen out of the Party Planning Committee. So Pam and Karen form a friendship to face off with a common enemy.
“We finally got that payoff, Jenna. That thing that came to life in the audition,” Jones said on the podcast. “I don’t think it really got to manifest until this episode. Up till now, we were rivals. But this is the first time … both characters recognized the mutual humanity in the other one.”
Meanwhile, Fischer suggested Karen and Pam could’ve had a spinoff based on what happened in “Benihana Chrismas.”
“I don’t mean to toot our own horns, but I think we had amazing chemistry in this episode,” Fischer said. “I mean, we are adorable. There could’ve been a spinoff. That’s all I want to say.”
And Jones agreed. “Totally,” she said. “Pam and Karen Christmas special? Yes!”
‘The Office’ spinoff about Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly was previously considered
While an Office spinoff about Karen and Pam was never realized, it seems many spinoff ideas were nixed in the past. As it turns out, NBC considered a show about Dwight Schute (Rainn Wilson) and even had a backdoor pilot in season nine. There was also a series about Jim and Pam. Though The Office team ultimately decided it was best to keep the core cast together.
“The problem was you didn’t want to do anything that hurt the mother ship,” executive producer Michael Schur said, per TV Guide. “In Season 4 you couldn’t take Jim and Pam from The Office.”
Now, it’s possible The Office fans could receive new content in the future. Recently, Leslie David Baker raised enough money to start his unofficial Stanley Hudson spinoff called Uncle Stan. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal hopes a reboot and reunion will eventually come after the show’s move from Netflix to Peacock.
Whatever happens next, it’s clear The Office fandom is still very much alive. But will there be room for Fischer and Jones to highlight their on-screen chemistry as Pam and Karen one last time? We’ll see.
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