Fans of The Office have been waiting for a love like Jim and Pam’s to return to television since the show ended. Their romance is the stuff of television legend, and many were sad to say them go after The Office wrapped up after nine seasons. Jim and Pam were great because they were friends and lovers, and then eventually parents and family, and viewers were locked into their love story. They watched it happen, and so it was hard to watch it leave. Enter Splitting Up Together, a new show with a new couple and one half of PB&J. It stars Oliver Hudson and Jenna Fischer, aka Pam. Will fans of The Office like Splitting Up Together? It's hard to let Jim and Pam go and see Fischer with a new love interest.
Jim and Pam had a beautiful love story on The Office, complete with ups and some downs. But because The Office wasn’t just about Jim and Pam, viewers didn’t get to dive too deeply into the complexities of their relationship. It was all sunshine and rainbows, fresh new babies and butterflies. Jim and Pam’s relationship was satisfying, especially at first, because she was with another guy and it took for-ev-er for them to get together.
Yes, Jim and Pam had their problems in the ninth and final season of The Office, but it didn’t take long for them to work them all out and live happily ever after. Jim and Pam could not not live happily ever after. There would have been riots in the street. They even went to therapy, showing the kind of commitment to their relationship you rarely see on network television.
And that leads us to Lena and Martin of Splitting Up Together. Lena and Martin are also Jim and Pam, or, at least, they were. They’re Jim and Pam after 15 years together, three kids, and the kind of blasé that can creep into a relationship when you start being more roommates than lovers. It happens all the time, when you just stop seeing the other person in your life as the person you fell in love with.
So, after some discussion, Lena and Martin decided to take a step back from their decade-and-a-half marriage and try something else. It’s not to say that they don’t care about each other, but Lena and Martin have moved so far past their original relationship that they have to go find it, or maybe even something else.
But just because Lena and Martin aren’t as currently as happy as Jim and Pam were doesn’t mean that The Office fans won’t love Splitting Up Together. The Office was irreverent and ridiculous at times, but at its core, it always had heart. So does Splitting Up Together. Hudson said of his new show at a 2018 TCA panel, “It read differently to me, there was something deep about it, something different about it … this has a lot of heart.” Fischer echoed this statement, saying:
“There was just something about this script that spoke to me. I really relate to this character. I’m a wife and a mother now, and I feel like I’m going to get to express this whole other part of my personality. While it’s a show about two people who are divorced, I don’t think you have to be divorced to be able to relate to the show. It was just such a rich world but told so beautifully and warmly.”
The stars even came to Twitter to talk about how Martin is not quite Jim, but Fischer wants everyone to give him a chance. "Pam fans, you should know that Oliver [Hudson] is so sweet and awesome on this show," Fischer said. "I think people will really like our characters as a couple," Hudson added.
Jim and Pam are not Lena and Martin, but that doesn't meant The Office fans should discount television's newest romance. It has the same heart and soul as a show like The Office, just with an un-couple instead of a couple. Jim and Pam needed some time to work things out in the beginning before they became great, and hey — maybe Lena and Martin do, too.