After five seasons of adorably awkward courtship, TV’s cutest couple are finally making it official – and this week’s Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive preview of Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam’s (Jenna Fischer) long-awaited wedding on October 8. The special hour-long episode is a happy occasion, but one that in TV terms, at least, is also fraught with risky finality, since marrying off The Office’s resident Ross and Rachel could potentially destroy the couple’s plot-generating will-they-won’t-they energy. “It’s about keeping this relationship as real as we can instead of making it a television romance,” explains Krasinski. “When you have two characters who are so perfect for each other, it’s a little weird for them to not get married. So you have to put that step in, whether it’s been done on television successfully before or not.” Adds exec producer Greg Daniels: “We didn’t want to do the soap opera-y thing and cheapen it. Besides, our ratings keep going up, so I don’t think anyone minds them being together.”
When NBC picked up the sitcom after the initial six-episode run (and a mere 5.4 million viewers), it was an act of love and not business. The producers had to earn the network’s show of faith by playing the simmering romantic tension between the sweet-but-engaged secretary and the smirky salesman just right. When the network ordered only six episodes (instead of the usual 13) for season 2, “we considered shooting two endings,” Fischer says. “One where Jim and Pam kissed, and one where they didn’t. Greg decided not to shoot the alternate ending [with the kiss] because he thought it would be bad luck. He said they’d have to pick it up to see how it ends.” The gamble paid off, and when the duo finally did smooch in the season 2 finale, it set the budding lovebirds on a complicated and unconventional course of courtship, featuring love triangles, long-distance agony, and job stress. “I don’t think it’s the typical romance you see on TV,” says Steve Carell. “It’s complicated and it comes out of a difficult place. That’s the way relationships are in real life.” To read more of this great interview go HERE or pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, September 25.