Rich Sommer talks about a JAM roadblock averted

USA Today’s Pop Candy interviewed ‘Mad Men’ star Rich Sommer, and he talks about how Pam’s relationship with her art school friend Alex (played by Sommer) could have developed last season on The Office:

… my character was supposed to be enamored of Pam. He was supposed to be a potential roadblock for Pam and Jim … The audience response to seeing Pam being even mildly flirtatious or being flirted with by some art-school guy … the Internet exploded.

What do you think? Did they make the right story decision?

Read the whole interview at the link below!

Link: A chat with ‘Mad Men’ star Rich Sommer (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Tipster: LiveJournal Office


  1. Yeah, they made the right decision. To introduce yet another person into the JAM relationship would’ve betrayed everything the writers have made us so invested in.

    The Office has shown that you can actually have a normal, healthy, relationship and it still be great television.

    I commend the writers for not being lazy – relying on the typical ‘will they/wont they’ is the best way to make me stop watching a program… Grey’s Anatomy, I’m looking at you.

  2. It would have been interesting to see a little roadblock between Pam and Jim because I thought their relationship in season 5 was dull. It’s amazing how power of internet(or message board) could change a possible storyline.

  3. I’m so glad the writers didn’t pursue this story line. JAM is one of the few examples today of a TV couple with a really steady, soulmates relationship, and i think it would have been disingenuous to have Pam flirting with art-school-guy just because Jim’s back in Scranton.

  4. No, they made the wrong decision. I am an anti-JAMite, and I desperately don’t want them together…Maybe by the series finale, but I think that them together takes so much out of the show.

  5. While I agree that Jim and Pam are a healthy relationship that works great storywise, it was weak to introduce it and then just let it fizzle. Don’t put a bomb in act one if it’s not going to go off in act three; it’s just annoying. It would have been better to have had it pay off in a more creative way than as a roadblock. I liked Rich Sommer, he was underutilized and I would have liked to have seen more of him.

  6. Yeah… It would have been good to see a little roadblock between them. But not THAT kind of roadblock! I think they made the right decision.

  7. I’m glad they didn’t keep the whole Ross and Rachel thing going until the end like Friends did. I don’t think Pam giving into the art school guy would have been believable. Her abandoning the shallow relationship of Roy was one thing, but the relationship with Jim had WAY too many deep roots to throw out for an NY fling.

  8. I think they definitely made the right decision. Pam and Jim already had two roadblocks in Roy and Pam, and the Office has had far too many love triangles throughout the series. Pam-Jim-Roy. Pam-Jim-Karen. Andy-Angela-Dwight. Darryl-Kelly-Ryan. Michael-Jan-Holly. It was time last season (and still is) time for Jim and Pam, and the rest of the characters, to encounter some new situations.

  9. They definitely made the right decision. Throwing in yet another person between Jim and Pam would have been complete overkill (take note, ‘Chuck’ writers! Stop throwing people in Chuck and Sarah’s way! Ahem…).

    I do love Rich Sommer and ‘Mad Men,’ though, so this is pretty cool!

  10. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t think Rich was saying that Pam would seriously consider flirting or being with Alex. Just that Alex loving her(and it being unrequited)would be the obstacle.

  11. I’m so glad this never happened. It would have made me extremely unhappy. In order for the Alex character to have been a serious roadblock, there would have had to be some indecision about her feelings on Pam’s part.
    I didn’t/don’t ever want to see that!! The lovely thing about their relationship is the fact that no matter what other nuttiness is around them, they love each other equally. They belong together and they both know it. It’s a refreshing thing to see on TV and I would have been disappointed had they gone that route.

  12. They played it PERFECT. In the premier, it looked as if Pam was going to cheat on Jim with this other guy. It totally made everyone forget that Jim and Pam are so in love and therefore the Proposal kicked Beesley’s ass! (ours too)

  13. #13, I disagree. I think the plot point could’ve been used to show some insecurity on Jim’s part. I don’t think Pam had to have any indecision about her feelings in order for Alex to be a roadblock.

    From that article, I also didn’t get the impression that Pam was going to actually have a serious flirtation with Alex. I thought Rich’s comment was referring to their brief interaction in last season’s premier because after that, many viewers were worried about the future of Jim and Pam.

  14. Right choice writers!

    Pam and the art school guy? How did that even come up for serious consideration? 3 months in NY, Jim was there on weekends, but what’s-his-name gets her to question if Jim is the right guy…unrealistic and disingenuous! It would make absolutely no sense for her character and the relationship JAM has.

  15. I think Rich Sommer is mistaken about how they wanted that plot line to play out. Having Pam show any romantic interest in him would have been ridiculous. He must have forgotten the fact that in the first episode THEY GOT ENGAGED! So a month later Pam would be flirting with an art school friend? That would make Pam seem awfully shallow.

    If they wanted a roadblock to Jim and Pam then they should have set up one of her professors taking an interest in her drawing ability and encouraging her to stay in NYC to pursue that.

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