The Office ‘Two Weeks’ Q&A with Aaron Shure

Aaron Shure joined The Office this season as a co-executive producer and writer. He was also an Emmy-winning producer and writer for the CBS comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond.

As with all other writers who have contributed OfficeTally Q&As, Aaron didn’t hesitate for a second to answer your questions about last week’s episode, Two Weeks. And almost as entertaining as his answers are his non-answers. ;)

Thank you, Aaron!

Q: Was there any inspiration from the beginning of the movie Jerry Maguire? I loved that scene from the movie, and while watching Michael and Pam walk out of the parking lot, I felt those same feelings of “us against the world” again. | AronorA

Aaron: We weren’t inspired by that iconic scene as much as painfully aware of the inevitable comparison. The scene in the movie was just so great. Nonetheless, we wanted Michael to start his own business and, true to his character, try to recruit people from the office in a dramatic way. And we knew we wanted Pam to go with him.

So there was a lot of discussion about whether or not we should call out the similarities. Should we, for instance, have Michael refer to the movie in a talking head? In the end, time constraints decided it for us. We had to go for the best version of our own scene in our own way.

Q: The Graduate reference at the end of the episode was great, and I’m guessing the Jerry Maguire situation was a reference too… Were there others? What’d I miss? | Lauren_in_Chicago

Aaron: Those are the only two I know about, except for….

Q: I was wondering if the quote from Oscar was taken from anything: It was something like, “just like that, as mysteriously as he appeared, he was gone”. It sounds like it’s from a movie or book? | Shoshana

Aaron: Mindy wrote that line. She said she was going for a little bit of that Keyser Söze feel.

Q: I was shocked by Pam’s leaving. What was the thought process behind the writers making this decision? | Aims

Aaron: Well, there was a lot of thought process behind that decision. Greg Daniels and now Jen and Paul encourage debate in the writers’ room, and it can get pretty heated, which, as Jen says, is the price you pay for having writers who care. I think we are doing our job as long as our arguments end up being the same ones you guys have.

So, yes, Pam made an impulsive decision to go with Michael. That’s why I had her say “oh, no” right before she says “I’m going.” But her decision was about more than just the hollow victory with the copier. It’s about trying to figure out what she wants in life. Jim is a huge part of that, of course, but he can’t be everything, right?

Q: Considering the economic climate, I found it hard to believe Jim just letting Pam walk out of the office without even trying to talk to her about it for a second. Was there a missing deleted scene or do the writers want the audience to assume all of Jim and Pam’s discussion of this issue has taken place off-camera? | Lisa

Aaron: At one point, we had more of an exchange between the two of them (Pam was even going to bring up the time Jim bought a house without consulting her), but that scene was a circuitous route to get where we all know they would end up.

Q: Why was Jim so cool with Pam leaving her job to follow Michael? I mean, Jim swore that if Dunder Mifflin were ever his career he would “throw himself in front of a train” and in the last episode, he called this job his career, which I assume is only because of the fact that he now has a mortgage to pay, which Pam is obviously assisting with. They are now down an income AND Jim will be left alone with the mean Charles. | Samantha

We know Jim to be a supportive partner, and I think it’s cool that once he saw that she’d made her decision, he decided to back her up. That’s the bonus track to his easy-going, sometimes flip personality — he can roll with Pam’s impulses.

True, it’s not a good time in their relationship or the economy to be taking such risks, but that will make it more exciting to see how it turns out. And, btw, they still have their after-hours life together, even if the cameras aren’t there to catch it.