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“It’s a tight, contained space where so many relationship issues are bubbling around between Jim and Pam, Andy and Angela, Michael and Jan.
It’s that pressure-cooker aspect that heightens everything, plus the decorum of the dinner party, the sort of need to rise to a different sort of social construct, as opposed to just being co-workers in an office space.
Melora Hardin (Jan Levinson): When I first started to play Jan, she was incredibly straight and serious and kind of humorless. I just think that’s hilarious, and obviously the beginning of her losing her shit.
The previous season had seen Jim and Pam finally get together after years of flirtation; Michael had also found love – with Jan Levinson, his former boss.
Gene Stupnitsky (co-writer): There are lots of different versions of Michael Scott.
Some writers would write him as childish, others would write him as incompetent, some would write for the version of Michael Scott when he was at his best. Lee Eisenberg (co-writer): We had a lot of talking heads that never made it to the show that went really into detail about Michael. The Unraveling of Jan Levinson-Gould At the same time that Jim and Pam became a perfect couple, Michael and Jan – who had lost her job at Dunder Mifflin corporate before moving to Scranton – were coming apart at the seams.
Jim has a talking head [where the actors speak directly to the camera], and he’s like, “I’m starting to think there was no work thing.” There’s a little bit of a grudging respect to Michael. Show a guy pushing a woman down the stairs.” I’m paraphrasing, but there’s something to that. We’re such huge fans of the British Office and we wanted to write an episode more in that tone.
Gene Stupnitsky (co-writer): There’s a quote, “How do you make someone laugh? Lee Eisenberg (co-writer): An episode like this lives a lot in the awkward pauses.
They talked about going to his high school prom in the limo, and then you realize that Michael was the limo driver at his own high school prom. John Krasinski (Jim Halpert): Melora was so good on our show.