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Celebrity Slam - Pam & Joey a no-go … ey?

July 20, 2021
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While we will always appreciate the opportunities that this space affords us to make light of the misdeeds and misadventures of the many famous folks out there, we also appreciate the occasional chance to address something a little bit different. It’s not that we get tired of scorning and mocking them – that will NEVER happen – but every once in a while, it’s nice to stretch those muscles in an unusual way.

To that end, this week’s feature is going to involve us taking a look at a different kind of dumbassery – the kind committed by the largely faceless entities who ultimately decide just which of our favorite celebrities we get to see, as well as how we get to see them.

For nearly two years, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey have been co-hosting the “Office Ladies Podcast,” wherein the two former co-stars (on “The Office,” natch) and current best friends take to the podwaves once a week and break down an episode of their past fictional workplace adventures. It’s a generally delightful listen for anyone who is a fan of the show (which, judging by the streaming numbers that thing is still doing, some of you reading this almost certainly are).

However, it was a comment about an altogether different sitcom that we’re going to discuss here.

See, in the course of the conversation, Fischer, who played Pam Beesley on “The Office,” told a story about how she lost a job opposite Matt LeBlanc – best known as Joey Tribbiani on the classic “Friends” – on the CBS show “Man With a Plan,” which aired for four seasons before its recent cancellation.

Apparently, it boiled down to this: Pam would NEVER marry Joey.

According to Fischer, she had filmed the pilot and was preparing to get to work on her new gig. She was just getting ready to head to New York for the upfronts (note: upfronts are basically massive ad pitches, where TV execs bring together major advertisers and show them some of their upcoming content in an effort to get them to buy ads “up front,” i.e. weeks or months ahead of the new season) when her reps called her.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Is [“Man with a Plan”] not getting picked up?’ And they said, ‘It’s worse than that, hun.’ And I was like, ‘What’s worse than that?’ They said, ‘It’s getting picked up, but without you.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, I guess I’ll unpack my suitcase.’”

As it turned out, the focus group that had seen the pilot had one BIG problem with it.

“They said — this is a literal quote, they said, ‘I don’t believe Pam would marry Joey. The chemistry doesn’t work between these two,’” Fischer said. “That was the feedback they got.”

We’ll confess that we’ve seen a lot of things over the years that make us quietly bemoan the state of our popular culture, but this one is among the head-shakingest.

It’s not great that we have to say this, but here we go: THEY’RE ACTORS! These are people PRETENDING to be other people. That’s their job! The point of what they do is to allow you to enjoy the stories that they’re telling. THEY ARE NOT REALLY THOSE PEOPLE!

Again – this can’t be stressed enough – they are performers. Jenna Fischer is not actually a secretary at a floundering paper company. Matt LeBlanc is not really an oversexed food-obsessed nitwit/soap opera actor. Pam wouldn’t marry Joey? Says who? If Michael Schur and Marta Kauffman got together over drinks and penned a “Where are they now?”-style crossover, then Pam would absolutely marry Joey. Because you see, THEY ARE MADE-UP CHARACTERS WHO DO WHATEVER MADE-UP THINGS THAT THE WRITERS MAKE UP FOR THEM TO DO!


Anyway, good for Jenna Fischer for voicing her truth. Is it possible that there’s more to the story? Sure. But we imagine it sucks to get bounced from a job because you were too freaking good at your previous one. There can’t be many lines of work where that happens. Plumbers don’t lose gigs for doing too good a job fixing a previous leak. Doctors don’t get booted for performing too well in that last surgery. Rough.

Oh, and because we know you’re all wondering, the Pam/Joey portmanteau is definitely Beesliani.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 11:27

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