Originally Posted by MWM
Also, I liked it much better before Jim and Pam were dating. The whole Roy and Pam thing with Jim in thebackground was funny. Having Jim and Pam together just takes something away, IMO.
I dunno. With Michael and Dwight being mostly absurd/pitable characters, the onus of being genuinely likeable falls on Jim and Pam. And you can't have the two main characters that average folks are supposed to like, relate to, and cheer for (instead of laugh at) essentially acting retarded for 4 seasons in a row.
To continue coming up with ways to keep them apart would have required the characters behaving stupidly. I know I started to get annoyed with two supposedly-intelligent characters failing to recognize the obvious at points during the second season. At least during the third season, they pulled the little plot twist of sending Jim to Stamford for a couple months, alleviating the problem (and, in fact, putting more problems into place so that you could keep things simmering once Jim and Karen returned to the Office).
I figure by the start of the fourth season, it was time. It's not like it's an overpowering part of the show; it's just a matter of fact, leaving space for other storylines and characters to develop. If we still had Jim and Pam being all moon-faced and hopelessly in forbidden love, I don't know as that there'd be room for Ed Helms' new character to be battling Dwight tooth-and-nail for Michael's affections. In terms of "love triangles," it's a trade-off I'm willing to make.
Then again, now that I'm old enough to appreciate it, reruns of "Cheers" have convinced me that the best thing that ever happened to the show was whats-her-name leaving after 3-4 seasons, preventing the show from either succombing to an actual "Very Special Wedding Episode" or rehashing Sam and Diane's same old tricks for 10 years.
PS: If we're chiming in on Gervais' "Extras," I'll say that if you don't think the Patrick Stewart episode is the funniest one, you can't be my friend.