[image-4]Published September 25, 2008.
The Office: Season Four
Oh, season four of The Office: You could have been so terrible. After seasons of keeping made-for-each-other Office-mates Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) circumstance-crossed, show helmer Greg Daniels and his writing crew finally threw fans a bone in season three's finale, and let those crazy kids get together. But where was the show going to go from there? In the press, Daniels teased that "a soap opera-y thing" awaited J&P---and y'all know how those soap opera-y things can turn out. (I sure didn't want Pam to end up marrying Jim's back-from-the-dead evil uncle.) But instead of tearing apart his supercouple, Daniels spent season four cannily shifting The Office's focus away from J&P and onto the show's ace supporting cast. We got to watch new exec Ryan's (B.J. Novak) coked-out fall from grace and sad HR rep Toby's (Paul Lieberstein) creepy pining for Pam, the girl he was too shy to ask out. And while more dysfunctional couples---lonely Michael (Steve Carell) and downward-spiralling Jan (Melora Hardin); practical Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and uptight cat-lover Angela (Angela Kinsey)---spent the season imploding, Jim and Pam stayed on the sidelines, bantering and being as functional together as fans always knew they would be.