Sunday, December 14, 2008

episode: the office, "moroccan christmas" (5.10)

I haven't posted on The Office in a while (possibly since the premiere?), but that's because I've been fairly unimpressed this season. This past Thursday's Christmas episode, however, almost makes up for it. The Office tends to do Christmas episodes correctly (unlike, say, 30 Rock), and this episode offered us three really strong storylines to follow. The A-story was Phyllis's creation of a Moroccan Christmas, which shows that she is capable of throwing a good party. The B-story, however false or inappropriate, had Michael staging an intervention for Meredith. When he tricks her into going to a rehab center, Michael offered my favorite line: "I'm here to make a deposit... Alcoholic." The C-story followed Dwight's capitalist Grinchness by looking up what this season's most sought-after will be -- Princess Unicorn -- then buying all of them and selling them out of his office at $200 a pop.

The reason this episode succeeded is because it focused less on narrative drama and more on character drama. Jim has reverted back to his pranks on Dwight (how long do you think it took him to create an identical desk out of paper?). Angela finally stood up to Phyllis, only to have her reveal Angela's secret affair with Dwight. (And Dwight's smirk was priceless. "Well, don't look so surprised.") But poor Andy. They made an obnoxious character pathetic and sympathetic without making him lose his obnoxiousness. His sitar song was annoying, but also sweet at the same time. His relentless, although misguided, adoration of Angela has been endearing. But now that the secret has been revealed to everyone but him, I wonder who will be the one in the office to break the news? Oh, and how cute were Jim and Pam at the end. "I knew." "You didn't know." "I knew." "She knew."

Good (non-quotable) moments include the father appearing at the office and making the official "Princess Unicorn" signal for Dwight; Jim's reaction to Michael thinking Bob Hope was an alcoholic; Phyllis making Angela put away her Christmas tree (at a Christmas party); Creed offering up that he can get a fire permit in an hour; Meredith naming off every bar in Scranton; Toby paying Daryl $400 for a black Princess Unicorn doll

Memorable quotes from "Moroccan Christmas":

Angela: (after Phyllis removes her nativity scene from her desk because it doesn't match the Moroccan theme) I am not going to judge Phyllis for desecrating Christmas. There is one person who will, though, and she just stuffed him into a drawer.

Jim: Oh, you brought in your doll collection.
Dwight: These are not dolls. They are commodities, just like gold or oil.

Michael: (acting as bartender) This is equal parts scotch, absinthe, rum, gin, vermouth, triple sec, and two packs of Splenda.
[The best part of this scene is that Michael has no idea what kind of a drink he just offered Meredith, and he's genuinely thrilled that she likes it.]

Angela: Really, Andy? It's Christmas, and you're singing about nudity. And France.

Dwight: (after selling one of the dolls) Fa-la-la-la-la-la-ka-ching!

Michael: An intervention, it's really hard to describe... it's really a coming together... it's a surprise party for people who have addictions and you get in their face and scream at them and make them feel really bad about themselves. And then they stop.

Kevin: (after Meredith's hair catches fire) FIRE GIRL!
[This, of course, is in the same vein as his nicknames for Ryan -- Fire Guy, Fired Guy, and Hired Guy. Kevin's creative process is hilarious.]

Michael: Okay, we're going to have a quick intervention and then get back to the party.

Dwight: In the Shrute family, we believe in the five-finger invention. Awareness. Education. Control. Acceptance. And Punching.

Meredith: I don't mind telling you I have an addiction. To porn.
Michael: That image, I think we can agree, is disgusting.

Michael: What happens if you come in to work tomorrow... and you're dead?
Dwight: (cut to Dwight's talking head) I'd stab her in the brain with a wooden stick. There are several ways to kill a zombie, but the most satisfying way is stabbing in the brain with a wooden stick.

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