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The Office: Secret Santa - Review

Dwight and Jim unveil the office Christmas tree ... which turns out to be fake, undecorated tree that makes Charlie Brown's tree look inspired. The staff aren't impressed with Dwight and Jim's unveiling. I'm not impressed with the gag; it was much funnier when Michael got a too-tall tree and had to get the top cut off.

Hahaha- OK, we're back on track. Erin begs her Secret Santa to stop sending the 12 Days of Christmas gifts to her, as her cat killed the turtle dove and other animals are attacking her. God help her when she has lords a leaping. We find out it's Andy giving the gifts, a subtle reminder that he has a crush on her.

"Is it my fault the first 8 days are, basically, 30 birds?" - Andy

Phyllis gets her dream job: being Santa Claus. As she points out, she has the right figure for it. Nobody seemed to tell Michael, though, who thinks it's ridiculous for Phyllis to be "ol' Tranny Claus." Touche.

Kevin just about crushes Michael's lap. Something about Kevin sitting on Santa's lap is hysterical, isn't it? He's like a big kid. It reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton and the big kid in "Bad Santa," but with less f-bombs and drinking.

Did anybody notice Stanley's amazing reindeer sweater, by the way?

The tree finally gets lit - I see Phyllis didn't opt for the tiny lights this year - while Michael looks on with jealousy. It's kind of a backward step for him, really, after he seemed to be making progress as a boss and person in recent episodes (lying about the tuition thing, not included).

So Michael switches outfits and emerges as Father Time Jesus (much to Angela's delight... I almost forget she's on the show anymore). He proceeds to give color commentary while Phyllis Claus hands out gifts. Basically, he's being a giant prick. How did Stanley not punch him in the face when Michael brought up the adultery?

Michael lets out the secret that Andy was Erin's Secret Santa. Erin thinks Andy is nuts for giving those gifts (did he give her five golden rings, by the way?) He's persistent, though, and we get to see his 12 drummers drumming at the end. Erin is all smiles.

If Michael's Jesus antics weren't bad enough, Corporate's David Wallace says the potential buyer for Dunder-Mifflin is going to clean house. Michael assumes that means everyone is fired, but that's not the case. They get to keep their jobs! It's a Christmas miracle. I guess it does mean the last of David Wallace, though, as he's fired.

In the subplot:

Oscar has a crush on the gay warehouse guy. He tries to hand deliver the guy's check to him, as Darryl reminds Oscar how good looking gay warehouse guy is.

Pam figures out Oscar's crush. And, like any well-intentioned but totally misguided straight person, she assumes warehouse guy and Oscar must be perfect for each other. Oscar decides to play it cool. Whatever.

It was an uneven episode. I liked the 12 Days of Christmas thing- Erin and Andy make sense for each other, so you're pulling for them. And Phyllis as Santa is a funny thought. But Michael was so unlikeable at the beginning- downright childish- that you didn't want to laugh. You wanted to yell at him. At least eventually he got back to just being goofy and lovable.

The Oscar thing was just random and didn't make sense. It's like, "Oh, crap, we haven't dealt with Oscar being gay in a while, let's fit something in."

As far as Office Christmas episodes go, it wasn't as good as the original- that was so pitch perfect with the Yankee Swap- but it was at least as enjoyable as the Benihana episode. Another Dunder Middle ranking. I have a feeling I'll like it more on the rewatch.

Nice touches:

  • Dwight's idea of having bin Laden build his own jail

  • Creed sprawled on Santa's lap when Michael enters as Jesus

  • Jim giving Kelly a New Moon/Edward Cullen poster

Best quotes:
"We're supposed to applaud you for taking a giant diaper off a fake tree?" - Stanley

"You've been a very naughty girl, I see." - Michael

"By the way, your wife is a very lucky woman." - Meredith

What did you think? Leave a comment, and vote in the poll...And follow me on Twitter @officetvfodder

Posted by Andy Shaw on December 10, 2009 11:20 PM
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