The Office, NBC, Airs Thursdays 9/8c
Episode: “Moroccan Christmas” (Season 5, Episode 11)
Synopsis: Phyllis’ (Phyllis Smith) Moroccan-themed holiday party goes up in flames when Meredith’s (Kate Flannery) hair catches on fire and Michael (Steve Carell) is forced to deal with the accident. Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) corners the market on the hottest toy of the Christmas season.
Review: “Moroccan Christmas” was all about the intervention as Michael tried his best, in his typical idiotic way, to help Meredith overcome her alcohol addiction. The result wasn’t too different than some of the group sessions we have had at Film School Rejects headquarters, except we usually pass around a bottle of Jagermeister and try to encourage each other not to plaster write-ups with Tom Cruise jokes. It’s a lot harder to resist than you think and usually I am dragged out kicking and screaming, much like Meredith in the show.
One of the many reasons I love The Office is that it affords me opportunities to piggyback off their joke and make my own. When Michael told Meredith, “the next time you put yourself on fire we aren’t going to help you out,” I couldn’t help but wonder if this was what it was like at an intervention for Michael Jackson. Scranton, Pennsylvania, you’re the gift that keeps on giving.
How bad ass is Phyllis? Not only did she effectively shoot a middle finger at Angela (Angela Kinsey) but she ramped up the awkwardness at Dunder Mifflin to about a 9.5 with her declaration that Dwight and Angela are having sex still. How her revelation will affect the relationship between Angela and Andy (Ed Helms) remains to be seen, but since Andy wasn’t in the room I am sure things will go back to normal. And I am a liar. We all know the season finale will center around Angela and Andy’s wedding day at Schrute Farms. Too bad Andy won’t be imitating George Harrison on the sitar anymore.
The Office is one of the greatest television comedies ever but it also offers valuable life lessons. For example, Dwight explained that the most satisfying way to kill a zombie was to stab it in the brain with a wooden stake. So Resident Evil has been lying to me this whole time? And why the hell wasn’t this taught in my Zombies film course (I did, in fact, take a college course two years ago where we watched zombie films and studied the messages they were trying to send about American society. Yay, education!)
“Moroccan Christmas” won’t go down as one of my favorite episodes. It didn’t bring much to the table in advancing the story, but it offered an adequate reflection of what Christmas is like for a lot of people. People drink a lot, they feel obligated to hang out even if they don’t like each other and inevitably someone buys an African-American version of “Princess Unicorn.” I’ll never forget the time I spent 400 dollars to buy my 4 year-old cousin a Space Cadet Barbie and Ken set only to learn later they were limited edition Scientology action figures of Tom Cruise* and Katie Holmes (Les Grossman baldcap sold separately). Sigh, see what I mean? Say it with me, I am a Film School Reject and I have a problem.
My opinion of the episode also reflects my general attitude about the fifth season. I’m not in love with it like the second or third seasons, but it sure beats the hell out of almost everything I saw in season four. Maybe it’s best to just be grateful that we even have a show like The Office, which is very much like that crazy grandmother we all have. No, it isn’t perfect and sometimes it goes off the deep end. But when she ends up falling into the punch bowl it gives us some stories to tell all our friends about later.
Up Next Week: A double dose of reruns featuring the “Crime Aid” and “Customer Survey”
Did you watch the Moroccan Christmas episode? If so, what did you think?