The Office: Season 7, Episodes 11 & 12 “Classy Christmas” (B+)
The very week that “In Treatment” comes to an end, we get Amy Ryan back on this show, which is an absolute delight. Her amazing, dorky chemistry with Michael immediately returns, and it’s fun to watch the rest of the office stare in shock at just how alike the two are. Unfortunately, Michael manages to blow it early on by trashing Woody and then talking about the kids he’d have with Holly in front of the whole office, but he did a surprisingly impressive job of bringing it all back together by episode’s end. Having AJ come in and not giving him a hard time was nice, and he also does raise an unusually valid point: that Holly wasn’t willing to do long-distance for him but has no problem doing it with AJ. I loved seeing Kelly’s mouth drop when she heard Holly and AJ returning to Holly’s neighboring cube, and it’s a good sign that Holly didn’t tell AJ the truth about what happened to poor Woody. Seeing Darryl’s daughter and the lengths that Pam, Andy, and eventually Michael went to in order to give her a great holiday was endearing, and she wasn’t the only welcome guest to the party. Angela’s boyfriend, dryly played by Jack Coleman of “Heroes,” was entertaining, not least of all because Oscar was so sure he was gay. Pam’s comic book was a brilliant gift, and it’s too bad no one seemed to be impressed since Jim absolutely loved it. Of course, Jim had his own problems to deal with in this episode as a snowball thrown in the office at Dwight resulted in some pretty horrendous payback. A fine, funny holiday episode this is.
Since I was watching this live, I do have to note that I saw my first preview for NBC’s all-new, three-hour comedy lineup coming in January. I was extremely impressed by the advertisement, and I’m very excited. One of Andy’s lines from “Parks and Recreation” had me cracking up for a good portion of the episode: “I looked up your symptoms online, and it says you have network connectivity problems.” I can’t wait for that show to be back, and right after this one is the best spot it could possibly have.