Saturday, December 16, 2006

An Asian Hooters Christmas

There is a chance that my one reader has not seen the episode yet, but I've got to blog about the last installment of The Office before my memories of it fall into one of the oubliettes of my mind, forever lost. Needless to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, there are spoilers below. You've been warned.

Holy !$#%^ crap, that episode was hilarious.

Longtime fans of the show will agree that Creed doesn't get enough airtime, but we were treated with another glimpse into his creepy life in the beginning of this episode. Creed saunters in, sees the Toys For Tots box, peruses casually, and just as casually tucks a toy under his arm. Considering he has no kids, I don't want to know why he's taking the toy. When told that he's supposed to put toys in the box, he merely replies with, "And a Merry Christmas to you, too!" and continues sauntering to his desk. Creed rocks.

Meredith is another Office B-Lister. The red-headed alcoholic has more clips in the deleted scenes than any other B-Lister I've seen, and she's usually very funny. The editors kept a few of her scenes this time, and she didn't disappoint. When offered a margarita at Karen and Pam's (more on that most awesome of pairings later) much funner party, she politely refuses with, "No, they're too sweet," and proceeds to walk off with an entire bottle of vodka and a determined look in her eye.

Just like Michelle, I gave a little shout when I saw Oscar make his abortive return to the staff of Dunder-Mifflin. I hope this means we'll see him as a regular when the show comes off the Winter hiatus. Oscar's reactions to the crap that goes on at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton are priceless.

Continuing on in the B-List vein, let's look at Kevin. The poor man's quandary about whether to attend Angela's party or not could be boiled down to a hilarious pro and con. He sat there in the confessional weighing his love for double fudge brownies on one hand against his distaste for Angela on the other. You could really tell that he was hard-pressed, too. If you blinked, you probably missed his graceful exit from Angela's soiree as someone left the door open too long. Brownies in hand, he joined the festivities of the Karen/Pam party.

Speaking of Angela, was she in rare form that night! My jaw dropped almost as far as Karen's as she delivered a scathing dressing down and summarily dismissed the latter from the party-planning commission. A brilliant, but sadly deleted scene, even shows us Angela getting physical with poor, depressing Toby, and not in the good way. At least Her Vileness got a write up for it. The softer side of Angela actually came one step closer to making its appearance in the office when she and Dwight K. Schrute shared a surreptious handholding moment. Awwwww.

Toby and Stanley had a couple of good lines while I can't recall Ryan or Kelly doing anything really memorable. The A-Listers, however, had some truly great moments.

First, the inevitable love triangle, Karpim, er, Jaram, no, Pimen, um, Kkkkkk-Jam, screw it, Karen/Jim/Pam. I'll admit that I'm on Team Karen, doomed though I know it to be. Jim even confirmed that Karen is a rebound from his fruitless attempts to get with Pam in season 2. I understand Jim and Pam have a history and they share in little moments, but Karen is cuter, geeky in a good way, and makes no attempt to hide her interest in Jim. Pam, on the other hand, obviously doesn't know what she wants with her friendly chats with Roy and her frequent attempts to buddy around with Jim. You can't have it both ways, Pam. I'll just leave that relationship with the bittersweet montage of Karen/Jim moments playing in my mind.

Starting at the top of the list, the big kahuna, the best boss in the world, Mr. Scott-o! Speaking of inevitable love triangles, Michael's has now been broken on both sides. Not since Randy had a mariachi player follow him around with the Spanish version of Time After Time on My Name is Earl has a breakup been so entertaining. Granted, that was just a week ago, but still. In order to cheer him up, perrenial suckup Andy invites Michael to Benihana, which shall forever more be known as Asian Hooters. Of course, Michael needs his entourage, bros before hos, after all. So Michael, Andy, Dwight, and a reluctant Jim file out of the office for some male bonding. The funniest bit of the Asian Hooters scenes was Jim falling back into old habits as he explained to Dwight, who had to sit apart from the bros due to a hapless couple's unfortunate seating choice, that the conversation between Michael and the cute Asian waitress was about her difficulty killing and skinning a goose. Of course, ever the helpful know-it-all, Dwight launches into the proper procedure at full volume over the heads of his unfortunate table mates and to the horrified dismay of the waitress. We know that Dwight K. Schrute is an expert in this as he performed the service just that morning on the Christmas Miracle Goose he hit on the way into work.

Meanwhile, Pam felt guilty about not standing up for Karen in the party planning meeting. Since she has no outward reason to dislike Karen, she decides to try to be her friend. Before his trip to Asian Hooters, you can see that Jim is decidedly uncomfortable with the two girls giggling and plotting in the corner. Turns out that he has nothing to worry about yet, as their plotting involves creating the Committee for Party Planning in direct opposition to Angela's Iron Fist Party Planning Committee. Further, their party will start 15 minutes before Angela's and will include margaritas and karaoke! I have to admit that I was smirking right alongside the girls as they shoved their party announcement into Angela's mortified gob. I believe that the Karen/Pam team may be a force to be reckoned with.

To prove that they are gracious in victory, Karen and Pam invite Angela to combine parties once they have succeeded in luring over almost every one of Angela's partygoers. In one last show of her innate snarkiness, Angela reveals that she was the culprit in the Mystery of the Missing Karaoke Machine Power Cord. Even she got her swerve on in the karaoke singing with a stirring rendition of Little Drummer Boy with Dwight's vox drum accompaniment.

Poor Michael Scott experiences heartache once more as his Asian Hooters date decides to split with his bicycle and turns down his invitation to Jamaica's hottest all-inclusive resort. Here is where we get to see Jim wax on about rebounds and the power of that first, true love. Ah, Karen/Jim, we barely knew thee. Mark my words, this is the beginning of the end for them.

Oh, and who was that Michael Scott convinced to go with him to Jamaica on the phone at the end? It couldn't be Jan. She can't be that desperate, can she? I see comedy on the horizon!