This photo of Phyllis (left) from The Office's Dec. 10 Christmas episode is as timely as anything else the "Happiness ..." brain trust could attach to this recap of Thursday night's episode.
That's because, after a six-week hiatus, the show's writers came back with ... a clip show. Six weeks off, and The Office returns with a contrived shell of a story about an investment banker auditing the Scranton branch, giving Toby and other cast members opportunities to flash back to highlights from real episodes.
Anyone who watched Sunday's Golden Globes award ceremony heard host Ricky Gervais declare that the American version of his show has "jumped the shark". He was probably joking. Probably.
At least The Office picked a couple of my favorite episodes to cannibalize for clips.
If you're going to run an Office clip show, you have to include:
- Meredith explaining to Dwight, who's been entrusted by Michael to pick the office's new health plan, that a hysterectomy does not involve removing a woman's vagina.
- A drunk Pam sliding off her Chili's bar stool during the awarding of Michael's made-up Dundee awards.
- Michael hitting Meredith with his car.
- Andy punching a hole in the wall when he can't find his phone, hidden in the ceiling by Jim.
- Meredith unintentionally flashing everybody on casual Friday.
- Jim wrapping what appears to be Dwight's entire desk and chair in Christmas wrapping paper and then watching Dwight sprawled out on the floor as the whole thing collapses when he drops his briefcase on it.
- Michael forcing Oscar into the most awkward closed-mouth kiss ever in Michael's attempt to make up to Oscar that he outed him at the office.
- A montage of Jim and others baiting Michael into making inappropriate "That's what she said" jokes.
Mission accomplished on all of those. But if you're turning to the clip show five-and-a-half seasons into the run, where do you go next?