Two major cast members serve as writer and director for this year’s hour-long holiday episode of “The Office.” The result: one of the best episode in recent memory. A major character finally makes her return and most dedicated fans would have been content to have her back in even a halfway decent episode. Instead, we got a great one.

Read the review to find out what it was great…

The Players:

Episode Title: “Classy Christmas”

Toby is serving as a juror on the Scranton Strangler trial and a replacement HR representative is sent to take over in his absence. That person ends up being Holly, and when Michael learns that she is returning, he scraps the cheap holiday party taking place at the office and pays for a new, “classy” one out of his own pocket. Sadly, things don’t work out the way romantic comedies have led him to believe they should. In the meantime, Dwight wages an unrelenting campaign of terror against Jim involving surprise snowball attacks, and Daryl tries to keep his daughter entertained after learning that she doesn’t want to spend Christmas at his house.

The Good:

  • Snowball War: When Dwight gets his revenge, he doesn’t pull any punches. His attacks start out brilliant, with Dwight actually hiding inside of an elaborate snowman in order to ambush Jim, and they escalate to the point that Jim is a paranoid wreck. The episode ends on a classic Dwight line: “Sometimes, the strongest snowball isn’t a snowball at all. It’s fear. Merry Christmas, everybody!”
  • Stanley’s dream: Stanley is the only real character at the office. He hates his job unconditionally and would rather be in a place where he gets to sit in an air-conditioned room where he can judge other people and not have to worry about paying for lunch: jury duty. While few of us look forward to that particular experience, anyone who’s ever worked in an office has always felt a little bit like Stanley at times.
  • Holly returns: Ever since last season’s finale, we’ve been building up to the return of Holly Flax, and the moment finally comes when she and Michael are reunited. Sure, their “chemistry” isn’t as convincing as old-school Jim and Pam; it seems mostly based on the fact that they enjoy the same stupid jokes. And, of course, there’s drama in the form of Holly’s boyfriend AJ, but overall, we know where this one is headed and we’re happy it’s starting to get there.
  • The writing: This is one of the best scripts “The Office” has had in years, mainly because it seems perfectly suited to the characters. Half of the laugh-out-loud moments–from Daryl going off on a tangent about the TV show “iCarly” to Michael describing Holly’s boyfriend as a “douchebag” because he never watched Toy Story–couldn’t have even seemed that funny on the page. But they were written with the kind of faith in the actors that allows the cast to work its magic.
  • Jim and Pam: Ever since these two got married we’ve been severely lacking in some of the old Jim and Pam magic. We know the honeymoon is over, but c’mon guys, give us another “aw, how cute” moment. Luckily they do this week when they exchange gifts. Honestly, who doesn’t want what those two fictional characters have?
  • Erin vs. Holly: Erin, usually the sweet (and somewhat daft) receptionist, doesn’t like Holly the way everyone else does. No explanation is given, and no is needed. Somehow, it’s funny.

The Bad:

  • Michael and Woody: We have yet another “don’t do it, Michael” moment this week when his frustration with the Holly problem gets the better of him and he nearly detroys the Woody doll that AJ gave her. He deserves a punch in the face for that kind of behavior.


Wow. This has easily been the worst season of “The Office” so far. So why was last night one of the best episodes, like, ever? It was hysterical, emotional, and even though it was twice as long as a typical episode, you didn’t want it to end. Full of little gags and hilarious jokes, it was simply spectacular.

Rating: 9.5/10

“The Office” airs every Thursday night on NBC!

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Did you like the episode as much as we did? Tell us in the comments!