The Office (2005): Complete Christmas Collection DVD Review: Ain’t No Party Like a Dunder Mifflin Party

Based on the highly acclaimed British TV series created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office is a mockumentary set at the Scranton, PA office of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. The core four characters are loosely based on their UK counterparts. When the series began, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) ran the office, although how he got the job is a bit of a mystery as his interpersonal skills are rather lacking as are his empathy and tact, much like an immature child. Dwight Scrute (Rainn Wilson) is a salesman and sucks up to Michael constantly. Dwight is frequently teased and pranked by fellow salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), usually by tapping into his numerous idiosyncrasies, such as his desire to work for the CIA. Jim and Pam are attracted to each other but she is engaged to warehouse dock worker Roy (David Denman). The episodes contained in this collection are:

“Christmas Party” is from the second season. To show what a great guy he is, Michael wants a wild party. Office staff talk about the Secret Santa exchange. The limit was set at $20 limit, but Michael bought Ryan (B. J. Novak) a $400 video iPod. When he is disappointed that Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) knit him an oven mitt, Michael turns the exchange into Yankee Swap, which allows a person to steal someone else’s gifts. However, no one wants his mitt. Michael causes more office turmoil when he reveals he got a Xmas bonus, but the his staff didn’t. There is a commentary track by Fischer, Novak, David Denman, Kate Flannery, editor Dave Rogers, writer/producer Mike Schur, and executive producer Greg Daniels and Deleted Scenes (6 min).

“A Benihana Christmas” is from the third season and is a two-part episode directed by Harold Ramis. Michael’s girlfriend Carole (Nancy Carell) understandably dumps him right before Christmas because of his creepy behavior. It’s the first year since the merge with the Stamford office, but narrow-minded Angela (Angela Kinsey) from Accounting isn’t open to any of Karen’s (Rashida Jones) ideas. Pam befriends Karen and they throw a competing party. Andy (Ed Helms) takes Michael, Jim, and Dwight to Benihaha to cheer up Michael, who gets drunk and invites a couple waitresses back to the party, even though he can’t tell them apart. There are Deleted Scenes (6 min).

“Moroccan Christmas” is from the fifth season and directed by Paul Feig. Phyllis is throwing this year’s party and orders Angela, because she know Angela cheated on Andy with Dwight. When Meredith’s (Kate Flannery) hair catches fire after boozing it up, Michael organizes an intervention. There is a commentary track by Flannery, Kinsey, and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin). There are Deleted Scenes (7 min).

“Secret Santa” is from the sixth season and is written by Mindy Kaling (Kelly). After years of wanting it, Phyllis gets to be Santa, but then Michael also shows up as Santa and competes against her, whom he calls “Tranny Claus.” Pam and Jim are a couple and having a baby, and Jim seems to be Michael’s supervisor. After Jim tells him he can’t be Santa, Michael pouts like a spoiled kid and dresses like Jesus. After learning from an executive that the company is being sold, Michael upends the part even further by blurting out that they are all getting fired. There is a commentary by Kaling, Ellie Kemper (Erin), and editor Claire Scanlon. The Producer’s Extended Cut is eight minutes longer.

“Classy Christmas” from the seventh season is a two-part episode directed by Rainn Wilson and written by Mindy Kaling. Michael is excited old friend and lover Holly (Amy Ryan) is coming back during Human Resources rep Toby’s (Paul Lieberstein) jury duty absence, but should he tamper his rekindling hopes? Dwight goes wild getting revenge on Jim who started a snowball fight. Darryl (Craig Robinson) brings his daughter to attend the Xmas party. There are Deleted Scenes (3 min).

“Christmas Wishes” from the eighth season is directed by Ed Helms and written by Mindy Kaling. With Michael having left Dunder Mifflin, Andy is the office manager and plays Office Santa. He brings his new girlfriend Jessica to the party. This upsets former flame/receptionist Erin, who for the first time drinks alcohol to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Andy deals with the escalating pranks between Dwight and Jim by telling them the next person to commit a prank forfeits their Xmas bonus to the other. Rather than argeeing to a truce, they self-commit pranks to frame the other. There are Deleted Scenes (6 min).

“Dwight Christmas” from the ninth season. Everyone except Phyllis forgets about the Christmas party, so Dwight throws an authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas, which is as strange as you’d expect coming from Dwight and his family. Jim is heading to Philadelphia for a new job to the disappoint of a few. There are Deleted Scenes (4 min).

The Office: The Christmas Collection gathers all their Christmas party episodes into one place to the delight of fans. There’s plenty of laughs throughout thanks to the talented cast and writers, but new viewers will likely be confused by the addition and loss of characters and the change in interpersonal dynamics, which get little to no explanation, as they jump from year to year.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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