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The Office Christmas Special was “grueling”? That thing fucking destroyed me, but in the most cathartic way. It’s the most romantic episode in TV history. Gervais and Merchant spent so much time exploring how these characters cope with their daily drudgery — lying to themselves, hiding behind sarcasm, getting way too obsessed with quiz night — that when something really good happens to them, it feels earned. That show was a master class in restraint, its finale the perfectly executed resolution.

In this context, the American Office is about as exciting as a new stapler.

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