Does The Office’s last Christmas episode show shadows of things that will be, or shadows of things may be, only?

Does The Office’s last Christmas episode show shadows of things that will be, or shadows of things may be, only?

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for December 6, 2012. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): And now, a seasonal excerpt from Charles Dickens: “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. For instance, ‘Dwight Christmas’ provides a glimpse into what The Farm would do with a holiday episode, if it hadn’t been canceled. Say it is thus with what you show me.” The Spirit was immovable as ever. The writer crept towards it, trembling as she went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave her own name, CAROLINE FRAMKE, FILLING IN FOR AN ABSENT ERIK ADAMS.


REGULAR COVERAGE

Last Resort (ABC, 8 p.m.): It’s family day on the island—the perfect time to find out the truth behind the attack on Pakistan that started this whole mess in the first place. Scott Von Doviak bets it was some petty international disagreement that’ll make Andre Braugher blow up real good.

30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): In other holiday lasts, Colleen Donaghy makes her final Christmas pilgrimage to 30 Rock. When Pilot Viruet reads the words “Ho ho ho,” what she hears in her head is the salty cackle of Elaine Stritch.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): The title “The Fish Guts Displacement” works two ways: Superficially, it’s about Wolowitz going fishing with his father-in-law—but below the surface it’s about an ailing Amy almost certainly puking all over Sheldon. Oliver Sava promises bonus points to the episode if Amy’s vomit is seafood-induced.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Dateline: 1942. Allied troops keep the Axis forces trapped in Stalingrad, while vampire troops enjoy leave in New Orleans. Meanwhile, on the homefront, Carrie Raisler works tirelessly to keep all “Is this an Anne Rice crossover?” questions at bay.

Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): The machine spits out the number of a cab driver, meaning any number of his upcoming fares could be involved in a crime. If the crime with which they’re charged is delighting Phil-Dyess Nugent, then they’re all guilty as charged.

Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Prepare for a new addition the Glee buzzword lexicon, as Rachel prepares of the “winter showcase” at NYADA. Brandon Nowalk hopes you can attend his “regionals winter showcase sectional audition” party next week.

Parks And Recreation (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): The “Ron And Tammy” saga turns a new page when Tammy Two meets Diane. If this meeting doesn’t produce a Tammy/Diane knock-down, drag-out, Steve Heisler hopes that the two characters form a Xena-Gabrielle-type bond and spin-off into their own Pawnee-based adventure series.

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Myles McNutt read the title of this week’s episode—“You Do It To Yourself”—and was instantly struck with a case of The Bends by Radiohead. Symptoms include comparing and contrasting Sherlock Holmes to the protagonist of “Fake Plastic Trees.”

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): The gang angles for future inclusion in The Gameological Society’s ongoing Games Go To Hollywood series, going all “Stephanie’s Wild Ride” by getting hooked on video games. The alarmist, clichéd premise aside, Emily Guendelsberger believes this is the character’s healthiest fixation to date.

Burn Notice (USA, 10 p.m.): As part of a robbery, Sam gets stuck in a standoff with the cops, crossing yet another item off of Scott Von Doviak’s “Fun Scenarios For Bruce Campbell” wish list. Now on to making “A straightforward biopic of Warren G. Harding, America’s lousiest president” a reality!

The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): FX looked at its season-four order for The League and said, “Look at all this extra The League lying around at the end of the year! What are we going to do with it?” Burn it off two episodes at a time, that’s what! It’s vaguely in the spirit of holiday-season gluttony, but Margaret Eby couldn’t be happier about it…

Unsupervised (FX, 11:30 p.m.): Or maybe it’s just in the spirit of burning things off before the new year, as the network is doing with the final three episodes of this animated series, which was in the midst of hitting its stride when it last aired (before it was unceremoniously canceled). Brandon Nowalk thinks it’s awfully nice of FX to give Gary and Joel a beefed-up, double-League lead-in, though.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: (Cartoon Network, 12:15 a.m.): And then there’s the NTSF Christmas special—you might want to check around your living space for any other cult comedies being hidden by cable networks. Kevin McFarland just pulled a pair of Clone High episodes out from under his couch cushions.


TV CLUB CLASSIC

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Season three concludes with a renewed threat from the Dominion—though after Zack Handlen found out about the Star Trek: The Next Generation character who’s due to arrive on the other side of this cliffhanger, he just wanted to skip ahead to season four. In time, Zack, in time.


WHAT ELSE IS ON?

Two And A Half Men (CBS, 8:31 p.m.): Now that he’s recanted, is it possible that President Angus T. Steakflower’s address about the filth content of the bawdy vaudeville revue Two And A Half Men was just a warning about a forthcoming episode entitled “One Nut Johnson”? Perhaps it was all a ploy to fit every sitting room in America with a Steakflower Brand Fainting Couch, in anticipation of the vapors brought on by “One Nut Johnson.”

In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (HBO, 9 p.m.): If we can think of any aspect of putting together Vogue that wasn’t already exhaustively documented in The September Issue and, er, The Devil Wears Prada, we might end up covering this documentary. Or we might end up throwing it to ADD WRITER HERE, who earned the notoriously Anna Wintour-like disdain of What’s On Tonight? earlier this week over that whole Tosh.0 kerfuffle. (Though it’s actually going to Sonia Saraiya. We just saw an opportunity for a callback and took it.)

The Will (Investigation Discovery, 9 p.m.): Not content to earn the title of “cable’s most ghoulish network” on the strength of its true-crime series alone, ID is three seasons into re-enacting the drama that occurs after a person’s death. Here’s an episode about blues pioneer Robert Johnson, because that guy’s memory apparently hasn’t suffered enough at the hands of every wanky guitarist who’s ever learned “Cross Road Blues.”

Mary Mary (WE, 10 p.m.): TV’s starting to down egg nog by the bowlful, which means it’s getting ready to take a big, long December nap where the second-season première of the reality show following sister act Mary Mary rates as one of the night’s most interesting offerings. Say “goodnight, TV,” in gorgeous gospel harmonies.

The Princess Bride (AMC, 7 p.m.): Seeking a film to match the whimsical spirit of the season, but unwilling to dip more than a few toes into full-on treacle? Grandpa Peter Falk has just the bedtime story for you.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): And now, once more, an excerpt from the works of Charles Dickens: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. As for the last, in the future my face will not only be my own, but that of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Yes, even you, Spirit! And the name on that grave shall read ‘James Eugene Carrey.’ All righty then?”

NBA Basketball: Knicks at Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.): Yes, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year: When the NBA standings have shaken out to the point where TNT only has to pay attention to four or five marquee teams. Get cozy with the New York and Miami lineups—you’ll be seeing more of them if they stay atop the Eastern Conference standings.


IN CASED YOU MISSED IT

American Horror Story: Al Swearengen plays Santa (sort of), and Todd VanDerWerff pauses to think if a Christmas wish of his wasn’t garbled in translation and the given terrifying life by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

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