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Alternative Reality TV


Illustration by Darrow  

The Office

By Daniel Chun, Carolyn Omine, Matt Selman, and Matt Warburton, writers from The Simpsons

Over the past 8 episodes...
The work atmosphere at Dunder Mifflin generally stayed the same (that is, boring), though Michael’s life deteriorated rapidly. He went into debt, almost ate a poisonous mushroom, and was humiliated at a deposition about Jan’s firing. Pam and Jim’s relationship flourished, while Angela broke Dwight’s heart after he purposely froze her cat to death.


EPISODE 9: “Flu Season”
Phyllis shows up on the day of the Mardi Gras party with a runny nose. Dwight becomes paranoid about infection, but Michael insists the party must go on—he has hired a local zydeco band, the Jambalaya Jammers. Meanwhile, Jim and Pam worry that they get along so well that other couples don’t want to hang out with them. Have they become “that couple”?

EPISODE 10: “New Phone System”
During Michael’s rap song introducing the new phone system, Phyllis’s cold worsens. She vomits black blood and dies. A terrifying battalion of CDC troops in hazmat suits quarantines the office to prevent the spread of Bhutan swine flu variant-661, or “the Boot.” Meanwhile, Jim and Pam inadvertently wear matching sweaters. They ponder—are they becoming “that couple”?

EPISODE 11: “Office Idol”
As the quarantine drags on, food supplies in the office snack room have dwindled down to just the left Twix in a Twix packet. Michael decides that his employees must compete for the last remaining food in an “Office Idol” singing competition: Michael is Simon, Kelly is Paula, and Stanley is offended that he has to be Randy. Oscar wins, but Creed has stolen the Twix. Dwight decapitates him and hangs his body from a flagpole.

EPISODE 12: “Provisional Government”
Pam and Kelly are unhappy that they’ve been impregnated under the procreation directives of Brother Peace, Groove-Pope of the Neon Nation (guest star Will Arnett). Jim is mad that he wasn’t allowed to contribute his semen to the Love Pond because his fitness rating was Orange.

And for the SEASON FINALE ... “Snack Time”

To lighten the mood, Michael plans a journey to the rumored “clean city” of New Pittsburgh. Despite suffering from mutations triggered by black-market plague medication, the staff is jovial for the first time in months—until events take a dramatic turn (see below). With yet another mouth to feed—and a jealous Jan planting rumors that Ryan has commenced the “Final Harvest”—the trip is canceled and thoughts turn to survival. The Food Committee decides that instead of killing one of their own, they will simply eat one of the cameramen from the rarely acknowledged, logically impossible documentary being made about their office. From now on, there is one camera angle that we never get to see.


A mutated ANDY and KEVIN high-five with tentacles growing out of their foreheads.

ANDY: Gimme some sucker!
MICHAEL’s head sticks in from out of frame, wearing a clearly fake tentacle. He tries to join the high five.
MICHAEL: Yeah! (Singing) My body’s so mutie-licious…

DWIGHT: (to MICHAEL) Fake tentacle! If that were a real tentacle, it would shrink from flame.
He holds a lighter to MICHAEL’s tentacle.

DWIGHT: See, it’s burning, not shrinking. Fake tentacle.
MICHAEL: What?! No, it’s shrinkage. (Under breath) Seinfeld.
KELLY: Oh my God, you guys! Pam’s going into labor!

Next to JIM, PAM is grimacing from labor pains.
JIM: It’s okay, Pam— I’ll take care of your baby.
PAM: Even if it isn’t The Chosen One?
A trademark JIM look to camera.


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