Thursday, April 10, 2008

"30 Rock" and "The Office" Return

So after quite some time, the two best network sitcoms returned with new episodes. Could they come out of forced hibernation unscathed? 30 Rock seemed a bit rough around the edges. It had a number of laughs though. And of course several of them came from the mouth of Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy. Every time Jack reminisces about childhood I should make sure I'm not about to drink something. The premise was silly and moments were forced-- there seemed to be a let's have each character speak rule-- but I think it did OK.

The Office also tried to find ways of reminding the audience who each character was in the ensemble. This new episode, based around a disastrous dinner party thrown by Michael, was a total derailment of a near-flawless show. The conceit of the "interviews" seemed hopelessly unreal as the characters were interviewed in Michael's bathroom. And every situation was totally over-the-top. This starts people whispering the phrase "jump the shark" around the water cooler. I think when the show gets back into "the office" it might get back on it's feet. As for this single episode: a major disappointment, but probably still better than half the stuff out there.

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