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.