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"30 Rock," "The Office"

By admin Published: March 27, 2009

I'm hoping NBC will post Liz's ad in uninterrupted form. But until it does, here's the clip from the show. Many, many, laughs ...

Fabulous episode. Bijou, of course. Good stuff with Tracy. The puppets. Nice to see Grizz has a side business. Funny Adam West cameo. And there was that moment when it dawns on Jack that his life is empty when Baldwin reminded us that he's not just on a romp here; he's still doing full-character, serious acting.

As for "The Office," wow. Just wow. Last week was stunning and scary; this week was stunning and funny and multilayered. The staff's reaction to Michael's "I quit" story was a gem. The increasingly serious and harried Jim -- actually scared for his job -- is revelatory; much the way we're reminded occasionally that Michael is a good salesman, so Jim's and the others' reactions reminded us that these folks need these jobs.

Phyllis and Andy. Michael's call to Prince Paper. Kelly and Angela wooing Charles. The staff meeting, and Charles's command decisions. The "Graduate"/"Candidate" what-now moment. But, above all else, the presentation of a Michael who doesn't care anymore. As inept as he is as a manager, as nutty as he is as a person, while working out his notice he managed to be both pathetic and somehow more fascinating.

And there's a weird point being made here about what constitutes a good boss: Is it a martinet like Charles, or is it someone like Michael, who runs amok but also has a successful operation? One of the things that threw me about last week's episode was that management and Charles didn't treat Michael more gently since we've been told he's very successful -- although even he can't explain his methods. But we may be getting a longer meditation on that, especially now that Michael is gone.

What a swell hour of TV.

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