Notes after the jump...
Of the three shows mentioned in the headline, the best on Thursday was clearly "The Office," although even it was only half a loaf. The Dwight-Angela-Andy triangle had its early moments but went downhill after the -- genius! -- scene where Andy stepped into manure INSIDE the house. Much better was the early Jim-Pam stuff, especially the way Jenna Fischer was given some new, tough notes to play as Pam, not to mention the way she went flirty to get her way with Michael. But the copier-vs-chairs storyline didn't work, and the episode seemed to flag in its later stages (although I did like Oscar calling Michael on the bonus question).
Still, I liked it better than "30 Rock," where an interesting idea didn't turn out to be all that great in execution. Having Liz prove to be a mean girl in high school (and we all know how Tina Fey understands mean girls) was clever, but the reunion scenes for the most part felt less sure-handed than "30 Rock" usually is at comedy. Not my favorite ep.
But I still rank "30 Rock" ahead of "Grey's Anatomy." While not as infuriatingly bad as the show has been in recent weeks, last night's episode was still awful. Enough with Dead Denny! Enough with the new heart surgeon! Cristina picking the solo surgeon? Come on!
Here's my absolutely not fact-based theory: ABC urged "Grey's" to dump the Callie-Hahn storyline. Shonda Rhimes obliged, but with the implicit promise that, if she couldn't do the stories she wanted, she was going back to the crappy previous style that many viewers -- all right, me -- had hated. And she has kept her promise. Woe is us.