The Office and 30 Rock, after both having strong showings last week, were sort of underwhelming tonight.
The Office‘s plot was pretty weak, in particular. After Michael’s misguided, Willy Wonka-inspired Golden Ticket promotion goes awry (losing the company 50% of their biggest client’s money), David Wallace is looking for someone to blame. One of the biggest weaknesses of this episode is the other story: Jim, Pam, and Andy all give Kevin different advice in his quest to win the heart of the lady we saw him flirting it up with last week. In a good episode, this would be a cute C-story. In this episode, it’s a very weak B-story.
In particular, though, my biggest Office pet peeve is when Michael is played purely selfish for laughs and specifically when he shows no regard for Dwight. It’s a throw back to the British version, where David and Gareth, despite Gareth’s suck-up-age, were incredibly mean to each other. But by this point in the show, I don’t want to watch Michael sell Dwight down the river the second he senses his job is in trouble. I 100% believe he’d sell someone down the river, but I’d like to have seen him struggle more with what he was doing to Dwight. That being said, the episode capper with Dwight getting caught in the infinite loop of logic that was the ding dong KGB joke was all sorts of fantasticness.
30 Rock, even on an off week, can inspire giggles in me that make me seem like a stoned fourteen year old, but this week’s just felt blah. Not only have we yet to get resolution on the Liz Lemon/ Don Draper love story (although we did get meta-teased about it with the constant references to Hamm), but a plot following Lemon in jury duty and Jack trying to come up with the name for a mini microwave and Jenna trying experimental drugs isn’t exactly the stuff of legend. And while I love the idea that Liz uses her crazy Princess Leia guise to get out of jury duty, in an episode this otherwise weak, the throw back just felt like laziness. That being said, Kenneth, upon finding out he’s in charge of TGS, immediately declaring that “all menstruating women must go home immediately” was exactly the kind of comedy randomness that keeps me coming back week after week. And the increased interest in the supporting players is nice, although I miss Pete and I wish the ones besides Frank and the hot girl got lines. What ever happened to Toofer and Josh? Not even Dot Com and Griz got to play in this episode.