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Your weekly Office/30 Rock preview


Can I call it a weekly preview even if I’ve never combined them before and don’t necessarily preview either show a lot of weeks?

To paraphrase the president, yes I can. (Also, Malia, don’t touch that red phone, sweetie.)

I have to admit, Thursday nights wear me out. Yes, a TV blogger is whining about TV blogging. But hear me out. I recap both 30 Rock and The Office, and I can’t start watching either until 9, and they’re not over until 10. Factor in time for pausing the DVR while I scribble down funny quotes and any inspired musings I may have, and it’s closer to 10:30 before I start recapping.

Most times my plan is to recap one that night, usually The Office, and recap the other, usually 30 Rock, on Friday morning. Most times, this plan falls through because I put off both until Friday, when real work keeps me from getting to at least one of them. Then I post one or both a few days later (and every now and again not at all).
So I’ve tried to scale back my ambitions. I quote less, and opine more. I now try to keep my recaps shorter, heavy on the gut reaction and lighter on the in-depth analysis.

But man, it’s hard because I often want to go on at ridiculous length about the minutiae that makes these shows great. It’s the throwaway lines – like Kenneth admiring Liz’s strong milking thumbs and graceful knuckle hair on last week’s 30 Rock – that make the shows great yet are so hard to keep up with.

But I persist, because this is a sweet gig. And I whine, because I can.

Anyway, tangent over, preview to follow. Here’s your respective episode summaries and my observations…

The Office: “Prince Family Paper” (9 p.m.) — Michael and Dwight go undercover to do a bit of industrial espionage on a paper company competitor. Meanwhile, the rest of the office holds a debate to settle the question: is Hilary Swank hot?


  • Michael and Dwight on an adventure! Hope it’s more “Branch Closing” or “Office Olympics” than “Survivorman.”
  • No, she is not. Debate settled.

30 Rock: “Retreat to Move Forward” (9:31 p.m.) — Jack is nervous about the corporate retreat, so he recruits Liz to accompany him for support. Meanwhile, Jenna ends up at the mercy of Frank when she decides she needs to implore method acting to prepare for her Janis Joplin role, and Kenneth must convince Tracy that diabetes is affected by his diet.


  • Corporate retreat? I wonder if they’ll hone their Sixth Sigma skills? Nothing beats Liz out of her element.
  • Frank messing with Jenna is always promising. More Frank is always good.
  • Kenneth and Tracy should get their own show when this one runs its course.

By the way, Broadway star Patty Lupone will play Frank’s mom in an upcoming episode, and Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm will play Liz’s neighbor/romantic interest.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 at 12:44 pm by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: 30 Rock, The Office
Tags: ,


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Grab a snack, pull up a comfy seat and join our staff as they share their thoughts on your favorite shows. Tune in daily for their comments and post your own on such hit shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office," "American Idol," "24," "Heroes" and more.

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