Spoilers for, in order, "30 Rock," "Earl," "Survivor" and "Grey's Anatomy" coming right up...
Product integration and NBC: perfect together. Well, kinda. I saw "The Office" in advance, so I don't know how I would have responded to seeing the Staples ad live. But airing this "30 Rock" episode directly after that is either taunting or demented genius. I haven't decided yet. Probably it's both. The Snapple gag has been done better elsewhere (posters in "The Office" entry have name-checked "Wayne's World," and "Arrested Development" did it brilliantly with Carl Weathers and Burger King), but it was a good episode, highlighted by Liz's "nut up" pep talk to Jack -- and, of course, Jack's continued belittling of Liz's sexual appeal. I also liked Tracy's "Man, George Will gets more conservative every day!" Unlike "The Office," this one did feel padded; they could have shaved it down to standard length without losing much.
Ditto "My Name Is Earl," an episode clearly written by someone who had just gotten back from seeing "An Inconvenient Truth." The best parts of the episode came before Earl's global awakening, whether it was Crabman lamenting Joy's inability to understand the irony of stealing the polygraph machine or Randy complaining that he had already seen that episode of "Friends." Outside of Claymation Catalina jiggling as she dusted (followed by the revelation that the flesh-and-blood Catalina was just as jiggly), the writers didn't do a whole lot with Randy's hallucinations, and Christian Slater continues to prove that his Nicholson impression was the most interesting thing about him. Not a bad episode, but definitely not up to last week's standard.
Okay, I think "Survivor" has me hooked back in, and not just because we could be heading towards some kind of Down With Whitey scenario where Nate realizes the original Raro are putting the band back together and tries to latch on with Yul's small but dedicated band. I always love a good triumph of the underdog story -- though any team that has Yul and Ozzy in it is only an underdog to a point -- especially since I loathe everyone on Raro save Jonathan. If he's as smart as he usually thinks he is (save the mutiny, and even there he immediately recognized the screw-up), he'll look one move ahead and try to beat Nate to the punch of teaming up with Aitu. Given their hatred of Candace ("1, 2, 3... Candace!" was awesome), I think he might have a shot at reconciling with them by blaming it all on her. He's not going to win no matter which team succeeds in Pagonging the other, but he at least has the ability to make sure the good guys come out ahead.
As for "Grey's Anatomy," I don't know that I'm feeling the love right now. They're not doing anything egregious at the moment, but it's turning into a show that I keep on in the background while I surf the web, fold laundry, pay bills, etc. On the other hand, I can't feel too apathetic when they let Bailey sing. Am I correct in assuming that, like Sara Ramirez, Chandra Wilson has some Broadway credits? And how long before Callie gets to bust out those golden pipes?