Because "30 Rock" began its season so much later than the other NBC comedies, while NBC wants it to end its season at roughly the same time as the rest, "The Office" got a week off and we got a "30 Rock" double feature. A quick review of the two episodes coming up just as soon as I find the Joey Russo button...
Neither of tonight's episode was as emotionally rich as the Christmas episode, nor did they feature a moment as insanely funny as Pete coaching Liz through the "Dealbreakers" opening credits. But each was filled with enough good gags that, together, they made for a very satisfying hour of comedy.
James Franco(*) was as funny in "Klaus and Greta" as I was expecting, playing a perverted version of himself, even if the plot was stolen from a classic "Simpsons" episode with Troy McClure and Selma. Franco's obsession with body pillows (and other objects), and then Liz's willingness to go along with the disturbing fantasy in the end made me laugh a lot. And the first episode also offered Jack being disgusted with Jonathan's lack of lithe-ness, Kenneth unhitching his pelvis, the staff's "Today Show" drinking game, and Tracy declaring Kenneth's haircut an insult to lesbians. And if the Nancy story didn't really work without the presence of Julianne Moore (with or without the controversial accent), the rest was amusing enough to compensate.
(*) Random digression: the first episode of Franco's weird performance art stint on "General Hospital" aired around the same time the new season of "Scrubs" was about to begin. At one point during that episode (which Fienberg and I both watched out of morbid fascination), ABC ran a chyron promoting the fact that "Scrubs" would now feature "James Franco's brother Dave Franco." Ever since, we have been referring to him as "James Franco's Brother Dave Franco" in conversation. Tonight, though, I'm switching it up, and saying that "30 Rock" featured a guest appearance by Dave Franco's Brother James Franco. End digression.
"Black Light Attack!," meanwhile, made the best use yet of Cheyenne Jackson's Danny, less for what Jackson got to do then for the way he unleashed Liz's Dirty Thirties (the callback to her Larry Wilcox fixation from the Christmas episode was hilarious). And hearing Jack try to feign attraction for Lemon played right into Alec Baldwin's strengths. And for once I really enjoyed a subplot built around Jenna's narcissism and self-delusion, particularly Pete's terrified sprint out of the building and Jenna's lame attempts to seem young. ("Uh! Facebook!") Also, any joke that sets up a situation where multiple characters have to shout without realizing they're doing it will make me laugh. Every time.
Plus, while Tina Fey technically wasn't at press tour, I did watch the episode from my press tour hotel room, so the mustache trend has a third member and is therefore an official trend. Woo-hoo!
What did everybody else think?