The Beeper King Returns to 30 Rock, Michael Dumps Jan In The Office

This has been a stress-filled week for me, probably more stressful than any I've had in several, several months. Wish I could share what the nightmare has been, but, hey, even some things have to stay private in the blogosphere. Consequently, though, sitting down with my girlfriend to laugh my way through episodes of 30 Rock and The Office last night was such a godsend. Turns out a little Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Carell before bed works just as well as a beer for taking the edge off.

Over at 30 Rock, Liz Lemon, perpetually unhappy in love, had to deal with the return of the Beeper King, Dennis Duffy, to her life after he became the "Subway Hero," rescuing a man who fell in front of a subway train. By the way, this actually happened last year. If you're interested, read about it here. It's almost too amazing of a story to make fun of, but Fey and company got a few good laughs out of it, though, to be fair, it's hard not to get a few good laughs out of anything when Dennis Duffy the Beeper King is involved. Take, for example, the fact that he was arrested as a Dateline Predator last time we saw him. "That was a big, silly misunderstanding... like the Giuliani campaign," Jack Donaghy said of that little episode, but only because he wanted the celebrated Subway Hero to appear on TGS with Tracy Jordan. Personally, my favorite quote of the episode came from Duffy himself while explaining the Dateline Predator arrest: "I knew that girl was 18. She told me her last boyfriend was Asian, and that crap don't start until college."

By the way, I've said this before, but 30 Rock regularly offers up some of the best race-relations commentary on television, and last night we got a humdinger when Jack tried to convince Tracy Jordan to campaign for John McCain. Jordan agreed to after he had a vision of Nixon, but couldn't quite make it through the commercial that asked him to say Martin Luther King Jr. had a vision of a 200-foot high fence to keep Mexico out. What's the point, he reasons, since, no matter what you do, blacks will always vote for Democrats? That gave Jack an idea, which lead to, instead of a pro-McCain commercial, Jordan asking black voters to not vote at all, which was as good as a Republican vote. Brilliant!

The Office returned to its more random, less dramatic roots last night after the awkward and painful "The Dinner Party" episode, which helped keep a smile on my face. Michael has finally kicked Jan to the curb and is ready to date again, which means he expects his co-workers to hook him up with all their hot friends. Not fat ones, of course. This is all prompted by a chair model (that he sees in an office furniture catalog), whom he imbues in his fantasies with all the qualities he wants in a woman, only to find out she drove into an airport hangar while stoned and died a few months earlier!

"What do I do now?" Michael desperately asked at one point. "You wait until next year's chair catalog comes out, and you find someone who's alive," Dwight wisely advised. I wish there was more to report about this episode, but the wonderful comfort of it was that it was pretty much about nothing. Oh, actually, Jim told Pam he was going to propose soon. That was pretty cool. But we all knew that was coming anyway...