Tina Fey's star vehicle is outshining itself this season, but I thought the "Generalissimo" and "St. Valentine's Day" episodes of 30 Rock were particularly good. (You can watch them on Hulu.)
In "Generalissimo," Jack Donaghy's doppelganger Hector Morir, the star of a Mexican soap opera, interrogates a kidnap victim. "Digame donde estan los amantes clandestinos!" he shouts, slapping his captive in the face with a glove. "Tell me where the hidden lovers are!" At Jack's direction, Liz re-writes Morir's character (Jack has arranged NBC's purchase of the show's rights) so that Morir becomes a gentleman, and this bit of trickery helps Jack secure the love of his mother's nurse Elisa. Meanwhile, Liz, in an opposite but equally uncharacteristic turn, attempts to win the love of her upstairs neighbor Dr. Baird by acting out the same deceit she's just written out of Morir's character. Tell me where the hidden lovers are! It's like Shakespeare, but with Doritos jokes. I think Fey's line, "I am the Generalissimo!" and John Hamm's reply, "I don't know what that means!" will go down in tv comedy history.
"St. Valentine's Day" is just as good, if not better, and involves brilliant use of a McDonald's ice cream dessert as metaphor, always a strong literary move.
On another subject, there was just one problem at AWP, as far as I could tell. The "lake" conference rooms were too small. They quickly filled up, forcing late-arriving audience members to huddle outside the door. If you walked down that hallway that's what you saw -- little clusters of people outside every doorway, leaning in close to hear the panelists inside.
I wish someone had taken a picture of that. Maybe someone did and can point us to the link? The signs announcing the panels were right there, so you could have told the story in a single shot: A sign, a doorway, and all those huddled writers, leaning in to hear a voice inside.
(photo of Tina Fey from "Sandwich Day", Season 2)