As we watch the best comedy on television try to stay alive in the brutal battleground of Thursday night, we respect that the show had to build all of last night's episode around an Oprah guest appearance. (Update: Last night's ratings were down just a bit from the season premiere last week.) But the show reaches its brilliant best with the random flashes sprinkled throughout an episode, succinctly capturing the way that creative types inevitably make everything more difficult for themselves. Last night, Liz Lemon dresses up as Princess Leia, even putting on a throaty voice, just to get out of jury duty. It is strange, but rings very true.The episode's main storyline revolved around the ongoing feud between Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney over who has it worse, women or black people. This was largely a contrivance for Oprah's helpful advice — highlighted by Fey's reveal of Oprah's latest favorite things (sweater capes!). The rest of the episode more than made up for the gimmick, especially when Kenneth the Page impressed Jack Donaghy by being overly willing to strangle himself with his own belt to save an elevator full of people. Hopefully the show won't have to work as hard to squeeze in forthcoming spots from Jennifer Aniston and Steve Martin. As long as we get moments like Princess Leia avoiding her American duty by confessing to her ability to read minds, we'll follow you forever, Tina.
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