I noticed this a few months ago as well. I'm glad I'm not crazy. I take Wroblewski's word as some sort of validation.
Where I think this has some great implications is in AJAX-driven web apps. A lot of the power here comes from being able to pass around JSON and have it handled both client-side and server-side.
The first option tends to be cleaner and better separates the server/client relationship. However, the power of the app's template system is lost (assuming one is being used). Also, your less DRY in your development, as you have templating going on in two places and if you make a change to the layout, you need to make it in two places. The second option regains the consistency of using just one template engine (plus all the other good server-side processing bits) but seems to tie the server up in presentation, which perhaps would be better suited as a client-side job for better separation of duties. Plus, shipping markup back and forth tends to be less efficient than transmitting raw JSON.
In this case, you can just pass JSON back and forth during AJAX requests and you have a full stack that understands how to work with it in a consistent manner.