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Sunday, 21 of October of 2018

30 Rock – “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land”

I promise this weekend will be spent staring out windows while holding a glass of scotch.”

30 Rock, I’m starting to think you and I are in an abusive relationship. I keep coming back to you this season when I know I shouldn’t, and you’ve pretty routinely beaten me up each time. But then you do an episode like this, and it’s like you’ve suddenly swore you’re going to stop hitting me, you’ve stopped drinking, and you bought me those exceptionally yummy Premium Mint Chocolate M&Ms. 2 bags even!

And I forgive you and act like you never did horrible things like Kenneth having Donkey Fever or botch up (and come too late to)  the late night debacle or inflict an episode like “Winter Madness” on me. And then we curl up and wonder what’s going on in your writers room that you can only produce something like this so late in the season. Or were you planning on this all along?

“Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land” is legitimately funny as the season attempts to pay off Liz’s need to be in a relationship (forgetting about her baby fever) by having her visit both Dr. Baird and Dennis. (Still haven’t seen the guy who was obsessed with Charlie Chaplin. I’m waiting on it, Tina Fey.) The results are fairly disastrous, but hilarious. Dennis’ decision to balloon boy an actual boy is funny enough, but Baird’s segment is worth reproducing here:

As if I didn’t need any more proof that Jon Hamm should totally do a really smart sitcom after Mad Men wraps (please don’t go to the movies, Jon! Please!). But the visits are great for Fey, as she has enormous chemistry with each actor, even Michael Sheen’s return as the much-loathed, but perfect for Liz, Wesley Snipes. I sincerely hope that their decision to get married has huge ramifications in the finale.

Jack’s continued struggle between Avery and the Boston Accent That Controls Julianne Moore (BATCJM) still treads water, but at least treads it in funny manner, including Jack’s attempt to turn off BATCJM with marching band music and bad Indian food. Sadly, unlike Liz’s struggle to land a husband, Jack’s juggling act isn’t hitting an emotional base with me. Sure, Baldwin’s selling the conflict, but I’m not sure I’m overly invested, or that I care that much about the payoff.

Speaking of payoffs, we return to Tracy’s quest to achieve an EGOT. The C-plot works okay, but Tracy’s account of his childhood in the stairwell of a copy place is priceless, and many thanks to NBC for keeping it going in the episode tag. It’s a nice little moment, but with three weddings going on, including Grizz’s, I’m surprised that there wasn’t something going on with Kenneth, Dot Com, and Tracy as a result.

Overall, the episode is probably the strongest of the season, but that’s not saying a whole lot. I hope the momentum lasts into the finale.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • The more I see of Elizabeth Banks, the more I like her. I just don’t think I’ve seen her in the right material yet though.
  • I still think Tracy would get an Oscar for his movie Jefferson. Whatever happened to that project?
  • You would think think that red lingerie would clash with Moore’s hair. But it didn’t.

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