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Saturday, 15 of December of 2018

Tag » 30 Rock

30 Rock – “Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter” & “Khonani”

Think slutty Grace Kelly.”

A double dose of 30 Rock would normally be cause for celebration. However, this season’s lack of consistency (or funny) has resulted in a mixed bag of humor and enjoyment. And that gets represented in these two episodes. “Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter” is the stronger of the two, with solid comedy and a nicely balanced episode without a lot of poorly developed storylines. “Khonani,” on the other hand, suffers from being repetitive and, really, untimely.

It is a problem that 30 Rock faces due to its weird production schedule (time allowed for Baldwin and Fey to make, and then promote, movies) and then weirder airing sequences. There doesn’t seem to be a throughline in the show any longer, and perhaps a course change is needed. Read more »


Community – “Interpretive Dance” & 30 Rock – “Winter Madness”

It was a pretty low-key night for the ONLY REASONS TO WATCH NBC night, unless you were one of those outraged by the clip show episode of The Office, to which I offer condolences, but I don’t watch The Office. I do, however, watch Community and 30 Rock. I don’t have a great deal to say about either show this week, so I’m combining both into one post. Hope you don’t mind.

Community

“I am spending a lot of money on break-away clothing.”

This week’s episode wasn’t hilarious like “Introduction to Statistics” and “Debate 109” or engaged in the type of sharp meta-commentary from last week’s “Investigative Journalism” did. It, instead, went for something much quieter, more character-driven which, after last week’s episode, felt like a natural progression.

I was happy to see Donald Glover and Gillian Jacobs get some time together for a plot. Their interplay (“I know it’s tempting to sneak a peek, but I’m going to need you to keep your eyes up here.”) was spot on, and didn’t feel forced for two characters that haven’t spent a great deal of time together.  The fact that it didn’t feel forced actually speaks to how well the show’s ensemble works together as both a group and as individuals. And now that the show is finding its way to consistent tones for everyone (and for itself), I can only hope that NBC gives it a chance to find an audience.

In addition to the dance as a secret plot with Britta and Troy (which, really, is that something to be embarrassed about still?), we get the secret relationship of Jeff and Professor Slater (from “Introduction to Statistics”) coming back. While I was happy to see a return to this plot, the humor never really took off for me. That Greendale ranks its students and teachers on a hotness scale, and has forms if students and teachers get involved is a comedy goldmine that I don’t think was fully exploited, albeit for a reason.

That reason is to give time to Britta’s realization that she kind of has a thing for Jeff. The dance recital is a bizarre thing no matter what show it airs on, and Community is no different with a teapot watering flowers. But it also motivated character development for Britta in realizing that she has feelings for Jeff upon seeing him holding hands with Professor Slater, and for Troy jumping to Britta’s aid when she freezes in the recital. Additionally, it showed Jeff continuing to break out of his cynical shell by giving Britta a bouquet of flowers at the end of the recital. Big moves for all these characters.

The introduction of a love triangle is never my favorite thing to see, but the show’s won me over enough that I hope they play it out in a fun and different way.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Greendale has the widest variety of courses I’ve ever seen. Seriously. I’m starting to think that Dean Pelton is trying to get accreditation as a 4-year college. (They have a boating class, for pete’s sake!)
  • I think that there’s nothing Danny Pudi can’t do. His tap at the end of the episode was nice. Plus his delivery of “Sounds like a porno with Kate Winslet!” was the perfect mixof brilliant fanboy idea and answering a game show question.
  • The fact that reruns of the much maligned (at least on this blog) The Big Bang Theory beat Community (as well as Parks and Recreations) in the ratings last night is appalling. While I don’t particularly care for Parks and Recreations, it is better than the Othering humor of The Big Bang Theory. I just don’t get it.

30 Rock after the jump! Read more »


30 Rock – “Klaus and Greta”

“The sun is up! God can see us now!”

With all the dirty pool going on in late-night recently, 30 Rock is in a prime position to put all this into perspective for us. As an outpost of reflexive network satire, and probably on “Team Conan,” the show is going to have a field day with all that’s been going down. But let’s get through the episodes they already have in the can, shall we?

Jack, Liz, and Jenna trying to stop Tracey from telling his story.

“No. Seriously. We’re good.”

Winter hiatus is over (because this show is nothing if not meta) and Liz finds Jack in the lobby, spins him around and asks him about his holiday. The beauty of Jack is not that he’s necessarily more elite than everyone, just that he finds snobbier ways to do the awful things everyone else in the cast does without pretense. For instance, Jack spent his New Year’s Eve hwarfing in the bushes. One of the writers for TGS might have that same scenario after a bender of cough medicine and Gentleman’s Jack (like you do) but Mr Donaghy engages in communal purge only after sniffing the horrible scent of recently uncorked BCE wine. Somehow classier. Liz, meanwhile, drunkenly outed her gay cousin and Jenna met with James Franco’s agent to “hammer out” the details of a contractual romance with Mr Franco. All of these are accompanied by 30 Rock‘s trademark flashbacks (like Family Guy but, you know, relevant) until Tracey announces he thinks he might have conceived the daughter he’s wanted for the past couple of weeks. The other three stop Tracey before he gets to describe it, the swish-pan coded as an actual quick camera movement instead of transition to a flashback. See? Meta. And, within the scope of the teaser, we have all our stories in a nice, neat package.

Well, almost all of them. Jack realizes after the credits that he must have drunk-dialed Nancy (his married childhood crush that he reconnected with before the hiatus). After some detective work by Cerie on YouFace, Jack realizes that, in order to save face (and there is little that more important to Jack than face), he must delete the message he probably left her while she was on vacation. Kenneth gets to play sidekick.

Read more »


30 Rock – “Black Light Attack!”

“Would a mother be planning a sex tour of Vietnam this spring?”

People have been cooling on 30 Rock in recent seasons (aside from award givers), but I still find it enjoyable and often times very funny, but sometimes it offers a little bit more. While I found “Klaus and Greta” to the funnier of the two episodes this week, “Black Light Attack!” give that something a little more, and that’s learning to grow up. A little bit, anyway.

This week has the cast (specifically Jenna and Tracy) trying to grow up. I really appreciate the show carrying through on Tracy’s quest for a daughter (especially after dropping Jefferson from the plot), and I was happy to see him going about in the only way he could figure out how to do that: bring in one of the two female writers from TGS to be the female member of the entourage. His exchange with her during board game night, while nothing incredibly new even from a satirical standpoint, does allow his character to have another epiphany moment like at the end of “Klaus and Greta.” It’s nice seeing wacky Tracy remain wacky but also acknowledging that he’s getting older and wanting to fill his life with more than just success, money, and extramarital affairs.

Jenna, on the other hand, doesn’t want to acknowledge she’s getting any older (of course, she never has). But I’m hoping that her own experiences will pave the way for her story to compliment Tracy’s. She’s still looking for her idea of success, and hopefully, based on the applause she got at the taping of the Gossip Girl episode, she’ll realize that she can still achieve that success. My hope would be for her to try and land a role on Damages as a rival to to Glenn Close’s character. I’d still like for her character to remain somewhat intact (insecure, neurotic), but develop her character a bit more.

As Myles McNutt noted, this week’s episodes have made Liz fairly sexual. While she’s certainly been more aggressive (and let’s see if that holds up when Jon Hamm’s oblivious Dr. Baird returns next month) the show at least provides a bit of a reason in Sanjay Gupta’s idea of the “Dirty 30s.” Her affair with Danny wasn’t terribly interesting, and Jack’s reasons for wanting her to shut it down didn’t really work for me. The downside to it is, of course, Jack’s confession of love for Liz. This will no doubt drive the Liz/Jack shippers crazy (What’s the name for that pairing? Lack? Lick? Probably Lick. Damn shippers.) with hopes of the two finally getting together. Only in the last episode, folks. And as a dream. Patrick Duffy will be the in the shower.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • To quickly bounce off Nick’s point about the show needing to address NBC’s current plights, I very much agree, but I also think the show needs to remember that next season, Kenneth has to either take over NBC or kill everyone on the show, as per Jack’s prediction in “Blind Date” from way back in season 1.
  • First Matt Lauer and now Sanjay Gupta. Maybe someone from Fox and Friends would like to play…?
  • Of course Jack wears a suit to a hockey game. (What is he, a farmer?)
  • Since she hasn’t responded to a single one of my texts, I appreciate any joke that takes Carla Bruni down a peg.
  • Kudos for the Tron reference. As if I needed another reason to go and watch the trailer for Tron Legacy. Again.
  • How old is Kenneth? My money is on 65.

Initial Reaction: 30 Rock – “Klaus and Greta”

We’re all waiting. With everything that’s been happening with Comcast, Conan, Leno, and the crash and burn that is NBC, 30 Rock has been that bastion of satire poised in the right position with courageous-enough showrunners to address the comedy of errors that is their network. So we wait with bated breath for the episode (episodes? arc? season?) that addresses the mess Jeff Zucker and company have made of the once stalwart network. This is not that episode.

But it’s pretty good anyway.

Though it doesn’t have heads of entertainment making the self-destructive decisions that we know will eventually come, it does have Jack chasing down a childhood love’s answering machine to delete a drunk dial (which, of course, because it’s Jack, is probably more eloquent than any of us could make sober), Tracy coming to terms with the fact that he likes to have sex with the daughters of others (illuminating the grim truth of having a daughter of his own), and Jenna having a contractual romance with James Franco (to hide his obsession with a Japanese body pillow name Komiko). Also, the family member Liz outs over the holidays comes to New York and indirectly introduces her to the possibility of a threesome. Seriously.

While this episode was funny and I know it’s a little much to ask for a rush piece to capitalize on the times, I’m really pumped to see what they do. Sure, there are all kinds of storylines and characters that they’re focusing on since they’ve been writing this season since well before all this recent drama started. Whatever. I’m starting the hype machine now. Step up, Fey.