TV Review: 30 Rock Season 7 Episode 3
I think it’s time I admitted to myself that no matter what 30 Rock does, I’m going to love every episode this season.
Come on, it’s going away forever. Let me have this.
TL;DR Still awesomely funny, there’s meta jokes, Jenna is an insane bitch. You got a problem with that?
Yes, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
So this episode has 3 threads running simultaneously. Jack has begun dating again. Dating, like, 6 women at once (they offer him different things). He then finds out that one of his women is doing the same thing, and discovers that the archetype he fits for her is the “father figure.” Identity crisis ensues. Meanwhile, Liz is trying to convince Tracy that women are funny. She does this by reassembling her and Jenna’s 2-woman show. Meanwhile, Jenna is trying to trick the media into thinking she’s 56 so she can look good at 56. It’s a solid plan.
The Tracy plot is probably the most confusing thing about this episode. In 6 seasons, Tracy has never shown such an objective disrespect for women as comedians. It’s a total ass pull and it shows just how much the writers obviously don’t care about Tracy anymore. He’s never been my favourite character (when Jenna’s around, everyone else is as specks of dust) but he deserves better than this.
Also, Jack is dating yet another attractive, younger (and blonde again) woman? Give me a fucking break. He belongs with Julianne Moore. Get her and her fabulous Boston accent back!
But I am glad that 30 Rock hasn’t (and I don’t think ever will) fallen into stale, unfunny sitcom territory. Even when it’s at its most surreal, it’s still easily the best written comedy out there.
Why I hate this episode:
Tracy isn’t sexist. I don’t buy it.
A big part of Jack’s plot involves him not understanding he is going to be seen as an older man next to his girlfriend Zarina. How could Jack be that delusional? And then, once he figures it out (and with a little prodding from Liz) he accepts his role and happily enjoys being an old man, wrapped in a blanket, drinking soup on the couch. That’s not Jack at all.
Zarina isn’t very exciting, either. And hasn’t Jack learned anything about dating younger blondes?
There’s a scene where Kenneth has to distract Jenna to get a magazine out of her office. He decides to seduce her and Jenna is all over him. Umm, aren’t you getting married to a man you love? I get the whole “pansexual slut” thing, but still.
In addition to Tracy’s suddenly sexism, the whole thing with Liz trying to prove to him that women are funny was tedious. You’d think Liz would be over caring about Tracy’s opinion by now.
Oh, and a recurring gag throughout the episode is Liz trying to have a dishy, Sex and the City style cosmo brunch. Her offer is constantly rebuffed or interrupted, culminating in Liz sitting on her bed, alone, in Carrie’s outfit from the opening credits. If there’s anything the world needs less of, it’s SATC references. And I hate myself for being able to pick it. Thanks, 30 Rock.
Reasons to watch:
Jenna’s plot involves her wanting the world to think she’s older so she can be admired for her looks “at her age.” I’d say it contradicts a much earlier episode where Jenna is horrified when the world finds out she’s 40, but that was ages ago. Jenna’s moved onto crazier schemes. The best part is that she’s doing it mostly to get a spokesperson gig for one of those stair lift things. Oh, Jenna.
Before Liz and co find out that Jenna planted the magazine story herself, they go into full-scale disaster mode. Liz’s advice to Cerie? Just fucking RUN.
Cerie also comes in handy later when Jack needs someone tech and social savvy to find Zarina’s boyfriends. Reminds me of the YouFace days.
Tracy instigates the “women aren’t funny” sub plot when Liz and Jenna see his tweet about it. His hashtag? #plotpoint. So fucking meta, so fucking hilarious. Maybe the writers are trying to admit that Tracy’s sudden disrespect for women is plot pandering.
That sub plot isn’t a total loss, though. After seeing Liz and Jenna’s show (FYI it’s a skit where Liz is a doctor and Jenna is a toddler looking for plastic surgery), Tracy gleefully admits he was wrong. Women can be funny. Like, who would even take a woman doctor seriously? Bahaha! Talk about missing the point. Tracy style.
Jenna does ambiguous kegel exercises. I lol’d.
Jack makes a Mitt Romney Mormon joke. Topical!
Best line goes to Jenna. She’s explaining why she wants to be a 56 year old actress instead of a 40-something: “I get to skip ahead to being an amazing slut who wins Oscars.” Meryl Streep best watch herself.
Second best goes to Liz. She’s talking to Jack about her and Criss fucking: “We did it in the shower. My shoes got ruined!” Very Liz.
Oh, and when lamenting his age, Jack refers to himself as Squirtle (Zarina calls dating multiple guys “Pokemoning.” You know, catch ’em all). Gen 1 represent!