TV Review: 30 Rock Season 7 Episode 7
And I thought Parks and Rec’s proposal scene was emotional.
TL;DR Liz and Criss get married! Squee.
I’m so proud of her. She’s come so far. And she deserves it, too.
So the plot kicks off this episode when Liz and Criss run into Dennis, who is now married (to that Megan chick from Season 6’s St Patrick’s Day episode) and has adopted a black baby. Frustrated that Dennis was able to adopt because he was married and she’s had to wait because she wasn’t, Liz decides it’s time to make it official with Criss. But when she wants to go all militant feminist and do a quickie City Hall thing, Criss has to prove that she deserves something a bit more special. Meanwhile, Jenna is tracked down by a man who has won a decades-long contest to be her slavemaster as per a promotion she did for some random soft drink. In order to save her, Jack has to pay him out for the value of Jenna, which Jack brutally rationalises down from an estimated $800,000 to a harshly realistic $2000. Jenna and Jack both have ensuing identity crises. Oh, and Tracy struggles with being a responsible film producer.
You know what, kudos to you, Liz Lemon. You finally got your dude stuff locked down. You’re amazing and I will miss you.
Even the sub plots this episode are tolerable. And their few faults are forgiveable with a Liz Lemon wedding hanging over them.
What is this? Is this what they call…contentment?
Why I hate this episode:
Ugh, there’s so little hate. Fuck.
The Tracy sub plot is probably the least exciting. It’s about how he has a responsibility to choose culturally meaningful new projects for his production company, but he doesn’t want to grow up and sensible. This is exacerbated by the revelation that he’s in good health and will not die young. It kinda just felt like they were tacking it on for Tracy to have a reason to be in the episode.
Likewise, the Jenna/Jack sub plot is a bit of a distraction. The stalker guy is sent on his way pretty quickly, and Jenna and Jack wangsting about their life-worth isn’t particularly revelatory. Jack has had numerous episodes where he becomes aware of how far he’s fallen.
Oh, and Liz’s “Blarg, wedding industrial complex. Feminism!” stuff is also a bit been there, done that.
Reasons to watch:
However, she eventually does come around and admits to wanting to be a princess for her big day. And she dresses as Princess Leia for the ceremony. I like how 30 Rock is able to subvert their characters’ ideals for what they truly want and (mostly) avoid being obviously retconned or poorly developed.
I’m glad Dennis gets to make a comeback for the final season. And he’s as drunk and Irish as ever. He’s also named his son Black Dennis. Bitchin’.
Jenna has a couple of fabulous moments. She offhandedly brings up her dating history with OJ Simpson, and when Jack comes to see her after the brutal meeting, she’s casually pouring vodka into her soup.
Tracy hears pitches from a bunch of the TGS staff. Kenneth’s is titled Hitler: The Boy Who Dreamed of Stars.
Jack makes a callback to the wedding dress Liz bought in the season 2 opener. Continuity!
Liz’s wedding is registered at Popcorn Palace.
Liz does a slow-motion eye roll that is everything I aspire to be. Move over, Charlize Theron scowl. I have a new facial expression to idolise.
Best line goes to Jack, who is congratulating Liz on having the wedding he never thought she would, which he finds genuinely inspirational: “Thank you, Liz Lemon. There is hope for us all.” The feels, man.
Liz makes references to a Bravo reality show called Wedding Bitches. I’d watch it.
Oh, and the project Tracy settles on is Toofer’s movie about Harriet Tubman. He reasons that it’s an overwrought period drama starring a middle aged woman that nobody will want to see, therefore by backing it he’s still indulging his financial recklessness, but also gets to make a culturally important film. Smart.
And this is how he imagines Harriet Tubman in his mind, which we see after he gets hit by a taxi: