TV Review: 30 Rock Season 7 Episode 10
You’d think that a 2-scene, throwaway return from Hazel probably wouldn’t be enough to utterly destroy an episode of 30 Rock.
Thankfully, you’d be right.
But not by much.
TL;DR Solid buddy plots with Jack/Liz and Tracy/Jenna are just competent enough to distract from the horrifying return of Hazel.
Do they really not get this by now? She is not wanted here. Worse, her plot point could get TGS cancelled. Hazel does not deserve this power.
Anyway, there are 2 plots this episode. The first involves Jack having to go to Florida to settle his mother’s estate (she died, remember?). Liz accompanies him to avoid the stress of adoption considerations and to have some fun while she can (because Tracy said she hasn’t lived enough). Colleen has left her entire estate to her live-in nurse, who Jack and Liz discover may/may not have been her girlfriend. Realisations about their own lives ensue. Meanwhile, Tracy and Jenna are left in charge of TGS. A lawyer (Tim Meadows. Principal from Mean Girls. Duh) comes to tell them about a lawsuit Hazel is launching, alleging (correctly) abuse from Tracy/Jenna/TGS. They get everyone to sign an affidavit to quash it, but Kenneth has moral reservations. When our 2 sociopaths feel bad about forcing him to lie, the lawsuit gains legs and holy fuck Hank Hooper is cancelling TGS.
Seriously, Hazel. Fuck you. Just fuck everything about you. Those poor writers who dreamed you up never knew the embarrassing reel of defiled screen time you would become. Fuck off. Just fuck the fuck off you fucking fuck.
The whole “Colleen was gay, happy” thing comes out of fucking nowhere, too. And it completely undermines the monumentally enjoyable bitch persona that the past 7 seasons have built upon her. Just for 1 lousy episode’s worth of barely tolerable lesbian jokes? What the hell is this?
On the plus side, any time Tracy and Jenna get to work together, let alone be in charge of something, is brilliant.
Why I hate this episode:
I’m gonna keep fucking saying it: Hazel.
Kenneth keeps up his trend of being almost as reprehensible as the H-bomb herself (it was sexually transmitted, I’m telling you) by not only providing an arbitrary morality chain to make Tracy and Jenna less fabulous, but by causing TGS to be cancelled. Just so he can keep his integrity. Fuck off.
Colleen’s girlfriend doesn’t even wear ties or hats. This relationship makes no sense!
Oh, and seriously, Hazel’s only scenes are 2 cutaways: 1) a short clip of her deposition, and 2) a short, hidden camera clip where she’s being seduced by some guy (and the credits scene. But you don’t have to stick around for that). These scenes are only a few seconds long each, but Hazel is that objectionable that they are able to taint the entire episode.
Reasons to watch:
Despite being stupid as fuck, Jack and Liz’s plot does lead to some meaningful conclusions. Jack realises that he doesn’t know how to be happy, and Liz realises that she hasn’t lived her life as recklessly and freely as she should have. Dat introspection.
Jack and Liz are forced to sleep in the same bed because they’re trying to prove a point about how 2 people can platonically share a bed. This leads to them openly questioning why they never got together. Very meta. Very satisfying.
This also leads to Liz calling Jack, without irony, a slut. I lol’d.
The Tracy/Jenna plot has its moments, too. The most surreal and hilarious being an online order of 3 million oranges. Just because they’re in charge and nobody’s around to stop them.
Their complete disregard for the lawsuit is also totally in character. This leads to the best line of the episode from the 2 of them, with setup from Kenneth, who is in the middle of a rant about how all he has left in his life is his integrity:
Kenneth: “I want you to think long and hard before you ask me to sign that affidavit. Because you’d be making me give up who I am.”
Jenna and Tracy (in unison, immediately): “Whatever. Sign it.”
Could you expect anything else?
Tracy does pretty well with this second best line earlier in the conversation: “What the big deal? Lying is easy!” A personal philosophy of mine.
Tim Meadows is pretty much unparalleled at serious-funny.
The nurse has a shelf of pottery sculptures in the shape of Colleen’s vagina. If only they hadn’t been blurred out.
Liz says she prefers Star Wars to Harry Potter. Good girl.
Liz decides to adopt 2 kids. Holy fuck.