30 Rock Season 4, Episode 15: "Don Geiss, America and Hope" Review


With Don Geiss dead and NBC purchased by Philadelphia-based Kabletown, Jack Donaghy was left rudderless for much of "Don Geiss, America and Hope." And the episode felt a bit rudderless as well. The main stories eventually crossed over in meaningful ways, but aside from those connections, their direction was a bit weak and unsure. They all had a great bit or two, with Tracy having the most fun, but the general feel of the episode was mostly blah.


That could likely be the result of the main characters coming off as mostly blah. There was nobody to root for in "Don Geiss, America and Hope." Jack struggled with the loss of his mentor and the acquisition of NBC by a lowly Philadelphian cable company. Things got worse for Jack when a former colleague told him that Kabletown was the perfect company, making its money from pay-per-view porn. There was no need for Jack's immense talents and ambition. We've seen Jack struggle before, in business and in love, and usually the results are filled with hilarity. Thursday night's episode was missing the funny stuff. One of the two standout moments included Jack lamenting what the current status of his obituary might be: "My obituary was going to read 'CEO of GE dies violently in casino orgy.' Now what's it going to say? 'Middle manager of a Philadelphia pornography distributor never wakes up'?" The other was seeing Don Geiss frozen in carbonite in the Han Solo pose. You just have to love the frequent 30 Rock references to Star Wars, especially one that wisely leaves it all to a hilarious sight gag.


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