30 Rock Recap: Liz and the Viewers Feel Stuck in a Rut

The problem with a show as meta as 30 Rock is that when characters make cracks about things getting stale, even those jokes feel repetitive. It’s like déjà vu squared. Take last week’s episode, in which Jack and Liz turned the events of season five into a TV movie. It felt like a self-aware joke about the show’s love of being self-aware. But, as anyone who’s ever filled out an online dating profile knows, there’s a fine line between coming off as self-aware and coming off as self-obsessed. By the end of last night’s show, Liz felt like she’d gotten out of her rut, but I’m not sure the same could be said for us viewers.

Of course, even when it’s bemoaning its own season-six problems, 30 Rock still packs in more jokes than any other sitcom on television. It’s kind of incredible that a show this dense and weird has made it this far. Take the throwaway moment when Liz realizes the mediation candle she bought on sale is called "Summer Horsegrave." 30 Rock’s writers built a rabid (if not exactly gigantic) fan base by creating a show that rewards close attention, and every time Liz Lemon complained about being stuck last night, it felt like they were throwing us a bone. That bone became an entire skeleton at the show’s end, when Liz said to Hazel, "You’re just another weird page, and I already have one of those." It’s a line could have come from any number of critics or commenters. Read More...



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