30 Rock Season 4, Episode 1: 'Season 4' Review - Featured

Along with The Office and the impending return of Chuck, 30 Rock was the return I was most looking forward to this fall! So did it deliver?

Well, kind of. 'Season 4' was a funny episode with a few great lines and classic character moments, but their attempt at focusing on "sacrifices" and changes because of the recession felt awkward instead of the plot and joke-aid I think they felt it would be.

I appreciate that shows are giving some attention to what's actually happening in the world around them, but too much focus in cases like this feels too forced as it seems more like they're "name dropping" the recession, or in this case, like they had to include it because the big money-making entertainment industry can't be shown as going on as usual right now.

So starting with the awkward recession parts, while it created some funny banter for Jack and Kenneth, overall Kenneth's picketing with the pages made for a disjointed awkwardness to the plot, as did Tracey's freak out trying to get back in touch with his "roots." I feel like in concept both of those plot points sounded funny, but in action, it just split up the cast and their chemistry, leaving each to flounder on his own and not making for a whole lot of funny.

Otherwise, we had Liz and Pete forced to sneak around while trying to find a new cast member as required by Jack, and Jenna trying to "go country" to bring attention to their show and have her "get heat in the industry."

Overall, the best moment went to Liz Lemon singing the "cheesy blasters" song in the episode intro, and the bits of montage of how out of touch they all were from the "real America." In other words, from the starting blocks, this concept was really funny... then it just wasn't well-executed.

The other good moment went to Liz "not seeing" Josh in the meeting when she had to announce that she and Pete were sneaking around not because they were "intercoursing each other," but because Jack was making them find another cast member - just don't tell any of the actors! And the other force driving her to admitting that of Pete's wife offering to bring Liz into their love-making was pretty great too.

What did you think? Did you find the premiere up to par with 30 Rock's usual quality or were you feeling disappointed like me?


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