Recaps for 30 Rock

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'30 Rock' - 'Nothing Left to Lose': Smell the love

HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reviews "Nothing Left to Lose," the April 5 episode of NBC's "30 Rock," in which Tracy regains his sense of smell, Jenna pranks the writers and Jack mentors Pete. //

30 Rock “Meet the Woggels!” Review

Jenna has been on her sexual walkabout for awhile now and to date, it has not been the wild, entertaining experience  I anticipated as a viewer. I finally started getting the amusement I have beenwaiting for  on this week’s episode of  30 Rock . Jenna floated into TGS studios raving about the wonderful time she’d been having with her famous rock star boyfriend. It was clear that something  was off when Jenna bragged that her rock star boyfriend could sell out a 10 am concert on a Tuesday. Much to my delight, it turned out that Jenna’s "rock star" was a member of a group called "The Woggels" who sing with animated koalas, teach lessons to kids and serve as ceremonial music for weddings between eight-year-old kids. It was no surprise to learn that Jenna was plotting to "Yoko" the Woggels. Has Jenna not caused enough harm and trauma to children this season? Equally amusing as Jenna’s attempt to check off one of her bucket list fantasies, was the revelation that ran for City Council. I often find myself much more intrigued by stories that are referenced in passing than I am by the actual story in the episode. I get that this is done on purpose and Tracy is a master at doing it. Jenna isn’t too shabby at it either. Why did Quincy Jones push her off of a boat? Read More... //  

30 Rock Review: Liz-Daddy Issues

To all comedy writers out there, contrast is funny.  Sure it was aided by the hilarity of his love for the half father/half boss that was Liz Lemon, but an on the ball, eager to succeed Tracy Jordan was good for nothing but laughs in " Nothing Left to Lose ." We are used to the Tracy that purposefully wants to screw up, or the one that is too lazy to leave his dressing room to get to rehearsal.  In this week's 30 Rock , the star of TGS was finished memorizing his lines before LL-Dad even got to the set, worked out a perfect Jimmy Fallon impression, and began writing a comedy sketch based on political commentary. Read More... //

30 Rock “Nothing Left to Lose” Review

It was self-evaluation time on  30 Rock  this week. As Jack observed, the exercise was pointless as most ofthe employees  exaggerated their accomplishments or made useless observations. Let’s take a look  at some of the gems provided by the  30 Rock  staffers: "My greatest weakness is humility because I’m probably the most humble person in the  whole  world." Okay Liz. "What three words best describe me? The complete  package." Right. "My greatest weakness is . . . chocolate." Of course it is Lutz. Jack got it wrong. Jenna was not the only employee to be completely honest in her self-evaluation. I thought Lutz was being totally honest about his weakness for chocolate. Irrelevant? Yes. But honest. In an effort to save himself from the futility of reading employee self-evaluations, Jack decided to take a special interest in Pete. Instead of transforming Pete into an energized, ambitious man with a new passion for life, Jack managed to make him a sadder, more depressed version of his former complacent self. Pete was  literally  a broken man – in both spirit and nose. Read More... //  

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... //

30 Rock “The Shower Principle” Review

This year’s gonna be different! The shower principle – moments of inspiration that occur when the brain is distracted from the problem at hand. Is this a real thing? I googled it but of course I got nothing but page after page of articles relating to  30 Rock . This happens to me all the time but I refer to it as procrastination. Although I do experience an astounding amount of mental clarity while in the shower, I also have these moments when I’m putting off something I don’t feel like  doing. I think this also happens to me while watching  30 Rock . There are times when I should be engaged in the show and one comment will send me off on a mental tangent during which I may have an epiphany or think of a new project I’d like to undertake. I’ve been referring to that as the  30 Rock  digression. Should a show have that effect? Probably not. Read More... //  

'30 Rock' - 'The Shower Principle': 30 Rock already did it!

HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reviews "The Shower Principle," the March 29 episode of NBC's "30 Rock," in which Liz realizes her life never changes, while Jack finds salvation in sofas. //

30 Rock Review: The Liz Lemon Principle

Dear Kenneth: PLEASE hurry back to the NBC Page Program. Hazel Wassername really has to go. I enjoy Kristen Schaal during her segments on The Daily Show , but her character here is simply grating. She's practically the antithesis of what makes 30 Rock so funny on a weekly basis: ridiculous characters who take themselves seriously. Hazel, conversely, is a new employee desperate for attention and, as was the case throughout " The Shower Principle ," all of her lines reek of that desperation. She's simply trying too hard in every scene. Contrast that with Liz Lemon, whose best lines of the night were simply casual rundowns from her past three years. To wit: //

30 Rock 6.15 "The Shower Principle" Review - Rinse, Repeat

30 Rock season 6 retreads the fifteenth episode of season 6 with "Kidnapped by Danger," where Liz finds herself in a yearly rut while Jack struggles to come up with an idea that can re-invent KableTown, and Hazel (Kristen Schaal) continues her obsession with Liz.  A very reflective, and meditative half-hour, "The Shower Principle" ultimately seems like its own worst enemy rather than a testament to the series' survival. I’m continually fascinated, and perhaps even a bit unnerved by what ‘s been going on with 30 Rock this season.  On the one hand, the show seems comfortable enough in its age and purpose that it doesn’t mind repeating, or even poking fun at itself, yet simultaneously testing out the water for new ideas, and actual growth.  30 Rock has always prided itself on knowing exactly what it wants to be, yet now, like Liz lemon herself, the show seems uncertain  of how it wants to handle aging.  It’s an impossible concept not to consider when entering the sixth season, but a few points in the last run have episodes have really hammered the idea home. Read More... //

30 Rock Recap: Billy Baldwin Does His Best Jack Donaghy

Last night’s mentoring episode was really just the appetizer. After a fairly straightforward first show, 30 Rock unleashed all of its zaniest, most self-referential impulses in the second half-hour of the night. Jenna sang a song about pizza, Weird Al sang a song about our troops, and Alec Baldwin’s brother dressed up as Jack Donaghy and seduced Avery Jessup’s mom. Our heroes are working on the TV-movie version of Avery’s capture by North Korea, and the pressure is on. "If you get this right," Jack tells Liz, who’s writing the script, "gay men will be dressing up like Avery for Halloween for the next twenty years." Jenna, who plays Avery, wrote a song called "Kidnapped" for the movie. Almost as soon as she released it, Weird Al put out his own parody, "Knapsack." Liz tries to explain to Jenna that she should be proud: "It’s a huge honor, like when people want to see your boobs at Mardi Gras." But Jenna’s having none of it. She was planning to sing her song on Jimmy Fallon , and now she feels like it’s been ruined.  Read More... //