21
Nov
2009
30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 6
Sun Tea
Jordan
This week, 30 Rock set aside its master plot elements (the Dealbreakers talk show and the new cast member) for a one shot on Liz vying for a bigger apartment and Jack considering a vasectomy. Liz finds out that her apartment is being converted into a super-condo and determines that she will buy the apartment above her and convert it into the place of her dreams, the apartment she wants for her future children and her imaginary husband, astronaut Mike Dexter.

When she heads upstairs, she meets Bryan (Nathan Corddry, of Studio 60 fame) who doesn't have a tv and wears political t-shirts. Liz agrees to move in with him and privately schemes to drive him out. She first tries Jenna's method of becoming a drama queen, only to discover that Bryan is gay (and everyone knows, "drama is gay guy gatorade"). She then follows Tracy's advice that black people drive white people away, and so she recruits tha hapless Dot Com to pretend to be her angry black astronaut boyfriend. Unfortunately, Bryan is also a cop, and handles the situation easily. Finally, she uses Frank's disgusting "Sun Tea Method" of peeing in a jar to drive Bryan away.

Jack is shocked when he discovers that Don Geiss' son Bertram is suing Kathy Geiss for his father's inheritance, and decides he should get a vasectomy. When he asks Tracy for advice, Tracy raves about the downside of children, proclaiming, "I thought having children was going to be like The Cosby Show. Oh no, Vanessa went to a concert! Oh no, Rudy and I are making a sandwich for 25 minutes!" Unfortunately, having Tracy Jr. around (for "Take your black son to work" day, which is always on a wednesday) just keeps Tracy from telling his crazy story about when he went to a strip club with Charles Barkley and "one of the hobbits."

Jack and Tracy take their issues to Dr. Spaceman, who is of course willing to perform vasectomy's for them (and warns them not to eat before coming in, because of the huge breakfast he'll have waiting). Tracy goes under and has a hilarious Cosby fantasy, which convinces him he wants to have a girl, while Jack discovers the joy of having children as he helps Tracy Jr. write a paper about his awesome dad.

Much of the criticism about this season of 30 Rock rests on the idea that the characters are all pretty one note and therefore are hard to gain emotional stakes in. This may be valid, but as long as the one note the characters strike is as funny as it was tonight, 30 Rock can stay pretty shallow for years to come without drawing much complaint from me. I'll look elsewhere for my depth.

Grade: B

Notes:

-"Holding up one finger to get someone to stop talking? He invented that."

-"There are no rules. It's like check in at an Italian airport."

-"If he was a mokney, then why was he killed by a monkey?" I love Kenneth's understanding of science.

-TGS' topical cold open was abotu Omarosa borrowing Bjork's swan dress. Sounds like they are as on top of it as SNL of late.

-"I have this strip club story from this weekend to tell you, but I can't because I've got this little d-bag with me." "I know what that means." "And yet you won't tell me."

-"Who are Rudy and Vanessa?" "Your adorable sister and your sister!"

-Tracy yelling at the laugh track. "Don't patronize me!"

-"'Don't be a zero, be a good guy!' It seems like a missed opportunity..."

-"If a patient's friend runs into the operating room and yells at you, you have to stop. It's in the doctor code."

-"Tracy Jr. made you an acrostic." "Well I hope he made me an across helmet so I don't get hurt playing across."

-Al Gore is magic. And he recycles his "a whale is in trouble" joke.
Tags: 30 Rock
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