4
Dec
2009
30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 7
Dealbreakers Talk Show No. 0001
Jordan
Liz's Dealbreakers based talk show storyline came to a head tonight as the show moved into production, creating a chain reaction that transformed her into Jenna and Frank into Liz. The results were reliably wacky and continued the transformation of 3o Rock into the most cartoonish live action show on television (see, for example, Liz crying out of her mouth after laser eye surgery).

The storyline gave us a chance for some time with Dr. Spaceman, and even an appearance from Will Arnett's always welcome Devon Banks (who, despite his height, does not look good in capris). Jack was his standard amount of assholish at Liz as the episode began (suggesting she change her name to Veronica St. Pierre and fix her hair) which lead to Liz's downward spiral into Jenna-ness. This topped off in a confrontation between writer Liz and her demonic performing half, a gag that would have been too over the top if it wasn't played perfectly by Fey.

Meanwhile, Tracy still wants to have a daughter after narrowly avoiding his vasectomy (which reminds me, this show is doing a good job of keeping storylines going through several episodes this season, lending them a sense of continuity). Before he can do that, he must prove himself responsible, which leads him to go Christmas shopping. Instead of buying gifts for his family, he bus himself a necklace that says EGOT, standing for "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony" and represents the gold standard for celebrities. Tracy tries to write the world's best song, but doesn't understand how the five most popular musical styles played together can sound so bad, so he goes to Whoopi Goldberg for advice. Whoopi's cameo is pretty wasted, but the idea of Tracy attempting to just steal her awards was worth a few chuckles.

Perhaps my favorite touch to this episode was Pete's quiet craziness that lurked in the background of all of his scenes, going largely unnoticed or ignored by everyone else. The break from the Jenna and Tracy pairings (which admittedly I love) was nice, as was an entire episode without bashing Middle America. This week 30 Rock delivered a solid half hour of jokes without resorting to almost any of its standards, proving yet again to its detractors that it still has what it takes.

Grade: B+

Notes:

-"I'll do the Christmas shopping this year to prove that I can be reliable and that I can finish everything that I..."

-"Elegance. I get it. That's why people come to Yakov's Nubian Bling Explosion."

-"Lately I've been shopfliting just to feel in control."

-"There was a better kid's birthday party up the street!"

-"Are you spinning a basketball?"

-Everyone in high def: Liz looks like a monster, pete a naked old man, Kenneth a muppet and Jack a younger version of Alec Baldwin. All clever and fun.

-Fran kas Liz was pretty funny. "Now excuse me, I'll be in my office trying to have it all!"

-And Tracy's reaction to him. "is it me or is Liz Lemon getting hotter?"

-"Tracy Jordan, you are an idiot." "I know, we're lucky people laugh when I say stuff."
Tags: 30 Rock
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