30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 8
Secret Santa
After arguing last week that those who say 30 Rock has lost its magic are being too harsh, the show set out to make a fool of me, delivering a pretty subpar holiday episode with far too many plotlines that fell entirely flat. In fact, i would argue that every one of the plotlines fell entirely flat, and that the episode was saved by the one liners and one-off jokes that got thrown into each plot.

In the A-plot, Jack was reunited with his high school crush via YouFace, the show's attempt at a Facebook parody that was mostly just an unfunny twist on the sort of ridiculous things being on Facebook entails. His crush was played solidly by Julianne Moore, with a thick boston accent that reminded Jack of home and of the better times he escaped as quickly as he could. While those two flirted, Liz failed to come up with anything clever for Jack, who is apparently the world's greatest gift giver.

The B-plot revolved around Twofer, Lutz, and Frank getting out of Kenneth's Secret Santa by inventing a religion. Their deceit caused Kenneth to lose his faith, but he got it back when they were all arrested, proving that God is indeed vengeful. How this set of simple jokes shifted from one liners into an actual plot shocked me. This season has watched former ace in the hole Kenneth degenerate further and further into uninspired lunacy and unfunny plotlines, which hurts, as Kenneth used to consistently deliver hilarious lines for every episode. The C-plot was even dumber, as the new cast member took a dive for Jenna's self confidence, which considering how aloof, rude, and unlikable she is doesn't really make any sense.

I guess Canadian man's sacrifice fit into the Christmas theme (the only thing Jenna loved about Christmas was singing to distract shoppers while her mom shoplifted), but I didn't much care. In the end. Liz ended up finding Jack the perfect gift (a bomb threat to Penn station that resulted in him getting to kiss his crush) but 30 Rock ended the year on a down note. Here's hoping the show figures out what has been going wrong and rights it in time for new episodes next year.

Grade: C


-"I bought him a $95 bottle of olive oil, and in return, he got my sister out of a North Korean Jail!"

-"Verdukianism? That doesn't make sense! Jimmy is a catholic!"

-French kissing is for the Italians.

-"Weird in a good way." "Like going to the gym drunk."
Tags: 30 Rock
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