15
Jan
2010
30 Rock: Season 4, Episodes 9 and 10
Klaus and Greta / Black Light Attack
Jordan
Over the early part of its fourth season, 30 Rock has been having some trouble staying at the heights it built to over its first three seasons, but the very solid back-to-back that was "Klaus and Greta" and "Black Light Attack" reminded me that the show hasn't lost what made it great. Since the two were seperate episodes with separate strengths and weaknesses, I'll address them in two shorter reviews.

Klaus and Greta:

This was almost doubtlessly the best episode the show has done in its fourth season, and one of the funnier ones in its entire run. The A-plot centered around a perfectly used James Franco who enters into a fake relationship with Jenna to dodge rumors that he's in love with a Japanese body pillow named Kimiko. Having watched the Simpsons episode where Troy McClure loves fish earlier this year, I know this isn't the most original idea 30 Rock has ever tackled, but they went for it so fully it ended up being hysterical and giving Jenna one of her better storylines ever. That the episode had the balls to end with Liz having a three-way with James and Kimiko makes it flat-out legendary in my mind.

The sub-plots in the episode focused on Tracy's desire to have a daughter and Jack's ongoing feelings for Nancy Donovan. That Jack would take Kenneth over Jonathan was an obvious joke, but still played hilariously, and while I have complained before that Kenneth should stay out of the limelight as much as possible, I think he was used perfectly here to liven up Jack's otherwise sort of dull snooping scenes by constantly leaving evidence of their break-in (specifically several pictures with him making very weird expressions).

Overall, this episode restored any of the faith I had lost that 30 Rock can at its best be the funniest show on television and reminded me how insanely quotable this show is when its firing on all cylinders.

Grade: A

Notes:

-Beach sex is the third best sex after elevator sex and White House sex.

-"i know its a girl because I yelled Susan B. Anthony at the moment of conception!"

-"We just need to look for clues to her answering machine. It'll be like The Da Vinci Code. Look, an albino monk!" "Kenneth, that's a mirror."

-"Your hand feels like a pillow that's been in the microwave."

-"Ok, I do appreciate the irony that I am the one stuck in the closet now."

-"Ok, the sun is up and we are still in these people's house. God can see us now!"

-"I don't mean to swear, sir, but I am irritated right now!"

-Matt Lauer gives shitty travel tips.

-"Is every woman someone's daughter?"

Black Light Attack:

Almost any episode of 30 Rock would look a little less awesome in the shadow of "Klaus and Greta," so its almost unfair to bash "Black Light Attack" after such a hysterical lead-in. And the episode as a whole had more laugh out loud moments than most television shows manage, but there were weaknesses in the plotlines. For one thing, Danny as a character never quite seems to gel with the rest of the cast. It isn't the fault of the acting, which is solid, but his character always seems a little too happy-go-lucky for TGS, and we already have that from Kenneth in spades. So having him at the center of the episode was bound to cause a few problems.

Beyond that, both of the sub-plots were pretty weak. Tracy bringing that one female writer into his entourage was basically a one-joke idea stretched into a B-plot, but it was almost made up for with the "Forever Young" montage at the end of the episode. And Jenna being shocked to be offerred a mother role was ridiculous, but not in that good way the show often pulls off. It just felt like an instance of the writers realizing they needed something for Jenna to do and throwing it in.

While I did have complaints about "Black Light Attack" it was still a very funny episode that Kept me entertained throughout, and its flaws were mostly glazed over by the fact that most of the jokes landed. On the whole, this was one of the better nights of 30 Rock in recent memory, and it was an absolute treat to watch.

Grade: B+

Notes:

-"If the Snitch is worth 150 points, why does anyone bother with the Quaffle?"

-"How drunk are you?" "A lot to very."

- "Oh Pete, that's later. Maybe we'll be dead by then." "That'd be great." I love how horribly depressing Pete has become. Its a constant well for laughter.

-"Is it that chick lawyer who does the sexual harassment presentation? Because she's totally asking for it."

-"Black Light Attack!" If I had a black light, that would be a thing.

-"Women are allowed to be angrier than men about double standards."

-Kenneth is effected by the over 40 sound, continuing my favorite absurdist running joke.
Tags: 30 Rock
comments powered by Disqus