11
Mar
2010
30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 14
Future Husband
Jordan
Well, it had to happen eventually. Ever since GE sold NBC to Comcast, I have been wondering how 30 Rock would deal with this development. In no other even remote way did the sale affect my life, but with Jack Donaghy serving as a GE executive and the show's main action anchored pretty steadily to NBC, the parting of the ways had to occur. It was handled fairly deftly, all things considered, but sadly it required the return of the humorless succubus that is Elizabeth Banks. of all Jack's unfunny girlfriends past (I'm looking at you, Selma Hayek) I have never despised on enough that she actively damages my enjoyment of the show, but even when Banks was yelling at Brian Williams, a task that is easy to make hilarious, she came off as obnoxious and grating.

It didn't help much that Liz's plotline was a waste of the extremely talented Michael Sheen, who was relegated to a role that's become a 30 Rock cliche by this point: a guy that Liz feels she should be attracted to and yet somehow deeply dislikes. She tried to slog through it anyway, in part because of Kenneth's endless belief that everything works out for the best, but it wasn't meant to be.

Other things that clearly aren't meant to be include Tracy's quest to EGOT, which made a return in the closest plotline this episode had to a winner. Tracy opens a one man show, which gets good reviews (or at least a Claps Giving Yay Har-ade), but is felled by the Tony requirement that it be performed at least 8 times. Tracy is deeply improvistational (que a clever montage of him entering a house, first saying "Honey, I'm home!" then the far less sensical, "Pacman, I'm jewish!" and "Jeffrey, we lost the tournamant!") and so Jenna agrees to be his acting coach. This all leads to the "I'd watch him reading a phone book" cliche, yet Morgan makes it work, probably because, as Tracy points out, people love to just watch him be himself.

For the most part, this episode fell flat, and it relegated its best plotline to an almost unseen C-plot ranking, leaving Jack and Liz's boring stories at the foreground. 30 Rock used to be consistently the best comedy on not just Thursday night, but on television. At this point its often the weakest on NBC's Thursday night line up. It hurts a lot to say that, but maybe next week the show will turn it all around with the live beheading of Elizabeth Banks (not her character). A man can dream, right?

Grade: C-

Notes:

-"Your dentist gets drunk with you too?"

-Kenneth's donkey spells were a bit too broad and over the top for my taste, especially when no one reacted at all to them. I do like that he keeps a lucky rabbit spine in his wallet though.
Tags: 30 Rock
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