18
Mar
2010
30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 15
Don Geiss, America, and Hope
Jordan
This week's 30 Rock seemed aimed at righting the greivous wrong that was last week's episode, bringing Michael Sheen back and actually using him in a humorous way, leaving Elizabeth Banks where she belongs (not on television at all) and actually being funn throughout its run time, which is more of a feat than you might think after last week.

Sheen returned as the cleverly named Wesley Snipes (who does look more like someone that should be named Wesley Snipes than the actor), who continued his awkward semi-courtship of Liz despite the fact that they have literally nothing in common. I appreciated this plotline's commitment to subverting the standard romantic comedy, as Wesley and Liz continuously run into each other by chance, only to further realize just how wrong for each other they are. He thinks its ridiculous to order popcorn at the movies (preferring seltzer and mike 'n ike's), doesn't find Liz's obsession with food endearing, and most horrendously of all, actually likes the film Notting Hill. He also condescendingly refers to God as a she, and believes that she is putting he and Liz together so that they can be "settling soulmates," a hilarious term that actually seems possible for a Liz that fears dying alone. Yet our heroine refuses to be beaten by the universe, and turns down Wesley's offer.

In an oddly parallel plot, Jack finds a "settling soulmate" of sorts in Kabletown, the company that has purchased NBC. It specializes in making nothing in particular, and wants him to join up just because he would look good during press conferences. Jack's crisis was surprisingly affecting and very funny, especially because of the revulsion he infused into every utterance of the word "kabletown." The plot was pretty hysterical throughout, though it does suffer overall from the hacky ending surrounding the idea of porn for women, which is just guys listening to them.

In a bizarre inversion of last week, Tracy's C-plot is the thing that worked least in this episode. It centered around his maid publishing a tell all book revealing he had never cheated on his wife, and on is failing struggle to commit adultery to stay famous. I'm sure on paper it played as a clever inversion of the Tiger Woods scandal (as if it should even be called that), but in practice it was pretty flat, and even Tracy's random craziness throughout the night seemed less funny than usual and a little off.

This episode really pulled off it's main two plots, however, and resolved Jack's professional crisis, for now at least. 30 Rock at its best would have had a much cleverer ending than the porn for women gag, but I can't fault an episode that has Don Geiss frozen in carbonite too heavily.

Grade: B

Notes:

-I have to just stress that Geiss being buried a la Han Solo was the biggest laugh of the night for me, and its humor lasted throughout the funeral scene.

-"Did you just whip a battery at me?"

-"L.A. Rules! Michael Bay, freeways, Legoland..."

-"The Earth is one of the top three planets in the Universe."

-I hate it so much when Jenna sings. They always play it like a gag about how much she loves to sing, yet it always comes off as just Jane Krakowski wanting to show everyone what a good singer she is.

-"Angie's going to be madder than a bat in a suitcase. Which reminds me..."

-"I got a lot of flak after I ate that pig from babe..."

-"Jack "The Master Baiter" Donaghy." I shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did at that line...

-"Fresh Ass, Based on the novel Tush by Assphire."

-"Gangway for the footcycle!"

-"Settling soulmates? That is grim. And I've played monopoly alone" ties "You know what I have? A Sims family that keeps getting murdered" as saddest Liz line of the night.

-"I'll see you in may for sweeps...which is what we call spring cleaning in England!"
Tags: 30 Rock
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