30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 3
Let's Stay Together
After last season was filled with more misses than hits, this week's 30 Rock had a plea to follow up last week's winner in its title, "Let's Stay Together." As if to prove that it deserves my continued attention (which wasn't really wavering even at its low points), the show turned out another winner tonight, mixing its unique brand of absurdity with some solid plotting and inspired lunacy.

Jack's efforts to seal the deal for Kabletown lead him to testify before Congress, whre he is confronted by Congressman Rob Reiner and Congresswoman Bookman (Queen Latifah) who have concerns about vertical integration and the lack of diversity on NBC. This of course leads Jack t obegin promoting diversity on the show, using every black character to make it seem like his network was more diverse. Twofer got a promotion to co-head writer (and got people to start calling him James for once), Dot Com was allowed to start producing his show, a '70's set opus that gave the episode its title, and was quickly ruined by the "creative input" of Grizz and Tracy, who insisted on adding a talking dog.

In a simple, but humorous B-plot, Jenna channeled her mother as she trained Kenneth to compete in a pageant to decide whether he could rejoin the page program. And when Kenneth failed, Jack ordered he be hired anyway, which of course meant that the programs "Diversity Hire" went to Kenneth instead.

To be fair, the satire in tonight's episode is more than a little toothless, and not nearly as dead on as I expect from 30 Rock when it dabbles in political commentary. Yet I don't really expect this show to do that so much as I expect it to be a mad cap office comedy and showbiz send up, marked more by sheer insanity than by insightful examinations of society. And on that front, it delivered, with Latifah walking through the studio to Tracy chasing Lutz with a samurai sword, Twofer getting a medal, and Jenna tap dancing like mad for attention. So it was not a perfect episode. But it was a funny one, and that makes me pretty happy.

Grade: B


-Excited for next week's live episode!

-The writers call Liz "Winona Ryder in 100 years."

-"Here is a list of the legal names we can use: Jerry Bananaseed. And that's it."

-"Oh, we can't use Jerry Bananaseed. He killed a bunch of nurses in Portland."

-"Outsourced is the new Friends."

-"Sir, my name is Rob Reiner. Before I was elected to Congress, I dabbled in television."

-"Oh, everyone born before Jesus is in Hell..."

-"And Anthony Anderson, the star of Law and Order which is entering its 21st...What? Why did we cancel that? It doesn't make any sense!"

-"Dot Com productions." "That's Tracy Jordan spelled backwards."

-"Monty Appleseed and I share a liquor locker at the opera."

-"Thank you NBC! A top ten network!"

-"you are Right On's Arthur Ash of the week."

-"Hey, you eat food from your own table. Our food is separate. Separate!" "I'll kill you white devil!"

-"Maybe I get carried away with my love for this great country...and the troops...and the flagtroops..."

-"I'm cutting that fat cracker's head off!" "I'm an eskimo!"

-"Stanley, even for a dog, you're a dog!"
Tags: 30 Rock
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