30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 21
Everything Sunny All The Time Always
30 Rock has always been a weird show, often bordering on becoming a live action cartoon (honestly, its pretty much always been a live action cartoon). Of late, though, the show has been getting weirder. Last week we had a gas leak that gave us four Jack Donaghy's and a Liz-Dennis reunion. This week, the show was probably just about as weird (maybe slightly less so), but to much greater effect. As a rule, the weirder this show gets, the more I seem to enjoy it. And while I thought last week went a little too far, or at least didn't do absurd in the best way, this week handled the weird just perfectly.

In the A-plot, Avery is kidnapped by Kim Jong Il and forced to become part of the North Korean propaganda machine, and eventually to marry his son. Weird enough on its own, this plotline also involved Elizabeth Banks in a Reagan mask, tracy co-starring in a propaganda film with Kim Jong Il, Jack playing flute in a duel against his ex Condoleeza Rice on the piano, and an Ipad ap that allows for the shaving of legs. Madness, sure, but damn funny all the same.

Even funnier was the constant equating of Avery's kidnapping and marriage to a dictator's son to a bag being caught in a tree outside of Liz' apartment. That was a silly gag that just kept on giving, and allowed for some lunacy all its own, from Liz' trip to city hall, to the bag's message about human mortality to our Lemon's increasingly violent threats, this was just another string of weirdness, and I loved it a lot.

Finally, Tracy is upset about being left out of an inside joke while he was away and Dot Com, Grizz, and Kenneth tried to recreate it to catch Tracy up. This plotline wasn't that funny, honestly, and that might stem from the lack of absurdity. Tracy is often the show's most absurd character by a mile, but tonight he was pretty normal, upset at being left out and just a little too obsessed with getting in on the joke. Yet when two out of three plotlines in a 30 Rock episode are cooking, that's a good episode in my book.

The last two weeks the show has been going to the weird well a whole lot. Sometimes it has worked, and sometimes it hasn't, but in general I don't think flat-out absurdity is a bad direction for the show to go in. If it manages to keep the quality up at this level, I'll be a happy camper.

Grade: B+


-"When she's ready, Dr. Kevorkian says we have to put her down. He's a very good pediatrician, but that is an unfortunate name."

-"Lizbianism means I am a dyke...against the waters of hopelessness."

-"That's from Invictus. Wait, who's the white guy in that?" I like that Matt Damon can't exist in the 30 Rock universe, since he is just Carol.

-"I don't know why our daughter would be afraid of Reagan." "Are yo uaccusing me of not doing enough reagan time?"

-"Me plus you equals frowny face."

-"I am going to solve this. Just like you are going to solve your equally important bag in a tree problem."

-"Did I give up when tht squirrel I trained to retreive you ran away?"

-"We do a lot of plywood themed sexual play. I am a parrot."

-"I'm going to hang you in my kitchen and fill you with other bags. You will eat your family!"
Tags: 30 Rock
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