Shows with definite end dates, like 30 Rock, try to accomplish several things, but often their primary goal is fan service (Unless David Chase or David Simon are prominently involved). Even a cynical comedy writer like Tina Fey spent last week marrying off Liz Lemon in as dreamy of a sequence as she could possibly muster. Clearly, that episode left Fey feeling a little dirty, because this week the Joke Ray was cranked up to full blast.
All of the old classics were whipped by the heads of viewers at speeds that remain incomprehensible to me. Jack’s mojo, Jenna’s craziness, Jenna’s continuing (one-side) feud with Mickey Rourke, the delightfully horrible Colleen, and some shots at their own show were all on full display. The timing of this particular episode seemed crucial. After last week’s break in Liz Lemon form, Fey wrote an episode that was a celebration of a lot of the wonderful things about 30 Rock. Sure, there was a wedding and a funeral, but tonight’s 30 Rock was all about the jokes. A few of the more spirited jokes centered on Fey’s favorite stereotypical target: women. One week after celebrating the stereotypical woman in her wedding episode, 30 Rock returned to their most fertile ground that doesn’t involve the Republican party. From a lack of technical skills know-how (“Take the disc out and blow on it!”) to nymphomaniac virgin widows with a latex allergy, there was no shortage of fodder for jokes from the female talent in tonight’s episode.
While Liz was hanging out with all of her single ladies, Jack Donaghy was on fire. For much of last season, Jack didn’t appear to have his mojo. Adrift without his wife and going nowhere at Kabletown, we saw a Jack in existential crisis. However, this season has seen a return to the Jack that we all know and love. At his best, the man is a fountain of wisdom and great feats. If he’s not listing the only 3 appropriate subjects for paintings (horses, ships with sails, and men with swords), then he’s at his mother’s funeral delivering the greatest eulogy ever. It was a wonderful performance by Alec Baldwin. When the eulogy for 30 Rock is delivered, he’s definitely the man to do it.
No even his mother will be disappointed.