30 ROCK Review – “Cougars” (2×7): Tracy you crazy boy

30 ROCK - Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan

Call me difficult to please if you want, but I was beginning to worry about this new season of 30 ROCK.

It seemed as if NBC’s Emmy-winning money-spinner (written by Saturday Night Live alumni, Tina Fey and starring Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin) was becoming too self aware, in that creepy Hal the Supercomputer from “Space Odyssey 2001” sort of way.

Specifically, what was perhaps doing 30 Rock in for me was the not-so-funny Jerry Seinfeld Bee-movie plug-a-thon, or maybe it was Fey’s pleas to Verizon Wireless to show her the money. Nah, it was definitely the David Schwimmer as Greenzo episode.

Actually, I think I know what it was.

The thing is, as annoying as it may be that 30 Rock blatantly shills for Madison Avenue, that’s nothing new. What’s different this season is that the show is no longer effortlessly funny and quirky.

At least not until tonight.

Hmmm, I wonder if 30 Rock getting some of its mojo back has something to do with the fact that we had more Tracy time? That boy is a damn fool (in a good way) and watching him come on screen is like watching a young Michael Jordan drive to the hoop – you know something magical is about to happen.

Okay I love Tracy, so maybe I’m a little bit biased. Fact is, the entire cast can be hilarious, but Tracy’s the MVP. Pass him the ball and let him set up the offense and everything clicks.

So thanks to tonight’s “Cougars” episode, 30 Rock is back on my must-see TV list, even if the show plays fast and loose with racial/minority humor. But, you know what, I don’t mind the cracks. Somehow it doesn’t feel mean-spirited – sort of like when NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley (another damn fool but not always in a good way) makes racially charged jokes and everyone laughs and says: “Charles, you so crazy.”

Besides if we censor Tracy, how would we ever come to learn that in Knuckle Beach orange soda is considered a good substitute for breast milk?

Tracy, you crazy boy.