30 R0CK “100” Review

30 Rock "100" (NBC)

30 ROCK “100” Season 5 Episode 20 and 21 – Tonight, TGS aims not to be the worst thing on television. 30 Rock has always been ridiculously meta, and tonight it took the meta to the next level when the maintenance crew spot a gas leak which causes the cast and crew to flee the building. Meanwhile, Tracy Jordan has to find his way back to 30 Rock, but first he has to tarnish his Oscar glory reputation. This leads Tracy to the rooftop to shoot Kenneth (of course) and a final, brilliant confrontation.

This double episode was a lot of fun to watch. Written by Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock and Tina Fey, it was tightly plotted, well executed and, of course, very funny, particularly in the second half. The flashbacks were, thankfully, sparingly used and featured the very best 30 Rock moments to the greatest effect. Jenna’s plan to have a baby to help her career with the only man who would have her-Kenneth-was totally wacky. The episode featured more than the usual on-liners. The central relationship between Liz and Jack allowed itself a moment of rare (but totally earned and brilliantly played by Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin) sentimentality.

Really, the only thing that can almost match the awesomeness of the Liz and Jack scenes are Jack and Jack and Jack (and Jack) scenes.. Jack has to search himself: blind ambition and fire Liz Lemon, or save her from signing a disastrous lease with Dennis and, well, not fire her. Of course he chooses to save Liz, but this fantastic moment is not even the climax, which features Jack talking Tracy down from shooting Kenneth in order to lose respect: to lose respect, all Tracy has to do is go on network television.

I was afraid that a double dose of 30 Rock would be too much, but it actually benefited, giving the storylines a chance they don’t usually have to breathe. Tina Fey’s show, full of gimmicks and social satire and cynicisms, has for five years been the smartest and one of the funniest shows on television. It is one of the few shows which have deserved all of the accolades it has received, and this is one of the few 100th episodes of a television show that goes way over the top in the very best way.

Random Thoughts and Quotable Quotes:

Who would have put money on Tina Fey’s 30 Rock not only beating out Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60, but reaching the cross roads of 100 episodes, which makes it all the more likely that it will be picked up for syndication, plus bring with it wagonloads of awards/.

“Which is a butterfly metaphor, by the way, and not as I first thought a list of African American hair products.”

“I tell you what I don’t do. I don’t wear a striped tie with a striped shirt.”
“It’s called power flashing.”

“And it’s five years later. Are you building factories in Banglador? Are you dining in the Palin White House?”

“Did you also have to evacuate the NBC store?”
“No, it’s just empty.”

“You’re a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen.”

“I mean look at you. Endangering the lives of hundreds of people for a show that TVGuide once called, ‘Still On'”

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