I think it was sometime after 30 Rock’s first season when Tina Fey said that next year the show was going to try focusing less on the guest stars and more on its own cast. So how’s that one working out? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing or that it’s hurt the show, it just hasn’t happened. At all.
And if focusing less on guest stars was a goal still had for itself (it’s not), then it failed miserably with this week’s Mothers Day episode, featuring real moms and fake moms alike. I’m sure that the writers want everything in an episode to be funny, but I don’t think they intended this week’s funniest bits to be the high points. I love Liz, but this will-she-or-won’t-she stuff with her and that perfect man, that astronaut Mike Dexter, can really get stale. So I thought it was a good change of pace to have those closest to her tell her that there are worse things in the world than settling. Funnier yet was the revelation that her mom actually settled for her dad, and at one point in her life had dated astronaut Buzz Aldrin. And it took a conversation with him for Liz to finally realize that the idealized man she’s been looking for for so long probably doesn’t exist. Liz and Buzz yelling at the moon together really took me back a couple of years, when the show was probably at its peak. Why don’t we see more of that 30 Rock?
For me, Tracy has steadily devolved into the show’s cheapest character. I feel like if he just acts stupid enough, the writers are confident that almost anything he says will turn out funny, and his jokes have become more lazy than anything else. So whenever he acts responsibly or actually learns a lesson, I feel like he’s really been taken out of the box. So him eventually learning to respect the woman hired to play his mom on TGS, and give her a nice Mothers Day present in the process was a nice touch, although the real highlight was her late night commercial she had made for Pajamaralls. I can’t fish in these pajamas!
I’ve always enjoyed the interplay between Jack and Colleen, even if Stritch doesn’t do much besides make Jack’s like miserable and occasionally remind him that he really does love her. That beat where Jack finally asks her what he should do with the Nancy/Avery situation and her telling him that she really didn’t have a good answer for him felt more real than much of what we’ve seen of their relationship lately and I think it’s something a lot of people could probably relate to.
There were a lot of other nice touches thrown in this week. We saw the return of Bitch Hunters along with other things like the cast’s moms. I’m thinking specifically of Lutz’s mom who looks exactly like him, only with a wig. Only a few more episodes this season. Bring on Matt Damon.
Stuff I liked:
- “Put the mimosas down, bitches!”
- Remember Danny? Yeah. I barely do, either.