30 Rock, “When it Rains, it Pours”: I want your feet in my mouth!

Hello again, old friend. I’ve missed you. Thursday’s episode may be the best half hour of ’30 Rock’ we’ve seen in the past year, and definitely reminded us how funny the show can be when it’s at the top of its game.

I was happy to see the show acknowledge the fact that Tina Fey is a stone cold fox and completely deserving of men’s affectations, which it really hadn’t done too much of in the past. Her relationship with Carol has kind of given her her groove back, so she doesn’t mind laying on some extra charm for Paul Giamatti, playing here a beponytailed, hockey-loving, Civil War-reenacting editor. I know there were a few clips of Giamatti floating around out there on the internet, but I hadn’t seen them, so seeing him turn up on the show was a big surprise for me. I thought he did a fantastic job, and had a fantastic ponytail. My favorite part of his was reciting Liz’s dialogue along with her as they’re “breaking up” in front of Donna. ’30 Rock’ has always been a show that’s made good use of its guest stars, and he was no exception.

So Jack and Avery are having a kid. That’s big news that was sort of glossed over in light of how funny Jack’s preparations for it were. His video messages to his unborn son make me wonder if there are rolls of unused film with Alec Baldwin just riffing. My favorite lines were, “I then attended Harvard Business School, where I was voted, Most,” and earlier, when the fire alarm goes off and Liz asks him if he’s coming outside, “And stand outside in a crowd like some Italian? I don’t think so.”

For me, Tracy getting caught on Cash Cab wasn’t the comedy gold mine some people thought it was, but I thought it was a good break from form for him, and the back and forth between him and Ben Bailey as he’s trying to get out of cab was pretty good. And his story did bring back some good guest stars. Dr. Spaceman is always a welcome addition on the show (“I have more experience putting babies in women.”), as is Sherry Shepherd as Angie Jordan.

My one complaint about the episode is what the show’s doing with Kenneth. By the end of the episode, it looks like he’s coming back on…as a page. So, if the entire point of getting rid of him was to bring him back all of two episodes later, WHAT THE HELL WAS THE POINT? At the end of the episode Kenneth tells Jack that he’s reapplying to the page program, and Jack says, “I really don’t care.” Really kind of summed up my own feelings. In the end it just feels like the show was trying to shake things up for the sake of shaking things up.

A minor complaint in light of the rest of the episode. Easily forgiven if the show can keep turning out episodes like this one. I could even forgive ‘The Office’s’ sh**ty sixth season if ’30 Rock’ could keep things cranked up to 11 like this.

Random thoughts:

  • Jenna never closes her mouth.
  • Paul Giamatti throwing his Chinese food at Pete.
  • The Julia Roberts laugh.
  • More Lutz, please. Him getting punched in the face and then made love to was hilarious.
  • Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell.
  • “And that is the art of camouflage.”
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