30 Rock: Hard Ball
Despite the perennial grousing about the dearth of good comedy on TV, Thursday nights alone are a careful, VCR-assisted juggling act for me between The Office, The Sarah Silverman Program, Ugly Betty and 30 Rock. It's like a mini-golden age of comedic goodness. The best part is that each show couldn't be more different from the other. 30 Rock doesn't do telenovela plot twists or series-long character arcs or queffing episodes. Well, they might do a queffing episode if that were permissible on network television. What 30 Rock does best is goofy set pieces, zippy one-liners and Alec Baldwin. So, let's get straight to the goods, shall we? An inventory, if you will.
When is it not good to see Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross hard ball mode. His negotiation scenes were gold as was his line delivery, but that's not unique to this episode hence the Golden Globe.
"I love cornbread so much I want to take it behind the middle school, and get it pregnant."
"What happened in your childhood to make you believe that people are good?"
"I was great in that Arliss."
"Would Sharon Stone worry about that?"
Jenna to Tucker Carlson: "For someone who's super, super hot, you're really cranky."
"Do you ever get any emails from anyone other than Match.com?"
"That lady you European-kissed last night was actually a gentlemen."
"The worm - that's so degrading. Are its origins German?"
"The crab is getting aroused. Shut it down. Shut it down."
The negotiation set.
Tina's knowing wink at the audience post-"I love America" speech.
The Bodyguard entourage send-up with Gris and Dotcom.
Tracy handing Kenneth three remotes to turn his TV on. "TV on. Pornography."
It's just so satisfying to see a show come together as 30 Rock has these past few weeks - settling into its rhythm, finding its feet, insert your own metaphor here. Better yet, skip the metaphor, and go A-Team. Imagine Tina Fey - grinning, cigar in mouth, at the head of the writer's room - "I love it when a plan comes together."