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September 3, 2015

30 Rock: The Fighting Irish

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 9th 2007 2:18AM
Alec Baldwin Fighting Irish(S01E17) We learned many important things from 30 Rock this evening.

1. When you have to break bad news to someone, fake them out with something cute or distracting first. Whoa, holy crap, what's that? A baby panda sneezing!

2. Name your fists. St. Michael and St. Patrick. Tip O'Neill and Bobby Sands. Bono and Sandra O'Connor. Whatever works.

3. Catholicism, while it comes with the confession thing, also comes with crushing, crushing guilt. You could be eating tacos alone in a park, and boom, there's the guilt. As someone raised by an Irish Catholic family with more than one priest in its ranks and educated at Catholic schools, let me personally confirm that one. I feel guilty right now... for no apparent reason. It's just there - always crushing.

This episode didn't reach the farcical highs of "Black Tie." It was more standard sitcom fare than goofy bliss, but it wasn't bad. How wrong can you go cataloging Tracy's possible religious options, meeting Jack's family and seeing Liz embrace her role as the decider?

Let's deconstruct this one.

A Story. Jack's family. Nathan Lane was fine. The role could probably have been played by anyone. It was more exciting to see Molly Shannon put in an appearance as "Katherine Katherine." Jack and Nathan's litany of crappy things they did to each other was pretty great. I blinded you with a bottle rocket. I stole your identity. I convinced you that you had lupus.

B Story. The planets aligning for our Liz. Whatever. It was fun to see Liz go all "lady astronaut" on accounting and get treated well by her employees for awhile, but I've never really cared about Liz's personal life. Flower Guy is definitely a step up from Beeper Guy, but I'm not emotionally invested in an Office kinda way. It's not what 30 Rock does best. I did, however, think there was a nice throw-away moment in the cold open when Jenna put a Kangol hat on before starting hip-hop class.

The Runner. Tracy's religious quest. Anything to make fun of Scientology and Kabbalah, which takes the fun part of Judaism and combines it with magic! I appreciate Tracy wanting to join up with us Irish Catholics so he doesn't have to hold his parties in international waters any more, but as Jack said, it's not all it's cracked up to be. I love that Kenneth attends one of those storefront churches that are all over New York and that they lose half their congregation when American Idol starts up. That's what you get for worshiping on a Wednesday in primetime.

Alright, folks. Let's hear it. Post your favorite lines, moments, member of Jack's family or panda virals below.

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speaking of Andy Richter, does anyone else agree that he does his best work as a supporting character? Why do they keep pushing for him to be the front runner? .."they" being "Andy"...

March 12 2007 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I especially liked when the check writing was revealed as a scam... "just write down the initials." Suddenly I got it, and I laughed.

March 09 2007 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"30 Rock" is definitely must-see-TV. Hilarious.

I was kinda hoping they would make a reference to Islam when they were mentioning Tracy's religions (I have a Muslim background)...it could be kinda topical. I love the slightly more mellowed out Tracy. He was annoying initially.

"He pointed at me!"

March 09 2007 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Liz going all "chicken killer" over a "boy". Ha!

March 09 2007 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

damn, i knew other liz looked familiar. i went to college with anna chlumsky and she was really good friends with my ra (she a bitch incase anyone wanted to know).

i loved the scene when the father comes in and says the same thing and gave him the watch. im a big fan of con-games and con-artist movies so i actually have seen this done before but it was still funny. "i told you i'd get jack and you'd get that thing in sacramento"

March 09 2007 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone else getting sick of Molly Shannon? She always gets these dumb bit parts and completely over acts.

March 09 2007 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

honestly, my favorite quote was when Jacks' family gets together and his brother says "ive been clean and sober for 7 months' and my katherine katherine says "stop showing off" As if not drinking was some sorta talent.

March 09 2007 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the beginning of the Tracy story (joining a religion preemptively because people don't trust celebrities who find religion *after* they get arrested) was hilarious, but other than the kabbalah/magic line, the payoff wasn't very good.

Liz Lemler was Anna Chlumsky? I had no idea... that's really weird. She was looking pretty good, though.

And I watched all the Andy Barker episodes online, and I'm a huge Andy Richter fan (and love Tony Hale, too), but it's not great. It's better than most of the dreck on TV, but it's not as good, to me, as any of the NBC Thursday night comedies right now. But I felt the same way about 30 Rock at first, and now it's probably my second favorite behind the Office. The Andy Barker format works pretty well, and some of the characters are interesting, but the big laughs are mostly missing. If it got a chance, it might find itself the way 30 Rock has, but premiering in March in an awful timeslot... I get the feeling NBC isn't putting much faith into the show.


March 09 2007 at 7:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

It's nice to see SNLers past and present getting a place to come home to on NBC. The episode not only had Molly Shannon, but Siobhan Fallon as another of the Donaghy siblings.

I think Laura Kightlinger would have made an excellent Donaghy, and a sister who could face to face against Jack.

The sullen younger sister provided the episode's head-scratcher. Jack mentioned that the other siblings only just learned of her existence that day, so you assume Dad had a secret life. But then Eddie observes that she has their mother's look......

Whuuuuh? Did Mom and Dad have one last kid and then gave it away for adoption? Or just Mom? Just another great example of how this show is overflowing with jokes and can afford to throw them out there without belaboring the point.

March 09 2007 at 6:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Luis D.

Funniest moment for me? The fist names. When Eddie busted out with 'Bono and Sandra Day O'Connor' I completely lost it.
But my favorite moment had to be seeing Anna Chlumsky (the other Liz) all grown up, what a knock-out.

March 09 2007 at 6:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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