30 Rock: Gavin Volure
Is there any other show on television that jam-packs as many jokes as 30 Rock does? And it's not one of those situations where they fire off 50 jokes and only 5 of them are really funny, 25 are just OK, and 20 are really terrible. Almost all of the jokes on this show work on some level. Ordinarily, I would worry about some sort of burnout, but here we are five episodes into the third season and the show is still in top form.
More big name guest stars this week: Steve Martin and a certain famous art collector/yeller.
I've been quite worried about all of the guest stars this show has, but I have to say that they've used most of them quite well. I haven't gotten the feeling that the guest stars have been squeezed in just to attract viewers. People like Carrie Fisher and Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin belong in the 30 Rock world, and Martin is quietly funny as the agoraphobic (not really), rich (not really) friend of Jack's who likes Liz (really). I do worry about Liz only wanting from a relationship a man who only wants to read celebrity gossip, eat, and not have sex.
Besides a good guest star and tons of funny lines, this episode (and the show in general) has two scenes where they comment on how TV shows are made and the industry, in general. One is Tracy Jordan's fake "The More You Know" NBC PSA featuring his sex doll lookalike. It would have been funny if the network had run a real "The More You Know" immediately following it (and I have to admit to being fooled by the appearance of the doll in the last scene where Tracy tackles Gavin - I didn't even realize he was sitting still).
The second is Tracy mentioning to Liz that she missed Jenna's father visiting the studio - a massively clever reference to how sometimes characters aren't on certain episodes of shows and there could be a whole other plot with them that we don't see (Jane Krakowski wasn't on the show tonight). You can tell this show is written by people who are good writers and TV fans.
I love the fact that John McEnroe is just randomly at Gavin's party as the art collector/yeller. This show is getting into the habit of having a second, secret guest star on each episode (like last week's Night Court cast along with Jennifer Aniston).
Some more quotes you can repeat to friends tomorrow:
"What the what?!?" - Liz, about Gavin asking her on a date
"How can I loosen up? I'm in Connecticut, I haven't eaten, and I'm stressed about an away toilet situation." - Liz, to Jack
"Of course, that's back when Jet was actually about jet ownership. That magazine took a weird turn." - Jack
"Camp of Approval? What does that even mean?" - Liz, on Paris Hilton's released-only-in-Canada movie
"I can't believe you're out of the game. It's like Picasso not painting, or Bruce Willis not combining action movies with rock harmonica." - Jack, to Gavin
"You're going to work this thing like a Chinese gymnast: wear something tight, force a smile, and lie about your age." - Jack, to Liz, about her date
"Those two have never paid me any attention. And rightly so. I'm a strange man who can't be taken seriously." - Tracy, about his sons
"I thought that was just a tagline from my movie. Death Bank." - Tracy, about the phrase "money is the root of all evil"
"And as always I keep one chair empty to symbolize our unfulfilled hopes and dreams. I'm just kidding. Eliot Spitzer's hooker couldn't make it." - Gavin, on his dinner table seating
"Laundry? I know we pay you a living wage. I fought against it." - Jack, to Ken, folding laundry for extra cash
"That's nothing. Sometimes to feel like I have company during dinner, I dispute credit card charges on speaker phone." - Liz, on being alone
"Great, I'll send a helicopter ... to take you to the train station." - Gavin, to Liz
"God, do I have a black thing?" - Jack, on men he would date (Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, and Taye Diggs)