30 Rock: Season 4 (season premiere)
by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 16th 2009 1:42AM
(S04E01) "We'll trick those race-car loving wide-loads into watching your lefty homoerotic propaganda hour yet!" - Jack
One of the many, many reasons 30 Rock is one of my favorite shows is because it's well aware of its own world. For example, one of the running jokes tonight was about Josh (Lonny Ross). I spent most of the last two seasons wondering where Josh was. He'd make a cameo here and there, but he's been pretty much missing since the first season. Liz and Jack talked about this tonight when Jack revealed that TGS needed a new cast member and Liz wondered about Josh's popularity on the show. Jack said "Oh, that's right, Josh. I forgot about that guy. You think that's a good sign?"
For the record, Josh was indeed in this episode, for a few seconds. He quit and then attempted to tip over the table when he found out a new person was coming on to the show.
Another reason I love the show is because it can take something that's in the news and make it the plot of an episode without it feeling weird or forced. Tonight's theme was the economic crisis, cutbacks, and corporate bonuses, and it lends itself to NBC quite well. I love how the show dumps on the network and the corporate world of TV networks, in general. Even the last scene in the show, a rare moment when they broke the fourth wall.
I'm still not sure if the shout out to Jay Leno was a nice way to segue into The Jay Leno Show or if it was a slight dig at networks that do that (but then the opening of The Jay Leno Show continued the "Are You Ready For Some Tennis?" song from Jenna and introduced Jay - I don't know if I liked that or hated it).
This wasn't the best episode of 30 Rock. Tracy's wanderings around Rockefeller Center were only half amusing. But, hey, it was still very good.
Some more thoughts:
- Jenna's new country persona was actually believable. I'm sure we'll see the full-length video online tomorrow.
- I think I'd watch that Liberty Mutual cartoon that Jack McBrayer introduced (I kept waiting for him to slip into Kenneth during his intro, but he didn't).
- As a big tennis fan, I loved how they pointed out that tennis is pretty much the only major sport that NBC has now. I believe that was Mary Carillo wondering what the Barnett Cup was.
"So naturally you came to me because this company's just the two of us." - Jack, about Kenneth's payroll check question (another funny inside joke because people like Kenneth and Liz are always going to Jack about their problems)
"My dear friend Moby opened up a tea garden bar in Park Slope." - Tracy, trying to connect to a "real" person from Brooklyn
"Which one is the elevator I'm not afraid of?" - Tracy
"I can't. I'm picking up my new ... tritionist and his elderly son. So ... bye." - Liz, about sharing a cab with Toofer
"Bonus means extra. I know that. From game shows." - Kenneth
"Sir, you sound like the mall Santas after they return from lunch." - Kenneth
"I'm in the middle of a RAGING period ... of economic turmoil." - Jack
"Whatever religious undergarment Kenneth wears is in a twist." - Jack
"Do you not see me?" - Josh
"PAGES ARE SORT OF PEOPLE TOO" - picket sign
"Who?" - Jenna, about Josh quitting
[Watch clips and episodes of 30 Rock at SlashControl.]