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October 9, 2015

Review: 30 Rock - Sun Tea

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2009 2:40AM
30 Rock(S04E06) "Oh brother. Are they really going to do something this year or just put that stupid green peacock in the corner of the screen?" - Liz, about NBC's Green Week

OK, I think we can all agree that this was one of the more disgusting episodes of 30 Rock. It's one thing to have Frank be really gross; we've seen that in previous episodes (the burping, the tank tops, the porn). But now we find out that he's urinating into jars in his office? I think that's officially holy crap disgusting, even if it does eventually help the Earth and give Jack flowers for his office.

It was also one of the least funny in a while, though that doesn't mean it didn't have its moments.

It's good to see Liz making a step in the right direction in her life, actually taking Jack's advice and buying another apartment in her building. And we even found out that Liz has actually saved some of her Dealbreakers money, so maybe she actually is beginning to learn something after all. Sure, she had to go to extreme lengths to get rid of sudden roommate Brian, with the lying and the fake angry Dot.com and the urinating, but at least she did it for a real purpose. It gives us a little different path for Liz now (while still keeping all of the usual Liz craziness intact).

I don't know how funny it was, though. I mean, sure, there was still a ton of great lines tonight (see below), but not all of them hit the mark like they usually do. Tracy's plot was only funny to a point, and this was one of those episodes where Jack was kinda lost and wondering what to do (this time with his vasectomy). I don't like lost Jack. His short scene with Tracy Jr. was nice, but he's best when he's in control of things.

Having said all that, any 30 Rock episode with Dr. Spaceman and a couple of digs at NBC's Green Week is still a pretty good one. And with a show like this, one that throws so many jokes and references, the batting average is going to be better than most sitcoms. I'm sure there's a math equation we can use to compare the laugh factor of 30 Rock with the laugh factor of other sitcoms and examine how 30 Rock is a different type of show, but I was always bad at math.

More thoughts:

- I loved the clever "Jack will tell you what to do next" line in the exercise video that Liz was watching at the start of the episode. Of course Jack will tell Liz what to do next about her problem.

- It was really great to see Nate Corddry again. Too bad he couldn't be a regular or semi-regular on the show. I can picture him dating Liz, can't you (I mean if he wasn't a gay cop).

- Having a show set at NBC is a great way to mention other NBC shows without it seeming out of place. So we got lots of references to current shows like Heroes and Friday Night Lights and older shows like Cheers and The Cosby Show.

- Did we know that Geiss has another child before this episode?


"Geiss Scream Son Pay." - Liz's idea for a better NY Post article

"Holding up one finger to get someone to be quiet. He invented that." - Jack, about Don Geiss

"Geiss also invented the abrupt conversational segue. Talk about your thing now." - Jack, to Liz

"With real estate there are no rules. It's like check-in at an Italian airport." - Jack

"Some of them are sun tea and some of them ... were sun tea." - Frank

"Global warming? Sorry, sir, that's just 'scientist talk.' The same people who say my grandfather was a monkey. If that's true, why was he killed by a monkey?" - Kenneth

"Well, they make our shoes and wallets." - Kenneth, about what good kids are for

"I can't afford this place by myself, and judging from your shoes and teeth, you can't either." - Brian

"There are no rules. It's like check-in at an Italian sex party." - Jenna

"Our topical cold open is about Omarosa borrowing Bjork's swan dress." - Liz

"I once took a low-volume shower with Ed Begley, Jr. What else can I do?" - Jenna

"I don't think there's a box for that on the form. How about 'Cheers lied to me'?" - Dr. Spaceman, to Tracy, who said The Cosby Show lied to him

"Drama is gay man Gatorade. It replenishes their electrolytes." - Jenna

"Conserve electricity. Don't be a zero, be a good guy." - Masi Oka quote, failing to rhyme zero with Heroes

"If a patient's friend runs in the room in the middle of an operation, then you have to stop. It's the doctor's code." - Dr. Spaceman

"You know there's an old African adverb that I made up..." - Al Gore

"Recycle everything, including jokes." - Al Gore, recycling a joke from his first 30 Rock appearance

[Watch clips and episodes of 30 Rock and other shows at SlashControl.]

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No one wants to mention Teddy Ruxpin, the lawyer!
Even better was the fact she had the teddy in that early family portrait.

November 22 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was hoping for a return of Greenzo instead of Grandpa gore

November 22 2009 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what references to friday night lights did i miss?

November 21 2009 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone catch what the Y in TRACY stood for?

I caught the words Yakuza & Japanese but cant read the rest of the sentence

November 20 2009 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The writing on this show is so far superior to almost anything else on TV. And the way the characters deliver it, totally within their character as if it were real thoughts, is superb.
The little things like the ode to Mary Tyler Moore (I'm gonna make it," then the purse bounces of the ceiling in, of course, real-life) are so incredibly funny. The fact Liz is awakened while snoozing and immediately grabs that goofy new exercise device to cover the snooze, a device she had to have bought online, is so cool. The way Kenneth rotates his eyes to the green NBC thing on our screen.
I like this episode for all of that. Liz learning to be mean while still taking the comedic chance we will think she peed in front of somebody shows stagnation will never be a problem here.

November 20 2009 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Al's recycled joke: 'Do you hear that? A whale is dying, i must save him.'

...or something like that

November 20 2009 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Grover's comment

i loved Gore's cameo

November 20 2009 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Our topical cold open is about Omarosa borrowing Bjork's swan dress." way too funny. I love how terrible they make TGS.

November 20 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anything Tracy's son says is comedy gold.

November 20 2009 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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