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Review: 30 Rock - Klaus and Greta

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 15th 2010 2:40AM
30 Rock
(S04E09) "The local station edited 'Will & Grace' so much that it was just called 'Karen'." - Randy Lemon

In my mind, Jack Donaghy had nothing to do with the whole Leno/Conan/NBC mess. Sure, he's not as high up as Jeff Zucker or Jeff Gaspin or any other executives named Jeff that the Peacock Network might have. But he's the head of a couple of divisions, so they might have asked him for his opinion on the matter. Jack cares about money, sure, but he seems like a Team Conan guy to me.

But I don't like him in "lost Jack" mode, where's he's lovesick and/or frazzled. And that's how he was in both of the new episodes tonight.

And about that, thanks NBC! 30 Rock hasn't been on in several weeks and you knew fans would be thirsty, so thanks for two new episodes (and sorry, Office fans). But that also means an overload of funny one-liners and situations. I love it when actors come on a show playing themselves but playing themselves in a really strange, crazy way (we're beginning to see that a lot lately, especially on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Extras). James Franco got the treatment tonight, and I mean it as a compliment when I say that I had no problem believing that Franco would be someone who would fall in love with a pillow.

I also love how this show talks about the passage of time. This was the first show after the new year, and the very first scene had Liz coming into the studio and asking Jack how his New Year's was. That led to Jack's story of the weird Robert Ballard New Year's Eve party and Jack leaving a message on Nancy's phone in the middle of the night that he wanted to get off of her voicemail. That's a rather tired plot (there was a Seinfeld episode with a similar plot), but it led to some funny stuff with Cerie and YouFace (glad they're remembering past bits) and Kenneth in a doggy door and accidentally taking pictures of himself on Nancy's computer and accidentally setting it up as her desktop pic (that made me laugh out loud).

This was a good episode of 30 Rock. Not one of the best but it still had enough funny situations. Good to see another member of Liz's family. I wonder what would happen to this show if they had someone from her hometown/family move to New York permanently?

More thoughts:

- Franco is a weird actor. I mean that in a good way (um, I think). Though I didn't find him particularly funny.

- Not thrilled with Tracy's storyline this episode (or in the next one, but we'll get to that in the next review).

- Jack calls 2010 "twenty-ten," so I guess it's official.

- I want Liz to date, but random sex with weird pillow-loving actors is not what I have in mind.

- I wonder if gays will be offended by the way Randy acted. But I don't think he was promiscuous, going with strangers and wanting to go to the Port Authority. I think it was more that he was naive and had just come out (thanks to Liz).

- As a Boston guy, it's funny to hear Waltham, MA mentioned on a sitcom. I think an episode of Mad Men mentioned it too, the guy Don bumped into on the train in the first season.

- 30 Rock has more funny lines than any other show on TV, but this episode didn't have as many as usual.


"Six! I knew it was a character from Blossom, but I couldn't find the 'Joey Russo' button." - Tracy, wondering what floor he worked on

"Do you believe they came to me before Aida from Real World: Cancun?" - Jenna, about being asked to fake-date Franco

"The last thing I remember is going into a closet and changing clothes with Bob Ballard." - Jack

"They're probably having beach sex. Which is the third best sex after elevator and White House." - Jack

"As a frequent receiver of drunk messages, they are not cute. Even when they're from Liz." - Cerie

"Lemoned? That's not a thing people are saying now, is it?" - Liz

"What better place to be, now that I'm a homo. Wait, is that the one we call ourselves?" - Randy, Liz's cousin

"Nope, that's a serial killer. Just get in a cab, I'll pay for it." - Liz, to Randy, who said a stranger wanted him to help him move a couch into a van

"I know it's a girl, Liz Lemon, because I yelled out 'Susan B. Anthony' at the moment of conception." - Tracy

"They're calling us 'James,' which is a combination of 'Jenna' and 'James.' - Jenna, about the gossip blogs

"You don't know that thing I'm sleeping in isn't working." - Jenna, after Liz said they're not getting younger

"Liz, I am happy. All this attention, getting my picture taken, having ice cold diarrhea from drinking too much Jamba Juice." - Jenna

"Sorry, sir, that happens sometimes when I unhinge my pelvis." - Kenneth, his pants falling down

"Albino monk!" - Kenneth
"That's a mirror, Kenneth." - Jack

"E-mailing images to address book? What is wrong with me?!?" - Kenneth

"Fort Myers and Cincinnati. Didn't you learn your airport codes in high school?" - Kenneth, to Jack

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

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Nobody else thought Franco was terrible, and that this was the worst episode of the series? Random stereotypically gay cousin plot with no point other than to fill space? Sex pillows? A VERY UNFUNNY FRANCO? Jack pursuing a relationship with a woman I, as a member of the audience, really don't care about (could be because of her terrible over-the-top completely-unnecessary fake Boston accent)? If the series continues this slump its been in, I nominate Klaus and Gretta as the official Jump the Shark episode for its: lack of laughs, stupid guest star, poor characterization (Liz picking someone up in a club then having a 3-way with him and a sex pillow? C'mon -- Liz is the type of girl who sings Night Cheese in a slanket! When did Liz become Jenna? And while we're on the subject, a sex pillow? I know this show is wacky, but a sex pillow is wacky for all the wrong reasons.), and, oh, did I mention the lack of laughs?

Luckily, Black Light Attack was funny(er).

Suck it, nerds!

Lemon out.

January 19 2010 at 3:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

("They're probably having beach sex. Which is the third best sex after elevator and White House." - Jack)

Better even than this line was the look Cerie gave after he said it - as if she were considering those three situations and ranking them herself, out of experience.

January 15 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Barry's comment

I wonder if Jack's comment was a subtle reference to his secret relationship with Condoleezza Rice a few seasons ago.

January 15 2010 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Two of my favorite lines:

"I thought it was a paparazzo. Turns out it was just some loser taking a picture of his daughter." - James Franco

"5 dates a week, 1 fight a month. And due to a product-placement deal with Jamba Juice, the fight will happen... in a Jamba Juice." - Franco's Manager

January 15 2010 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jordan B

Was I the only one who thought the competition between Kenneth and Jonathan to see who could fit through the hanger was exactly like the Chippendales SNL skit with Swayze and Farley? The dialogue seemed pretty close.

January 15 2010 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone catch exactly what Jenne's reply was when asked whether she would be interested in being in a fake relationship with James Franco? It's so fast and apparently so wierd that even after replaying it four times I had *no* idea what she said...

January 15 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to edgore's comment

"Does chewing on a sponge trick your brain's hunger center? yes! Yes, a million times, yes!"

January 18 2010 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Liz in a 3-way with James Franco and pillow. Wow.

January 15 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

all i will say is i work on the show and if you saw the extended version of the club scene u would have laughed even more

January 15 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wasnt one of the best eps, but still far funnier than anything on TV.

And i dont think i was surprised/laughed so much than the club scene with Liz and Franco and Nimoka. The moment that Liz stared at Franco and saw the pillow than uttered the phrase "Lets Do This"

January 15 2010 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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