Review: 30 Rock - Winter Madness
by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2010 2:30AM
(S04E11) "They're all named Sean, they're mean, and I hate it here." - Kenneth, about Boston
Being from Boston myself, I'm really enjoying these Boston (and Waltham)-centric episodes of 30 Rock. I often cringe at shows that have episodes set around this area. They'll get a location wrong or make dumb assumptions about us or get an accent wrong (more on that after the jump), but this show is getting a lot of little things wrong. Even the street scenes were well done, with the brick and all that.
And wait... Nancy mentioned Kelly's Roast Beef and, holy crap, Jack and Nancy actually imitated Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson? That is 55 kinds of awesome. Someone at 30 Rock knows Boston well.
So this episode was all about Liz and the gang wanting to go on a getaway to some place warm like Miami but Jack switching it to Boston instead. This sort of depressed me. Not their trip to Boston, the fact that Liz is fed up with winter and wants to get away to Florida. Who the hell wants to go to Florida? I'm a fall and winter guy (I get summer madness, not winter madness), and in my mind I picture Liz as being the same way. In one episode a few seasons ago she even talked about how gross it was that some people wore flip flops. I picture Liz as hating the beach and the sand and the humidity, just like I do. I picture her all cozy in her apartment with her junk food and her TV and her cup of hot cocoa and her magazines. I don't want to think of Liz wanting to get away to some supposed warm paradise. I'm going to consider this episode an aberration in that regard.
But a funny one. It was sort of ridiculous, in a way. You can tell they really forced a way to get the entire staff out of the studio for a while, and we had yet another episode that had nothing to do with TGS itself. I'm getting a little tired of that. I want more sketches and NBC network shenanigans. Hopefully we'll get more later in the season. With Comcast buying NBC and the recent Leno/Conan mess, there's plenty of that stuff to make fun of.
This is one of the few episodes where we didn't have three or four different subplots going on at the same time (a Liz relationship problem, a Jack business problem, a Jenna/Tracy scheme, etc). Except for Jack's story with Nancy, this episode had the entire staff trying to deal with the trip to Boston. I guess that's one good point about getting out of the studio, you can a breath of fresh air when it comes to the plots.
I don't think Nancy and Jack are going to be a major couple though. I say this for two reasons: one, I think the Boston/New York thing is going to get between them, and two (SPOILER!) Elizabeth Banks has signed on to play Jack's love interest. Maybe Nancy will stay in Waltham even after selling the house and will vanish, only to come back later in the series to be Jack's real love. Or maybe Edie Falco will come back. Or Salma Hayek. Or...
- I wonder why some actors take a regional accent and decide to not just give hints of it in their speech in a subtle way but decide to do the accent so THICK that it becomes the ultimate caricature accent. Hello Julianne Moore. The guys in that Dunkin' Donuts ad have accents more subtle.
- I like how Jack had his office duplicated in Boston. Clever, inside-joke way of using the same sets. But can someone explain the part where Jack asks Liz if she can tell which seven items are different and then Liz looks at the camera and they then quickly go back to the conversation?
- So how many different baseball caps did Frank bring to Boston anyway?
"You can do some serious subway flirting before you realize the guy is homeless." - Liz, on everyone wearing bulky coats
"I've been stuck inside playing online Boggle. It's messing with my head. STAR...RATS...ARTS...TARS." - Liz
"This is my stop. STOP POTS TOPS OPTS POST." - Liz
"Good morning, Miss Lemon. Oh, I'm sorry I snapped at you." - Kenneth
"Jonathan, why do I have an Indian assistant if my computer is always..." - Jack
"It was pretty bad...nutmeg.....rodeo, rodeo, rodeo!" - Pete, using words on a still-hypnotized Liz
"Florida. I can rent a convertible, you can complain about the heat with elderly people." - Pete
"Cross-promotional...deal mechanics...revenue streams...jargon...synergy." - Liz
"That's the best presentation I've ever heard." - Jack
"I went to college in Boston. Well, not in Boston, but nearby. No, not Tufts!" - Toofer
"Also, there is no internet or Spectravision in the hotel rooms, so plan ahead gentlemen. Porn-wise." - Pete
"That stupid, Irish piece of... oh boy, Boston is not going to go well." - Tracy
"What, you're not using an office replication service while you're here?" - Jack
"What keeps people polite on airplanes? A shared hatred for the CBS sitcoms they're forced to watch." - Jack
"Yeah, we talked about it with Dr. Phil and then we made a collage and wrote about it in our dream journals." - Nancy
"Oh, I would...'NT." - Kenneth, to Liz
"It'll be the new owner's problem, like the water heater. And the ghost." - Nancy
"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on Mars! - Tracy
"The imaginary enemy. Classic move, Lemon. The Salem Witch Trials, the Red scare, global warming..." - Jack
"I am Silas Merrymount Peppercorn. This is my wife...Moronica." - Kenneth
"I can't run a store and make change for people!" - Nancy