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'30 Rock' - 'Khonani' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 23rd 2010 11:45AM
(S04E18) "Well it was off for awhile because my fiance was on his dad's yacht and got captured by pirates, but now, thanks to the A-Team, he's back." - Cerie (on her upcoming wedding)

It was only a matter of time before '30 Rock' addressed the whole NBC late night debacle. With the way the network has been running things of late, it's getting downright easy to be a writer for this show. Set in a fictionalized version of the peacock, all the comedy material they could ever hope for is just handed to them.

The late night war 2.0 was converted into a late night janitorial dispute, but everything else was pretty much spot-on. '30 Rock' is TV for people who love TV, and maybe that's why it gets such accolades from the industry, but doesn't get the ratings of shows like CBS's Monday powerhouses. If you're "in the know," so to speak, then it's all very funny, but I wonder how entertaining the janitorial plot would have been for someone who knew nothing about NBC late night shifts.

Luckily, there were two other storylines to get you through. As always, '30 Rock' manages to pack in more throwaway jokes in a half-hour than most sitcoms can manage in a month, and in some ways I'm always left wanting more. When Tracy gave Kenneth his TJ necklace and unleashed him on Liz Lemon's party, I was hoping for at least a few scenes with Kenneth as Tracy.

If you've ever seen anyone in the cast doing an interview, they almost always slip into a Tracy Morgan impression, so why not take this opportunity to incorporate the fun of his speech and mannerisms on an unlikely persona like Kenneth's? Instead, we got Liz Lemon fighting a dog after finding out she's like the mother of the group, which is why she doesn't get invited to hang out with them.

While the writing was sharp enough, and the situations ridiculous enough, for some reason this episode didn't ring nearly as sharp or funny as many others. I think it was a lot of unfulfilled potential. A lot more could have been wrung out of the Khonani jokes (and you showed your dated-ness a bit with the Fox[cough] joke there), the party at Liz's could have gotten a lot more weird and awkward, and we got virtually nothing from Tracy at home with Angie.

Three great set-ups for classic comedy, and none of the three were really utilized to their full potential. Cerie being a cardboard cutout was brilliant, because I totally didn't catch it the first time she was shown. Tracy's dog being trained to attack white people because of ghosts is just right. Even Jack's sit-down with the janitors to try and hash out a way to make everyone happy and Jack a hero seemed to capture perfectly what I'd imagine some NBC executive was fantasizing would come out of their real late-night situation.

In the future, maybe cut it back to two major storylines in an episode and let things breathe a little more. There's no need to pack too much in, because of the talent of this writing staff. They could have easily found 22 minutes of funny in any one of the three plots we juggled this week. So while it was a funny and enjoyable episode, I don't think it was all it could have been.

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Tony DIMeo

the way they joked about the Leno/Conan thing was absolute genius where he said he signed a contract on april 22nd 2005 the same date conan was given the job the whole thing proved that 30 rock has gotten better not worse and shows no signs of becoming worse

April 23 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Li

I just noticed that on the whiteboard, right under H.E.A.R.T., Jack wrote "Sexcellence" with a graph. Hilarious.

April 23 2010 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zachary

I think Khonani should have had some line about a buyout when he left for Foxwoods. Something either really big or really small.

April 23 2010 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mitch

'30 Rock' is TV for people who love TV, and maybe that's why it gets such accolades from the industry, but doesn't get the ratings of shows like CBS's Monday powerhouses

The reason it does not get ratings is because it's not funny......

April 23 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wince

Cerie wasn't cardboard earlier, the actress was in the background holding the pose very funny on the rewind.

April 23 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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