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August 28, 2015

'30 Rock' Season 5, Episode 3 Recap (VIDEO)

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 8th 2010 6:00AM
30 Rock['30 Rock' - 'Let's Stay Together']

"I would point to 'Sunday Night Football,' which has many black players and coaches. Oh and Anthony Anderson on 'Law & Order,' which is entering it's 21st ... what?! Why did we cancel that, it doesn't make any sense!" - Jack

Tina Fey and the writers of '30 Rock' must have smiled when the NBC/Comcast deal went down. It not only gives them an endless supply of jokes but it also gives them an entire plot that can drive a big part of this season. I wonder what the plot would have been if Comcast hadn't bought the network. I'm sure they would have thought of something, but I'm really happy that we have all of the Kabletown stuff to joke about.

We can only hope that there are some Jeff Zucker jokes coming later this year.

This was one of my favorite episodes of the season. Not just because I do like it when they focus on all the NBC/'TGS' stuff (a nice breather from the relationship stuff and Tracy/Jenna scheming), but '30 Rock' has to have more jokes per minute than any other show I can think of. And it's not that they fire off 200 jokes just so 12 of them stick, almost all of the jokes work in some way. Some are brilliant and you're quoting them on Twitter, some make you smile, and some aren't LOL funny but they're clever and they fit the scene or the character just perfectly.

As I've said before, I could probably just run a transcript of a '30 Rock' episode and that could serve as the review.

'Let's Stay Together' wasn't only the name of DotCom's set-in-the-'70s sitcom to show how diverse NBC is, it could also serve as the theme to this episode. Instead of having everyone torn in different directions in various places in various plots, everyone was focused on NBC and Kabletown. Liz had to deal with Jack making Twofer co-head writer (which I'm sure they'll forget about next week), Jack had to convince Congresswoman Bookman that NBC was diverse, Tracy was helping DotCom with the sitcom, and even Jenna tried to help Kenneth get his page job back.

It's probably good that whole plot ended not with some incredible performance by Kenneth in front of the HR guy that impressed him so much that he gave Kenneth his old job back, but a simple "just hire Kenneth back" from Jack. Kenneth is now back at NBC full-time and we don't have to worry about all that other stuff anymore.

There's a new running plot though. Congresswoman Bookman is going to vote against the NBC/Kabletown deal unless Jack can convince her in three months that NBC is diverse. That's a good way to continue this season. Maybe NBC should reconsider canceling 'Outlaw' and should announce a second season renewal for 'Undercovers' right away.

I was going to say I was impressed with how much NBC lets '30 Rock' get away with when it comes to mocking the network, but why wouldn't they? It's a win for them too. Having this show mention the network and their deals and their show history -- even with wisecracks -- is promotion for them. You could even call it ... vertical integration?

So this was a massively pleasing episode. I'm curious to see what the plot for next week's live show is going to be. Since it's live it will probably be completely centered around the goings on at the 'TGS' studio, and that's fine with me.

More thoughts:

-- More "ripped from the headlines" stuff: Congresswoman Bookman calling out NBC for lack of diversity.

-- Funny how the guy auditioning with the keyboard was doing 'We Didn't Start The Fire,' changing the lyrics to include the names of NBC shows. 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' did the same thing last week.

-- Was there some reason why 'Law & Order' was mentioned so much tonight on NBC? A few times on '30 Rock' and it was also mentioned on 'The Office.'


F. Kruger, Lez Lemon, Winona Ryder in a Hundred Years, Fart Barfunkel. - name plates the writing staff made for Liz

"I don't get that, but it hurts!" - Liz, about being called "Paul Simon" by the writing staff

"Traveling Bard." - Liz

"Radiation canary." - Jack, on how Liz would be used in a post-apocalyptic world

"Hey, will you ask Congress where they put the USA Network? I've been trying to find 'Monk' for like three months!" - Liz, to Jack

"The only thing I'll be discussing with the House Subcommittee On Baseball, Quiz Shows, Terrorism, and Media is vertical integration." - Jack

"Do you know who gets elected to Congress these days? Former athletes, washed-up actors and, uh, women." - Jack

"What if we have to stay overnight and we have to stay in the same room and I forgot to bring a shirt to sleep in and the stores are all closed..." - Jonathan, to Jack

"I need you to get me something called Vagitrax. It's for...dry knees." - Jenna, to Kenneth

"When I was pageantizing, my mother told me there were only three things standing between you and winning: Your breasts and wanting it bad enough." - Jenna

"Say it Meathead." - Jack, to Jonathan, about Congressman Rob Reiner

"The acclaimed director of 'When Harry Met Sally' wouldn't do that!" - Rob Reiner, about hurting the American farmer

"I'm going to have to reinvent you. Break you down completely and build you up from scratch. Just like Mickey Rourke did to me sexually." - Jenna, to Kenneth

"Why is it that NBC looks about as diverse as a Wilco concert?" - Congresswoman Bookman

"I don't really see color, Mr. Chang." - Jack, to Congresswoman Bookman

"That's Tracy Jordan spelled backwards." - Tracy, about "Dot Com Productions"

"Well, she had a point. I was reading the new Malcolm Gladwell piece in 'The New Yorker' on my Kindle..." - Liz
"Did you really read that?" - Jack
"No." - Liz

"I've long been an advocate for diversity. It's what made this country great. The Chinese built the railroads, the Irish built -- then filled -- the jails." - Jack

"No, I was too busy trying to remember the name of the black guy on 'Community'." - Jack

"So we know that he's smart and superb at masturbation." - Jack, about Twofer going to Harvard

"Believe me, I wish you weren't a Houston foreclosure of a human being." - Jenna, to Kenneth

"It was a tentpole. A tentpole!" - Tracy, confused that NBC canceled 'Law & Order'

"Thank you NBC! A top 10 network!" - Kenneth

"James, when people think of 'TGS' they think of Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney, the mysterious crew deaths, the Angela Lansbury lawsuit ..." - 'Right On' host Rutherford Rice

"That's me in college." - Rice, after Liz said she knew she shouldn't be on the show when she saw the picture of "black Jesus."

"I can assure that NBC is commited to making diversity a priority. Then just walk away and don't try to kiss her Tracy, and don't say that last part." - Tracy, to Congresswoman Bookman

'30 Rock' airs Thurs., 8:30PM ET on NBC.

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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"That's Tracy Jordan spelled backwards." - Tracy, about "Dot Com Productions"

I liked the little touch at the end when the showed the dotcom productions logo and the show was cast as Tracy Jordan.

October 08 2010 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, that quote should be "a Wilco CONCERT". Wilco's a band.

October 08 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I miss L&O.

Also, Latifah was horrible. Her acting really dragged down every scene she was in.

October 08 2010 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would appear that even NBC knows that canceling L&O was a bonehead move...

October 08 2010 at 6:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another fantastic episode. There are idiots out there who claim this show isn't funny, but they simply can't pick up on the specific type of humour it presents.

October 08 2010 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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