Sunday, October 18, 2009

What I’m Watching: 30 Rock (Season Premiere)

30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 1 “Season 4” (B+)

It’s great to have this screwball comedy back on the air. The season opener occasionally tries to be too clever for its own good, but it doesn’t overdo it and a result the show’s return is a very welcome one and the premiere works well. Having Jack decide to take his bonus after getting rid of page overtime is a fantastic way of incorporating the flagging economy, and Kenneth’s insurgency is so magnificently in character. His accidental receipt of Jack’s paycheck was perfectly exaggerated for big laughs with the extra numbers which folded out on an attached slip of paper. The reappearance of Steve Buscemi as private investigator Lenny Wosniak is fun, and it’s really nice to know that the character actor is so easily and accessibly on call to come back and guest on this series. His rather unimpressive cover identity was a hoot, and his interactions with Kenneth were pretty priceless. Liz and Pete’s ill-fated cover-up of their search for a new series star was funny, and the inconveniently-timed drop-by of Pete’s wife was great. Josh’s presence at the meeting where Liz says they can’t tell any of the actors about the call for a new hire was terrific, and I hope that the actor isn’t off the show for good. Tracy and Jenna continue to be a bit over-the-top, but their incorporation into this episode is both effective and funny.

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