Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I’m Watching: 30 Rock

30 Rock: Season 4, Episode 5 “The Problem Solvers” (B)

What this show really boils down to, crazy supporting characters aside, is the relationship between Jack and Liz. It’s perfectly framed by their conversation at the restaurant, where each surprises the other by simultaneously speaking the same words to show how well they know each other. The story is also symbolic of the different kind of people they are. They may be good friends, but Liz will always be the unprepared one who doesn’t really know anything about how the business side of the television industry works and Jack will always be one step ahead and all-manipulative behind the scenes of every situation. Liz’s Dealbreaker talk show is sure to tank really quickly, but it should be fun while it lasts. The arrival of the new cast member is considerably more subdued than what all the wacky people who auditioned for the part foreshadowed, and his only real function, besides an entertaining inability to stifle his Canadian accent while pronouncing the word “about,” is to cause the three zaniest characters on the show to become even more outrageous. Tracy and Jenna seem to be around to cause nothing but trouble, and their ill-fated creation of the Problem Solvers duo is predictably doomed from the start. They just seem more odd than actually funny, and it’s about time the cast members started actually acting on the show. Let’s see how the robot holds up when he’s playing a character other than the robot – he certainly seems like he’s the “real American” that Jack so desperately wanted to find.

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