Monday, October 25, 2010

What I'm Watching: 30 Rock

30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 5 “Reaganing” (B-)

Sometimes, this show gets a little bit too caught up in being ridiculous and tries to outdo itself in one episode, leading to an unnecessary level of chaos and insanity. Titling the episode with a verb made up by the deeply Republican Jack Donaghy is the perfect way to start such a silly episode. My biggest problem with this generally amusing half-hour is that it compromises most of the other storylines since Jack is supposed to be the focal point. For instance, Liz does little more than get sidelined and ignored by Jack, and it takes her an entire episode to piece together the admittedly entertaining reason for her impotence. This is one of those instances where Tracy seems almost too preposterous to exist and be taken anywhere near seriously, and I was paying much more attention to the impressive complexity of the commercial and the highly skilled kids performing it, time after time. As Jack was the focus of the episode, of course it makes sense that his solution would be both brilliant and hilarious. Jenna manipulating Kenneth, on the other hand, isn't something that usually excites me, and this episode was no different. Kenneth's initial ignorance was fun, but then it got to a point where Jenna is just a terrible person and there's no coming back from that. The random appearance of Kelsey Grammer as Jenna's very willing accomplice and the allusions to a Frasier reunion special were just peculiar – anyone care to explain? I was just plain puzzled.

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