30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 10 “Christmas Attack Zone” (B+)
I love that this show is able to so easily bring back guest stars, like Elaine Stritch for a holiday episode every single year and Alan Alda for a surprise appearance (at least for me) after his guest spot at the end of season three. Having all of the Donaghys present sure is a lot of fun, and I enjoyed Liz’s quest to right all wrongs while all members of the Donaghy family were preparing to enter the Christmas Attack Zone. Jack and Avery’s comment about “Happy Holidays” being something terrorists say was a classic line, and I enjoyed how Milton espoused his rather libertarian religious views throughout the episode, much to his son’s chagrin. This show has always been good about political humor, most notably Jack’s far-right stance, which is especially amusing because Alec Baldwin is so publicly and loudly liberal in real life. Tracy’s efforts to be serious were amusing, and it’s good that there is enough seriousness in that character to realize that he had to give it up and be funny in order to cheer up all of the people he had planned to make more depressed. Jenna and Paul’s dual “Black Swan” performance was peculiar at best, but it was fun to see Will Forte again, and also to see the transvestite who looked just like Liz. Celebrating the holidays just isn’t the same anywhere else as it is on this show, so marvelously ridiculous and wacky and yet perfectly hilarious at the same time.