Monday, May 2, 2011

What I’m Watching: 30 Rock

30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 22 “Everything Sunny All the Time Always” (C+)

Every time this show begins to approach sanity and normalcy, it makes sure to take a giant step back just for the hell of it. I often wish that this show wasn’t so committed to being a farce and might be okay taking itself seriously on occasion. Avery going to North Korea and getting captured by Kim Jong-Il is certainly quite farcical, and didn’t do all that much for me. The ridiculousness of the relationship between Jack and Avery is already enough, and sometimes it’s too much to bear. Liz going to war with a plastic bag is the epitome of ridiculousness, and for me, it was just the latest in a stretch of acts of questionable sanity on her part. Tracy adjusting back to working at TGS included predictable shenanigans that took up a whole lot of time from a whole lot of people. I value this show when it excels at skewering some political or societal trope that too often goes unchallenged, but sometimes, it just feels unhinged and unconnected to any sort of grounding force. I did enjoy the preposterous link between Kim Jong-Il and Tracy, as well as the snippet of “Glengarry Glen Ross” parody that came during the end credits. That coupled with the reference by Liz to Matt Damon displays this show’s fervent desire to continually break the fourth wall. I suppose it’s funny as well to think of Jack having dated and dumped Condoleeza Rice, and it’s a good thing that there are so many good sports willing to come and parody themselves on this show.

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