Monday, March 5, 2012

What I’m Watching: 30 Rock

30 Rock: Season 6, Episode 10 “Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing Whisky” (B)

There’s no explaining the eternal oddness of this show, yet somehow this installment worked decently well and provided some coherent laughs despite being impossibly over-the-top. The return of Susan Sarandon’s pedophile teacher Lynn Onkman paved the way for some excessive abuse of Liz, getting her kicked out of both her apartment and her office over the course of the episode as she was forced to pose as Frank’s girlfriend before assisting in reuniting the unattractive couple. The funniest part was also the subtlest: Frank’s hat which read “Be Cool Liz’ during the surprise date at her apartment. I found Sarandon to be quite terrific, far more memorable than on her first appearance. Her melancholy delivery of the awful job about the length of her sentence was particularly commendable. Jenna and Tracy’s detective game was a fun parody of some female-led police dramas, and generally what we’ve come to expect from this show (see the episode’s title). Kenneth’s stint in the standards department provided the opportunity for that fantastic joke about not being able to say “Dickwolf” on TV and the chance for a Stanley Tucci cameo as the man who doesn’t seem to have everything but is quite content about it. It’s no surprise that Jack’s aggressive mentoring of Kenneth would backfire, as his protégé took his own advice and refused to trust anyone, even Jack himself. My favorite part of that whole plotline was Jack’s smoking gun about Bradley: that he is still four credits short of a degree in Bro Studies from Syracuse University.

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