30 Rock: Season 7, Episode 3 “Stride of Pride” (B+)
This episode is exactly what I like most about this show. It’s a commitment to comedic characters and understanding what drives then and makes them tick, exemplified in all of the characters’ storylines in this installment. Tracy telling Liz that he doesn’t think women are funny provided a perfect platform for her “nerd rage” that resulted in a performance of a two-woman show with Jenna that led Tracy to conclude that the notion of a female doctor was hilarious. Tracy may seem like an idiot on a regular basis, but it’s fair to say that he tries to incite Liz’s passion as much as possible by making inflammatory remarks that he knows will set her off. Jack’s insatiable need to know what kind of partner he is for one of his many girlfriends is funny for a number of reasons, mainly due to his breakdown of the archetypes that might make up a typical person’s many partners. His identification of himself as the father figure was an amusing conclusion specifically because it came just at the moment that Jenna burst in to affirm his fears and doubts about playing that role. Their shared enjoyment of the older companion role because it doesn’t require much effort was great. Jenna leaking a story about looking good at 56 and vying to be the model of an electronic chair put her to better use than she’s been put in a while, allowing her to accept her situation by overcompensating in the other direction far too much.