Monday, November 19, 2012

What I’m Watching: 30 Rock

30 Rock: Season 7, Episode 6 “Aunt Phatso vs. Jack Donaghy” (B-)

After a promising season thus far, this episode gets overwhelmed by some of its characters’ ridiculousness. No one doing any work while Liz went to her doctor’s appointment wasn’t much of a stretch, and Hazel volunteering to be her personal assistant signaled a descent into madness. Hazel is a character who, since her first appearance, has been unhinged, the female version of Kenneth that no one really asked for since he’s nutty enough all by himself. Warring with Jenna is somewhat entertaining, but ultimately, Hazel is just too weird for her own good. Jenna’s failed efforts to actually listen to Kenneth when he spoke were mildly amusing, and that’s another relationship that isn’t quite as fulfilling as perhaps it should be. The idea of Jack being parodied as the villain in Tracy’s new movie could have been funny, but it was ultimately too much of a stretch. This show has succeeded much more with plotlines like Governor Dunston, the Tracy lookalike whose similarities no one could deny. Fortunately, there were some good parts of the battle between Tracy and Jack, namely Tracy’s delight and Jack’s misery at Tracy paying the orchestra to play the “Sanford and Son” theme for four hours straight. Liz telling Jack that he sounded exactly like Tracy was hardly inaccurate, and it definitely served as a compelling impetus for him to fight back. Jack trying to prove to Tracy that what he was doing was libel was typical, and Tracy did a decent job of outsmarting Jack on a technicality and proving him ever so slightly wrong.

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