30 ROCK Recap & Redux: SeinfeldVision - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK Recap & Redux: SeinfeldVision

October 5, 2007 by  

30 Rock

Title: Seinfeld Vision
Original Airdate: Oct. 4, 2007 (season premiere)
GMMR recapper: Brian

Maybe the New York Times was right to day when its reviewer ragged on the premiere of 30 Rock. Or maybe I’d hyped it up in my mind the last few weeks anticipating its return. But I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed by the return of what I consider The Funniest Show on Television™. (Note: The Office is the Best Show on Television. Totally separate category.)I mean, where was the funny tonight? Have I been spoiled by Curb Your Enthusiasm that Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t hit my funny bone any more. At times it was more like he was hitting my griefbone. It’s a good thing SeinfeldVision only comes once a year and only lasts a month.

And it wasn’t just him. I checked my DVR and it was fully 27 minutes into this episode when I laughed out loud for the first time. (It was when Tracy walked in to find Liz sprawled on the set in her wedding dress eating ham and asked if a Korean person died. Nice payoff from Liz’s dressing room rant to the writers.)

So Jerry is storming into 30 Rock to protest Jack’s gambit of digitizing old Seinfeld footage and superimposing Jerry’s image into a month of NBC programming. Jack’s got no plan B when Jerry insists he pull the footage. Ultimately, a heated negotiation resolves the standoff. It’s pretty funny to consider that this is what NBC nearly came to, a shell of its former ratings-dominant self in recent years. Who’d have been surprised if the suits at the Peacock looked back on their past glories and wondered if they couldn’t some how relive the past? Besides, Jerry might have gone for the idea if Lost wasn’t on another network.

Jerry and Tina Fey didn’t seem to have much chemistry playing off one another on the first tour she gave him of the studio to stall for Jack. Not sure why a guy who topped NBC’s marquee for a decade needs a tour of it New York headquarters by the way. Jerry and Alec Baldwin didn’t have much chemistry either. I’m not necessarily comparing Will Arnett to Jerry Seinfeld (though really, why not?), but when Will and Alec face off, there’s comic tension you can feel.

I thought Jerry’s line about buying NBC and making it the world’s largest Lane Bryant landed like an anvil, but maybe that’s because I heard it over and over in promos all week. You know what was funnier? Jack’s retort: “Jerry come on, you’re going to buy NBC? Like you’ve got $4 million lying around.”

As usual Tracy saved the day. He and Kenneth, his new work wife were like an old married couple. It was sad that Tracy’s wife got Grizz in the settlement. How could she not know he ministers to transvestite prostitutes? “You’ve got to believe in yourself!” I was hoping to see Sherri Shepherd, who plays Mrs. Jordan, but she’ll be around this season.

It was a good feeling seeing old Liz Lemon again, not that she’s too old to be a bridesmaid. Fey portrays neurotic single career woman so well, especially for an uber-successful creative type with a baby, a hubby and a lot of people’s dream job. Seriously, I wouldn’t want Liz for an ex-girlfriend, though. That call to Floyd was frightening. That she ends up wearing a $4,000 dinner napkin was a sad coda to the opener.

I saved the best for last, though. Come on: Mystic Pizza, The Musical????? I got to listen in on a reporter’s conference call with Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer last week, and Jane detailed what it was like getting dolled up like a plus-size lady every day for a month. She said she missed the prosthetic by the end. It was some sweet make-up/wardrobe artistry, giving her about the look you’d expect from a skinny lady who ate four slices of pizza every day for a summer.

I hereby publicly and not for the first time apologize for not accepting and respecting Krakowski on this show from day one. I hated to see Rachel Dratch go, but I’ve come around to see that Krakowski is one of the funniest, most underrated comic actresses on TV. Or she just gets really good lines. No, wait, I mean it. I’m sorry.

Did you catch Jack’s hit summer programming? That was America’s Top Pirate, Are you Stronger than a Dog? And Milf Island. Did you also notice Jack got a new office? That wasn’t funny. I just noticed it.

Listen, Jerry Seinfeld is royalty and can do no wrong as long as I can tune in three times a day for puffy shirts, velour sweatsuits and Mr. Pitt’s many socks. This was just a bit of a swing and a miss. His plug of Bee Movie was funny, though. (And despite hearing that title for months, I only got the play on words – B movie, Bee Movie – tonight. Duh.) Did you catch the Bee Movie screensaver on Jack’s laptop?

And this is still one of my top three shows on TV. I just get the feeling it needs to hit the gym and maybe burn off some of that extra pizza weight.

Brian writes for a living and watches TV for fun, though lately the lines are blurring. He’s got a wife and son who he loves very much, and a dog who tolerates him. He is still mourning the Mets, so please don’t bring it up. Check him out at Remote Access, http://remote.lohudblogs.com/author/bhoward

Filed under 30 Rock


9 Responses to “30 ROCK Recap & Redux: SeinfeldVision”

  1. theTVaddict on October 5th, 2007 10:20 am

    Brian, I couldn’t disagree with you more [but in a friendly way!]Last night’s second season premiere of 30 ROCK was everything the bloated hour long episode of THE OFFICE wasn’t. It was well paced, smart and most importantly, hilarious. No doubt SEINFELDvision’s clouded your judgement.

  2. 30 ROCK Recap & Redux: SeinfeldVision — All This Nonsense on October 5th, 2007 10:39 am

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  3. Becky on October 5th, 2007 10:55 am

    Thanks for the recap. i tend to agree with you though. I didn’t find it nearly as hysterical as I did last season, and I’m pretty sure it had to do with Seinfeld. I dont’ find him funny. I didn’t like his show. So all the little quirky ‘Seinfeld” things were just blah to me.

    It was funny – kenneth singing the theme song…tracey asking if a korean person died, Jerry plugging the movie – but I’m looking forward to next week when there’s no Seinfeld.

  4. Steve on October 5th, 2007 11:25 am

    Seinfeld wasn’t funny, but I laughed literally EVERY TIME Kenneth was on the screen. That man can do no wrong. The Seinfeld interstitial music – hilarious.

    I don’t like Seinfeld (the person or the show) so that kind of ruined it, but all of our favorite characters are back to form. Loved the flashback to Liz’s childhood.

  5. Sasha on October 5th, 2007 12:38 pm

    I loved the premiere…as someone else said, it was everything I wish The Office would have been. I know Tracy provides the easy to understand, more accessible humor, but the writing combined with his delivery gets me every time. I was so pleased that 30 Rock really came out swinging.

  6. CFO (not my initials) on October 5th, 2007 2:36 pm

    It wasn’t as funny as I expected, but I think it will pick up again next week. I just think that as funny as Seinfeld can be, he didn’t quite have the same chemistry that other guest stars have had with the cast.
    I did, however, LOVE his exchange with Liz when she was crying and he thought she was aping his classic style. Poor Liz. No sympathy from him.
    But I miss Floyd. Does anyone know why they wrote him out of the show? He was so awesome with Liz. And they were funny together. And, I loved Jack’s man-crush.
    I also loved the whole call the ex boyfriend and do a fake survey when the new girl answers the phone. No one plays neurotic like Tina Fey!

  7. Brian on October 5th, 2007 3:34 pm

    Man I hope I didn’t tick you all off by being so negative about this show right out of the chute. This was really just my straight-from-the-gut, stream-of-consciousness reaction that poured out an hour after the show ended (had to watch The Office first, of course). I really do love this show, and I’m more likely to be too much of a cheerleader than to just find fault with it. I’ve no doubt I’ll be raving about future episodes.

    As for The Office comparison, I think both shows have struggled a little to fill their timeslots. But I’d take 30/60/90 minutes of either show at its worst over most everything else on TV.

    And CFO, I loved Liz and Floyd together. I hope there’s a return down the road.

  8. alsaker85@hotmail.com on October 5th, 2007 9:27 pm

    Kenneth is easily my favorite part of the show.

    And the best line was Jack’s new hit shows (I really want to know what “Are You Stronger than a Dog” is like).

    I should look up the ratings. I’m really scared that Seinfeld and Emmys weren’t enough to boost the ratings.

    We have lots of upcoming stuntcasting, some of which has potential.

  9. Elisabeth on October 6th, 2007 3:16 am

    Still funnier than Michael driving his car into the lake.

    I love Kenneth!
    But I’d rather have Arnett on the show than Seinfeld.