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30 ROCK: Do-Over

October 31, 2008 by  

30 Rock Cast

Last night was the season premiere of 30 ROCK on NBC, but it was also the season premiere of our new 30 ROCK correspondent, Kari.  Applause all around please.

Ok, over to your Kari!

It’s back! It’s back! The joy of 30 ROCK’s return after five months and seven Emmys and a handful of Tina Fey appearances on SNL was sweetly encapsulated in the third season opener, with Liz’s gleeful cry of “Jack!” as she welcomed “The Jacker” back to New York.

And how much fun was it to see her live out her very own “Sex and the City” scene on the street, looking all cocky and bouncy and floral when Jack’s limo pulled up to the curb? (Of course her response to his “Hello, pussycat,” was less flattered and more “Aw, really? Lotta ladies get right in the car after that line, you creepy piece of…”) And the way she greeted him so awkwardly, first considering a hug and then a handshake and finally settling on a punch on the arm? Two thumbs up, Liz Lemon!

“Do-Over” picks up pretty much where we left off last May, give or take the resolution to a couple of cliffhangers. Liz is hot on the adoption trail and will do almost anything to convince agency investigator Megan Mullally that she’s fit for motherhood, even if it means dressing the green room as a nursery and taking advantage of a nunchuck-induced head injury to ensure a positive evaluation. Which, naturally, fails. (Although I was hoping her offer to reduce her annual sex guests from one to zero would be enough to earn a passing grade…)

And while Jack’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security is over (with nary a mention of new friend Cooter and only a vague reference to the gay bomb), all is not yet well, since Devon Banks is still running the head office via his mute/sad/crazy soap opera-obsessed wife Kathy Geiss. But when Devon offers Jack a job in the mailroom and Kathy shows an interest in his “swimsuit area,” Jack has to decide whether climbing back to the top is worth wearing strawberry lipgloss and giving her his “gift.” Answer? Eeeww. And: absolutely! One of the night’s best gags was the sight of Jack lying in the arms of a giant teddy bear with a unicorn in his lap while Kathy removes his shiny, shiny loafers.

Tracy, meanwhile, is raking in big bucks with his porn video game and tries to buy off his contributors with random acts of noblesse oblige, to varying degrees of success. Although Frank seems satisfied with those solid gold nunchucks and Pete snuggles right up to his full-length chinchilla coat, Jenna is less than thrilled with a book of coupons for free hugs and threatens to sue. (More on that next week when Oprah stops by.) On another note, I’d like to see Tracy Morgan say “noblesse oblige” in every episode from now on. I love him.

I was a little disappointed, though, that Kenneth bears no visible scars from the season finale’s run-in with that gun-wielding bandit at the Olympics. If in fact he ever attended the Olympics. Did the Olympics even happen? Nobody’s saying. But he doesn’t have much to do here beyond welcoming Mullally’s Bev to the studio with a glance at her back-combed ‘do and then chirping, “May I hair-p you?” Which might be enough, because I had to rewatch it several times.

My favorite moment of the night, though, was the ending, with Jack finally returned to his rightful place and Liz lingering in the hallway outside his office:

Jack: “Did you need something else, Lemon?”

Liz: “No. I just like seeing you in there.”

Oh, so do I.


— The way Liz, urging her staff to be “normalsauce for one day,” talks to them like they’re eight-year-olds at summer camp and how, by way of compliance, Frank exchanges his HORNY trucker hat for a HORNY derby.

—Both Liz and Jenna looking trendy and fab in high-waisted skirts, and Tracy’s new Dong Slayer nameplate necklace.

—Jack to Liz, on sexual harassment in the workplace: “It’s not at all erotic and fun like when men do it to women.”

—Frank talking Liz up to Bev: “She reminds me of my own mom. Tough love, consistency, a little mustache in a certain light.”

—Devon to Jack: “You see, the only thing that Kathy and I need assistance with is deciding which John Mayer song to do it to.”

—Devon makes small talk: “Nice to see you, Liz, let’s chit-chat. What’s that? Man trouble? Bootcut jeans? Fun! Bye.”

—Jack to Liz: “I’m gonna give Kathy the full soap opera while you try to trick a lady with a head injury. We might not be the best people, but we’re not the worst.” (The worst? Graduate students.)

So what did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? And, more importantly, have you convinced everyone you know to start watching it yet?

— posted by Kari

Kari is a 30 ROCK fanatic and will be taking it out on you, her new imaginary friends.

Filed under 30 Rock


7 Responses to “30 ROCK: Do-Over”

  1. Becky on October 31st, 2008 10:26 am

    Thanks for the recap.

    I liked this episode. I think the best part about Kenneth were the 3 of my 9 siblings were adopted – and someday I’m going to find them. I could not stop giggling about that.

    Jack and his promotions. Loving those. And his timeline for being VP going from 9 years to 5 years in a day. I wish I could be as cool as Jack.

    And then the Soap Opera of Liz and Jack when she busted up in the office with him & Kathy. And Jack was behind her and she was being all sexy and put her hand directly on his face and he had to move it to the side. Killed me.

  2. Jamer on October 31st, 2008 12:47 pm

    welcome back liz and jack…….
    holy smokes i missed them!
    outburst laughs while watching = 5
    cant wait for oprah next week!!

  3. RivB on October 31st, 2008 4:15 pm

    Great job, Kari!

    I laughed several times last night, but felt the tone was TOO manic. Let’s hope this is just due to it being a season opener for a show that has to wrap up 25 subplots in 21 minutes. Mullally was a nice surprise!

  4. Erik on October 31st, 2008 5:18 pm

    Fantastic debut, Kari! I thought 30 Rock was a fantastic complement to The Office last night. With a better lead-in and the publicity from Tina Fey’s performances as Sarah Palin, I hope the show finds a bigger audience.

    Solid laughs all around, Baldwin’s brilliance, and Megan Mullally showing that a guest star can ADD to a show’s funny factor.

  5. kari on October 31st, 2008 5:36 pm

    Thanks for chiming in, guys! And it looks like those Sarah Palin appearances did pay off — last night’s ratings were its highest ever.

  6. SarahB on October 31st, 2008 7:10 pm

    Brava Kari – this is the writing I love from you. I loved this episode – for me, it’s all the little things that happen that aren’t really about the story – like the Horny derby, Cathy’s “stronger than she looks”, Jenna’s Japanese school…that stuff is killer funny. I can’t wait until the November 6th episode when my friend Todd Buonopane has a small role on the show! Hooray!

  7. Esther on October 31st, 2008 11:48 pm

    I loved it, too. There were some truly great lines. Although it did seem like they were trying to cram an awful lot into the first episode. I agree with RivB, it was a bit manic. But still, it was great to have the show back. I’ll definitely be checking in every week for your reports!