30 ROCK: Goodbye, My Friend - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: Goodbye, My Friend

March 6, 2009 by  

Judah Friedlander was just on the cover of Time Out New York’s “Date These New Yorkers” issue, and I would’ve been more eager to respond if he’d looked more like Lawyer Frank and less like Actual Frank. Because I’m shallow that way, and the real Judah Friedlander is obviously a cutie pie. The problem is that Lawyer Frank isn’t quite Our Frank, is he? Wearer of message hats and eater of anything; he’s Patti LuPone’s little mama’s boy, who wants to go back to school and become a lawyer to screw over a father he barely remembers.

Or does he? Turns out his long-lost dream fits Jack better than it does Frank, and sets the two of them on a sweet journey into father/son territory, which is also father/woodland ape territory thanks to a late-night screening of the surprisingly nuanced “Harry and the Hendersons.” (Jack: “This morning it hit me in the shower why the Hendersons named their guest ‘Harry.’ That film has layers.”) And the prospect of a lonely Jack joining four emotionally stunted nerds for dinner at a Ninja-staffed restaurant and a crappy movie was a good one; I only wish they’d taken it further and given Josh more than one line. Also, having never seen “Harry and the Hendersons,” the emotional climax of the storyline was kind of lost on me, and in any case felt rushed and too easily resolved. But I like seeing Jack’s personal mentoring list continue to grow (with Liz, Kenneth, Pete, Tracy, and now Frank), and watching Patti LuPone as Frank’s feisty Italian mother slap Alec Baldwin not once but twice across the face was reason enough for the whole plot. (“You want me to paint you a picture? ‘Cuz I did!”)

It was also a solid tie-in to Liz’s own misguided—and once again thwarted—quest for parenthood, although that adoption thread has been on the back burner for too long to start caring about again. (Still, I’m starting to think she’s actually going to get a baby soon, because otherwise what’s the point of dragging this out?) And I always love the lengths she’s willing to go to in pursuit of a goal, which invariably end up making her look more desperate than before—in this case, worming her way into a pregnant donut girl’s life by pushing her into youth consulting and terrible music and away from the baby’s daddy; double-checking an online slang dictionary to keep up with a conversation; and pitching in on impromptu duets (“Now we are joined in a cobweb of rainbows…”). And nobody lies better than Liz Lemon: “Tears. The world needs to hear your music.” I also liked John Lithgow turning up to teach valuable lessons just in the nick of time, simply by getting lost in 30 Rock. (Although James Carville played a similar role in last season’s “Secrets and Lies”—also written by Rob Weiner—and I remember that working better.)

Third and mostly disappointing was the Tracy/Jenna story, which had Kenneth tacking Tracy’s fictional birthday (real date unknown) onto Jenna’s actual birthday, for the best of reasons and with the expected results. Again, a similar plotline in “Secrets and Lies” worked better, when Liz was forced to give Tracy a fake award after doing the same for Jenna. This one was worth it only for Tracy’s cheese friend Daniel, his wish for “breakfast in bed with Robocop while an elephant paints us,” and Jenna admitting that her birthday wish is for everyone who’s stealing her attention to get hit by a car.


  • Pete! Josh! Lutz! Poor Lutz, eating his hoagie in his sleep, and being casually dismissed by the new youth consultant in her very first second on the job.
  • Pete to Liz: “Donuts and then bed—what are you depressed about or celebrating?”
  • The brief glimpse of Jenna as Diaper Chicken.
  • Becca’s curse on Tim: “I hope you lose your indoor soccer game!”
  • Liz sticking to every woman’s proven diet plan: ordering a skim milk to subtract calories from a dozen donuts.
  • Jack to the guys: “Boy, that creative thing you guys do, writing jokes for a living, making the world laugh. What do your dads tell their friends that you do?” (Toofer: surgeon; Josh: optometrist; Lutz: died. Frank’s lie to himself: space assassin.)
  • Frank: “Last time I saw my dad, he went out to get the candles for my fourth birthday lasagna and never came back.”
  • Tracy: “I buy myself all the presents I need. And because of my drinking, they’re often a surprise.”
  • Jack to Becca: “Oh god, please don’t be a daughter I didn’t know about.”
  • Jenna: “My heart goes out to all the inner city kids. Especially those too fat to dance their way out.”

So what did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? And how’s this season working out for you as a whole?

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


22 Responses to “30 ROCK: Goodbye, My Friend”

  1. RivB on March 6th, 2009 4:34 pm

    MUCH better episode than the recent ones. I agree that Patti’s appearance alone made the plotline sing for me. However, what Italian mother has such a mod hairdo?

    When I saw the promos for this episode, I thought Lawyer Frank was Penn Jillette (from Penn and Teller)

  2. Cathy on March 6th, 2009 5:30 pm

    RivB: I thought the same thing about Lawyer Frank!

  3. Lisa (aka lmr) on March 7th, 2009 7:51 am

    He was channelling Penn a little but he was quite a bit hotter, who knew under that hat and hair there was such a cutie.

  4. Kimber on March 7th, 2009 6:14 pm

    Lawyer Frank was awesome! I loved this episode, loved the Liz storyline and her buying an entire box of donuts for herself. Go Liz!

  5. kari on March 7th, 2009 6:17 pm

    I agree, Kimber — we need more women eating like real people on TV.

  6. JP on March 7th, 2009 9:02 pm

    I laughed so hard at this episode. I was a huge fan of Harry and the Hendersons movie when I was kid, so this episode was especially awesome for me.

  7. Kimber on March 8th, 2009 11:50 am

    Thanks, Kari! I wonder, though, do you think Tina Fey loves food as much as Liz Lemon?? I’m sure she’s based a lot of Liz Lemon on herself, but I always wonder if the love of food is one of those things.

  8. kari on March 8th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Well, she does talk about cupcakes and burgers a lot in interviews (Shake Shack seems to be a fave, which is how I know for sure that she’s extra smart…)

  9. Kimber on March 8th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Awesome 🙂 Just when I think Tina Fey couldn’t get any cooler…

  10. Eric on March 9th, 2009 4:25 pm

    Who has the actor who played Tim (the reluctant father) on the March 5 episode? His face looked familiar but I didn’t catch the actor’s name.

  11. Eric on March 9th, 2009 4:25 pm

    Who was the actor who played Tim (the reluctant father) on the March 5 episode? His face looked familiar but I didn’t catch the actor’s name.

  12. Eric on March 9th, 2009 4:25 pm

    Who has the actor who played Tim (the reluctant father) on the March 5 episode? His face looked familiar but I didn’t catch the actor’s name.

  13. Eric on March 9th, 2009 4:25 pm

    Who has the actor who played Tim (the reluctant father) on the March 5 episode? His face looked familiar but I didn’t catch the actor’s name.

  14. kari on March 10th, 2009 4:49 pm

    The credits say Christopher N. Smith played Tim; I couldn’t find anything on imdb, and he’s new to me.

  15. Kevin on March 13th, 2009 12:59 am

    I think my favorite line was Lithgow’s “I guess someone’s been watching ‘The World According to Garp'”

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