30 ROCK: Cutbacks - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: Cutbacks

April 10, 2009 by  

I don’t expect “Cutbacks” would hold up very well under scrutiny, but life is hard and I laughed like hell, so I won’t look any deeper than that. Also, did you know they sell Sabor de Soledad T-shirts at the NBC Store? You can stuff that little tip right in the ol’ Easter basket along with your “decorative air holders.”

Anyway, as Liz and the TGS crew celebrate their 50th episode, they receive unfortunate news from Jack: the Sheinhardt Wig Company is making cuts, and the entertainment division is going under the knife. Liz responds in true Lemon-like fashion, giving a full-on Steve Jobs presentation to the heavily browed hatchet man brought in to review her budget. Too bad three colorful graphics, some repetitious wordplay, and a TGS clip reel fail to deter said hatchet man (guest star Roger Bart), so she resorts to sexual bartering instead with the help of triple Spanx and the sluttier makeup artist. Only—surprise!—giving Brad “a little taste of the Lemon” has no effect whatsoever, perhaps because, as Jack points out, her top front is her worst quadrant (a revelation that seems to not faze her much, mostly because she’s so worried about getting back her food and straws). It does lead her to drive a widower to tears, however, and ultimately she wins by losing, which is the sort of lesson I’m sure none of us would mind learning. Or not learning, as is the likelier case where L.L. is concerned.

Meanwhile, Jack’s own cutback is poor Jonathan (!), who he fires and replaces by forcing Kenneth into doing double duty as both NBC page and personal assistant. (Jack’s required three D’s of service: “discretion, docility, and don’t use my bathroom.”) Kenneth is a little less up to the task than one might expect, although I guess it’s not surprising that lying and prioritizing emergencies are not his greatest skills. (Free Showtime! Spiders! The head spins.).

Asking Tracy to feed his parrot, Sonny Crockett, turns out to not be such a hot idea, either, as together Tracy and Jenna end up A) diagnosing Kenneth as a serial killer and B) killing the bird. I didn’t really understand the motivation for the whole bug bomb trigger (are cockroaches opening his bedroom door?), but using Kenneth’s menacing interpretation of a professional demeanor to tip Tracy and Jenna off to his murderous tendencies was a beautiful touch. Ditto the way they blithely confess to and immediately absolve themselves of their crime: “You know how you told Tracy not to go into your bedroom? Well naturally we assumed you were a serial killer, and as you can imagine, your bird is dead.” Naturally!


  • Liz: “I put on a live show every week, unless there’s wrestling.”
  • Jack firing an employee: “The company’s facing cutbacks, and you have to admit your boom box division is a little bit behind the times.”

    Matthew: “We’re not behind the times, we’re groovy.”

  • TGS is the #1 late night show for men ages nine to thirteen and the morbidly obese. They are also currently negotiating to provide exclusive content for America’s jails.
  • Jenna rapping as Suri Cruz: “My name is Suri Cruz, put your hands in the air / I came out of the womb with a full head of hair.”
  • Pete on Liz’s failure to score with Brad: “You ruined it with your talking, didn’t you?”
  • Liz to Brad: “Last night I gave you the business. We had an agreement: top front and some light ear work. You got your quid, Hallster, where’s my quo?”
  • Tracy’s serial killer theory: “Neither he nor his bird would let me into his bedroom. And why wouldn’t you want to let Tracy Jordan into your bedroom unless you got a bunch of dead nurses in there?”

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


8 Responses to “30 ROCK: Cutbacks”

  1. SB on April 10th, 2009 11:28 am

    I love the Jenna “your bird is dead” quote–I’m totally making that my facebook status.

  2. kari on April 10th, 2009 2:13 pm

    As you can imagine, your many friends will thank you for it.

  3. CFO (not myinitials) on April 10th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I loved the Showtime callback. Jack did not want Showtime when it was a limited time offer, but when everyone else has been watching The Pelican Brief…
    Kenneth! Get me Showtime!
    haha! I still laugh remembering Kenneth’s face! haha!

  4. Angela on April 10th, 2009 4:05 pm

    I thought this episode had a lot of “Arrested Development” humor in it: the double meaning of “tricks” up the sleeve, the Showtime/Pelican Brief running joke throughout the episode…It was a fun, light-hearted episode in which I laughed a lot!

  5. R.A. Porter on April 10th, 2009 4:20 pm

    It might not hold up, but I laughed throughout, more even than during “Apollo, Apollo”. It saved my week, I think.

  6. SB on April 10th, 2009 4:33 pm

    Kari, I just want you to know that I made that quote my status and one of my friends asked me if I would gay marry him. So I have that going on! 🙂

  7. kari on April 10th, 2009 4:58 pm

    SB, you & your cute dog are my heroes of the day.

  8. SB on April 10th, 2009 5:13 pm

    Me and my cute dog are so excited!