30 ROCK Season Finale: Kidney Now! - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK Season Finale: Kidney Now!

May 15, 2009 by  

Last night was not only the season finale of 30 ROCK, but it was also the last recap by the wonderful Kari.  Kari, thanks so much for reviewing this season of 30 ROCK.  We are all so grateful.  We’re going to miss your weekly reviews next season but we hope you’ll stop by and comment every once in a while.  Thanks again!


It’s the end of the line, folks, both for Season 3 and me. And while I stand by my earlier assertion, stated somewhere, that a string of hilarious one-liners alone do not a solid episode make, I laughed enough during “Kidney Now!” to mostly overlook what fell flat. (Although the bloated musical ending fell pretty flat, compared not only to previous season finales but also the great “Midnight Train to Georgia” number that capped “Episode 210.” I mean, why not let Kenneth interact with cousin Clay Aiken, or at least punch him in the nose? But I do like how Tina Fey & crew took all those “too many special guest stars!” complaints from critics and fans and cranked up the dial to 1000 in response. That’s just the kind of thumb in your eye I appreciate as one of the complainers.)

First, though, kudos to Alan Alda for playing off his own “earnest, decent liberal” label so effortlessly. Watching him enjoy a simple game of catch with Alec Baldwin might have been the highlight for me, as well as the smile on Jack’s face at the end when he realizes that for some reason this guy Milton accepts and loves him for who he is, and not what he can give.

But of course Jack can give a whole lot, as evidenced by his calling in every favor from every singer he knows to help save his father “We Are the World”-style, from Liz’s grade school buddy Sheryl Crow to international art thief Elvis Costello and a surprisingly chatty Michael McDonald. (Also my favorite, the awesomely bearded and balding Steve Earle. “Give the gift of giving,” indeed.) I was especially glad to see Jenna pop up mid-song to contribute her usual overenthusiastic backup wailing, and in doing so she cemented my belief that Jane Krakowski (along with Tracy Morgan) was one of this season’s all stars.

Elsewhere, Liz finds unexpected success at diagnosing relationship weak spots by barking out one-liners disguised as solutions (“You have sexually transmitted crazymouth!”) on a trashy talk show, and uses it to advance what she imagines will be her post-TGS career. Whether or not TGS only has two years left in it remains to be seen, but I always love watching her take Jack’s advice—which inevitably boils down to “be like Jack”—and applying it in ways that end up pissing off her friends and colleagues. A book deal based on nothing sounds like a pretty good gig to me, and might be one reason the publishing business is in such a good place right now, future-wise. So I say go, Liz Lemon! Spread the word!

Also triumphing dubiously over obstacles was high school dropout Tracy Jordan, who’s prodded by Kenneth into delivering the commencement speech at his alma mater (named after Frank Lucas of “American Gangster” fame). His advice to the graduating students—that they should be themselves—backfires in all the usual ways: “I’m talking to you, clearly, gay kid. And you, white kid just trying to go unnoticed.” He follows that up by collapsing to the stage in tears when he’s presented with an honorary diploma, thereby living up to his own not-so-carefully concealed reputation as a crybaby. Overall his character took a couple of nice, sweet-natured turns this season that went far in explaining the crazy without making him look any less crazy, which all things considered I call an impressive sleight of hand.

So that’s it for me; please chime in with your thoughts below. Thanks for stopping by to chat this year, and, as always, (30) rock on! (Wow. You will surely miss me when I go.)


Jack, on the difficulty of finding a kidney for Milton: “Since Giuliani left, it’s gotten harder to harvest hobo organs.”

Milton’s three-volume Jimmy Carter biography, “From Peanut to President.”

Learning that Kenneth’s “science class” was actually a Bible study.

Liz on “Vontella”: “Nope, your fiancée is gay. Look at him, look at you. Classic case of fruit blindness.” and “There’s no such thing as bisexual, that’s just something they invented in the ’90s to sell hair products.”

M*A*S*H finale joke! Alan Alda: “A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show.”

Tracy on growing up: “I’ve changed, Ken, into a badass adult. I have a wolf dog, I have two bad knees, and a gun…that I lost!”

Jack’s revisionist downgrading of “Rainstorm Katrina.”

Dr. Spaceman’s inability to keep the kidney transplant order straight, either in his head or on the medical forms.

Jack on Liz’s “Vontella” appearance: “I haven’t seen that many riled up dirtbags since CVS put the cold medicine behind the counter.”

“He Needs Kidney” lyrics here: http://www.nbc.com/30_Rock/exclusives/kidney-now/song.shtml

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


7 Responses to “30 ROCK Season Finale: Kidney Now!”

  1. SB on May 15th, 2009 1:23 pm

    Great job, Kari!

    My favorite part was Sheryl Crow and Adam Levine saying, “Helu!” and “Pleased to meet!”, although the game of catch was very sweet.

  2. kari on May 15th, 2009 1:48 pm

    I rewound that bit at least five times, Sarah; the delivery was spot on. Loved it.

  3. Mary on May 15th, 2009 10:55 pm

    Kari. you are not alone (of course) I am an absolute lover of 30 Rock. I watch it on Hulu and I watching it completes my night. Tx for the posts.

  4. RivB on May 17th, 2009 9:16 am

    Kari! We will miss your recaps! I agree with you on this finale: I laughed, but it was an empty laugh. And Jenna (Jane) really won me over this season. She’s desperation defined!

  5. meg4fancast on May 18th, 2009 2:11 pm

    omg seriously hilarious. i was laughing the entire time. adrock was there! if anybody missed it, you can watch it on Fancast now.

  6. brett on May 18th, 2009 7:43 pm

    Wow, what a great season-ender. Kidney Now has got to be one of the funniest things that 30 Rock has done this season, and that’s saying a lot. Pure genius.

    Great celebrity cast, good idea to include Cyndi ‘We are the World” Lauper and I was also way happy to see Rhett Miller lending his vocals to the cause, too. I’ve been anxiously waiting for his new album to come out next month, but for now I’m happy just to see him on 30 Rock.

    Check out a video clip of the song at : http://displacedbrett.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/the-return-of-rhett/

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