October 15, 2010

30 Rock Recap: Live From New York It’s….30 Rock!

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This week, 30 Rock went where…well, several shows have boldly gone before. ER went live in 1997.  And The West Wing had a live debate in 2005.  And Saturday Night Live. The critics questioned how bold going live really would be.  Some feared it wasn’t daring enough for a show whose talent is SNL-based.  The result: one of the best productions in recent television memory.

The episode had a terrific live feel.  And hearing a laugh track at the very beginning was at first jarring, but simultaneously exhilarating.  Almost like the time when Scrubs pretended to be a typical sitcom and instituted a laugh track, producing one of the funniest satires of television I had ever seen.  And it was one of the best episodes of the series.   The sets were more cheap, but worthy, knockoffs.  My favorite part of the episode that I could not have foreseen was the brilliant twist on the stream of consciousness flashback.  I didn’t even give consideration to what would happen when Liz would say, “Do you remember that time I had to give up refined sugars?”  A Seinfeld Bizarro Moment!  Julia Louis Dreyfus is playing the role of Tina Fey.   I felt like I was at Studio 8H, and the best of the world of television was here to entertain me.

On With The Superlatives!Most Topical ReferenceKenneth: A Mr. Brett Fah-vray stopped by and dropped off this picture of a hotdog.Jenna: FinallyKenneth: The Chilean miners are all out and are very angry about what you’ve been saying about them.Jenna: Oh, so I guess they’re geniuses for getting stuck in a mine?

Most Meta ReferenceJack to Liz: Why are you better looking in your memory (in which Julia Louis-Dreyfus appears).Liz: My memory has Seinfeld money.

Best InsultLiz (the Julia Louis-Dreyfus version) to Johnathan: Yeah, Chai boy get in here.  You’ll never be a millionaire.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus even got Liz’ weird traits down: “Slum Dog ref.  Blammo!“ (complete with slam dunk hand motion).

Liz to Johnathan, after he insults her: “Really you want to play this game with a comedy writer.”  Proceeds to squirt water in his face.

Favorite Misunderstanding with Tracy Pete: Surprise Liz! Tracy has come up with a new way to ruin the showLiz: No, no. I told you your lizard can’t be the musical guest.Tracy: Of course not.  His album doesn’t drop until December.

Second Favorite Misunderstanding with Tracy Tracy: You never take my creative suggestions.Liz: The only other one I can remember is when you wanted to hire those two strippers to dance behind you.Tracy: And you should have.  Those dudes were awesome.

Best Arrested Development Inspired MomentWhen Liz says, “Sure audiences love it when something goes wrong.  But we don’t do it here.  It’s cheap” the Who Dat Ninja poster falls.  Reminds me of the times Ron Howard narrates and the model house falls apart.Best Birthday ToastJack, to Liz Lemon: You’re Halfway to Death

Honorable Mentions

Tracy: Tonight I’m gonna laugh harder than I did at Dot Com’s playDot Com: It was Angels In America, Tray.

Also, Rachel Dratch as Yadwego: Liz: I haven’t seen you in a while.  Yadwego: Yes, Bullet in brain move.  Much hospital.

Loved Kenneth finding Lutz’ “I’m with Stupid” shirt funny and pointing out how many people were rendered stupid because he moved forward.

Pete: We can use It’s Your Bday Bitch by Snooki’s MomJenna: Wait, Did I just hear that correctly.  Because last year I wrote a song called your birthday Slut.Jenna: Does Mrs. Polizzi’s track sound like this?

Sample lyrics: “Choke a cop with your panties.”

Jenna to the audience before the TGS taping: “You’re the real stars.  Not really.”

Ticker on the Fox News show with Tracy as Barack Obama: “Exclusive Interview With Kenyan Liar.”

Dr. Spaceman: “Erectile Dysfunction.  It’s not just a dog problem anymore.”Jenna: “I was on stage in Pippen with Irene Ryan and she died.  And I kept going.”

Jon Hamm’s “Hands From Executed Criminals” commercial.Carol (Matt Damon): “We went to a Haunted House In Germany. That was messed up.”

Liz forgetting the word “brain.”

Original Author: Scott Eidler