30 Rock, NBC, Airs Thursdays 9:30/8:30c
Episode: “Do Over” (Season 3, Episode 1)
Synopsis: Jack returns to 30 Rock when he sees that Devin (Will Arnett) is having a psychotic breakdown and is attempting to shut the company down. Meanwhile, Liz is struggling to impress her adoption agent (Megan Mullally) as tensions rise between Tracy and Jenna.
Review: Season 3 starts out with a bang in this typically funny episode of 30 Rock. Not much has changed in the formula, style or laugh departments (all are still some of the best on television) and the guest stars are ample yet again. Liz is still neurotic, Jenna is still deluded (“I told you not to write back to your stalker!”), Tracy is still lavishly out of his mind. In those cases, the show has returned back to its hilariously funny status quo—another solid episode of 30. But what was different?
Jack decides to work his way back to the top position of G.E.—a position temporarily occupied by Will Arnett’s semi-recurring character, Devin. There are two paths in front of him—he can either seduce Kathy Geist (the offspring of Don Geist, former head of G.E.,) and reclaim the top spot whilst simultaneously weakening his integrity, or he can spend nine—no, five—years doing it the old fashioned way (mail-room mobility). When it becomes clear that Devin has completely lost it and is planning to sell the company, Jack decides he must shelve his dignity and give Geist “his gift.” This is why Jack is so compelling and funny—despite showing inconsideration and insensitivity, his character’s foundation is constructed by hard work and integrity. He is willing to start from the beginning, and he knows how—but when duty calls he decides to make sacrifices “for the greater good.” Liz saves the day in the end, of course, and has a moment with him, which prompts the question—how do you guys feel about a very possible Liz-Jack hook-up? That certainly seems to be what they are working towards.
The Liz storyline was a bit less engrossing, but perhaps funnier. We know that Megan Mullally’s personality-less adoption agent will not award her with license to adopt (and it is frustrating to see her co-workers and friends—in essence, her family– get in the way yet again), and that plot is only carried by humor. Strange to see a bland guest star on 30 Rock, huh? You would expect Megan Mullally to have more material.
Up Next Week: Liz (Fey) flies to Chicago to get out of jury duty and on her return flight ends up with an assigned seat next to Oprah. Liz jumps at the opportunity to share a few problems with the talk show host for advice. While Liz is away, Tracy (Morgan) and Jenna’s (Krakowski) feud continues leading to a wacky “social experiment” to prove whose argument is right. Meanwhile, Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) morality is tested by Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) after an Olympics snafu.
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Did you watch this episode of 30 Rock? If so, what did you think?