Episode 7 - Brooklyn Without Limits
22 February 2011
Synopsis: Liz finds a pair of jeans which make her butt look good. They are also made in the USA and so she begins preaching to Jack about what a good person she is. When he tells her that the jeans company is owned by Halliburton she accepts her moral compromise until Tracy and Jenna shame her into doing the right thing. Jack is also shamed and drops his support for embarrassing congressional candidate Steve Austin who he hoped could unseat Regina Bookman. Tracy's film goes before a Golden Globe nominee audience and Jenna tries to sabotage him. But the film is so good she decides to do the right thing which is what shamed Liz.
The Good: That was a long ass synopsis. And yes it was a good plot which linked all four stories together in a nice moral bow. Unfortunately all the details were horrendous.
The Bad: I disliked everything about this. This wasn't bad like the most offensive Family Guy episodes or even as dumb as 30 Rock's worst hits. But nothing that happened was vaguely believable and as you know that is the key to good TV (at least in my mind and that's where you are right now).
Clearly Tina Fey watches Mad Men and that's terrific. It really is. But first she wrote an atrocious part for Jon Hamm which wasn't funny because it had no basis in reality. So now she gets John Slattery in to play a right wing nut job and somehow manages to make him just as unfunny. The writers just sat down and came up with every idea they had about what a crazy right wing ideology might come up with: dressing as a baby, building casinos on the moon, wanting to remove all of government, racism, public masturbation and a twin brother. Not one of these lines seemed remotely believable. Comedy needs a veneer of truth, however small and flimsy to have any impact. Otherwise it's just a fine actor saying silly things for no purpose.
Look at Tracy; we have enough stars in real life (Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan) whose success and talent obscured their eccentric or illegal behaviour. However at no point has Tracy ever been able to pull off a dramatic success with his movies. So it's implausible that a Golden Globe audience and Kenneth and Jenna would all love it. Still that was a meh plot compared to Steve Austin.
I know she had a body double for most of the ass shots but the jeans plot still undermines all the jokes about how hideous she is. The corporations own everything in the world stuff was typically exaggerated beyond humour. Kenneth loving being a human table doesn't make much sense either.
Comic Highlight: Tracy learns of Jenna's plan and says"Sabotage!? But I'm the one who does that to me?"
The Bottom Line: A well written story with a complete misunderstanding of comedy.
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