Episode 6 - Gentleman's Intermission
22 February 2011
Synopsis: Liz' father Dick comes to visit but he tries to have a break from being married. Liz is outraged and turns to Jack but Avery has suggested that he spend less time with her. So Jack begins a search for a new mentee and Liz tries to handle things herself. Meanwhile Tracy is unhappy with his pre-prepared NBC obituary footage and decides to change his image. Jenna is of course jealous and tries to create her own.
The Good: There's only one relationship which 30 Rock takes seriously and that's Liz and Jack's platonic friendship. This episode worked so much better than the average episode because the centre of the story had genuine feeling behind it. Jack is Liz' best friend and she needs his advice and support. Meanwhile Jack clearly enjoys sharing his wisdom with her and needs someone sane and un-ambitious to have a relationship with. The way their mutual affection was exposed through the story was very pleasant.
Jack went through Jonathan, Tracy and Jenna realising why each failed his DIHC (drive, intelligence, humility, chaos) test and concluding that Liz has "just the right amount of DIHC" which was pretty funny. Similarly Liz tries to deal with her father's late-life crisis herself and ends up being accused of hitting on him at a bar.
I liked the continuity of Pete sympathising with Dick Lemon's desire to escape his wife. I also liked Avery's role in bringing about both the breakdown and restoration of Jack and Liz' relationship. It made perfect sense that she would see the close bond as inappropriate and then withdraw her objection once she sensed how important and un-threatening it really is.
The Tracy and Jenna storyline fitted neatly into the background throwing up the odd laugh (see Comic Highlight) to be a satisfying 'B' plot. Tracy's all giraffe basket ball team, "The New York Necks" was a suitably silly gag. Whereas Jenna's instant reaction to the thought that Tracy was dying was spot on and hilarious "Fine. I'll sing at his funeral."
The Bad: Tracy's new desire to win an Oscar seems to forget his EGOT plot from last season (414, 421) which covered the same ground.
Comic Highlight: Tracy misunderstands the expression "googling yourself" and assumes it means masturbation. Once Jack explains what it means Tracy realises why Liz was so cool with him recently. We cut away to Tracy asking if he could google himself in her office. She says "Sure Tracy" and when he asks if he can use her computer she cheerfully says "How else are you going to do it?" He gives her a grateful point which was pretty funny.
The Bottom Line: With real sentiment between the characters this was pretty good throughout.
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