Episode 3 - Let's Stay Together
23 February 2012
Synopsis: Jack heads to Congress to justify the NBC\Kable Town merger. Everything seems to be going fine until he runs into Regina Bookman (Queen Latifah) who accuses NBC of a lack of diversity. As a result Toofer is suddenly appointed to head writer. Meanwhile Jenna tries to help Kenneth get rehired as a page.
The Good: I suppose the Kable Town merger will provide Jack's main professional plots this year. His run in with Regina Bookman was passable comedy. The awkward series of apparently racist shenanigans going on at NBC were at least smile worthy. I did like Jack playing the PC card to the extreme by telling Regina that "I don't really see race or gender...Mr Chang." Later on his honest assessment of the Kable Town merger led him to point out that "thousands of jobs" and "hundreds of second homes" were on the line.
The Bad: There was pretty much zero effort put into the other two plots. Jenna begins helping Kenneth prepare for his apparently far more entertainment based interview for the page program. But we skip over any sense of that being an actual story into Jenna reliving her own tortured childhood of being pushed to perform in pageants. As with most Jenna and Kenneth stories there wasn't enough time for it to develop nor were there any relatable emotions or jokes on offer.
Similarly Liz seemed happy to have Toofer share her responsibilities but the second she walked into the room she changed her mind. There was literally no time given for that story to sink in. Liz just began immediately fighting against her lack of recognition despite (surely) Toofer's promotion not really bringing him onto her level? It's funny (not in a good way) how little screen time Toofer gets. No sit com I've seen pays as little attention as 30 Rock does to its minor characters. Having spend three years doing next to nothing Toofer finally gets promoted and we barely hear him speak. In all his scenes someone else did the talking for him.
Regina's Obama style monologues full of preacher tone and empty of content annoyed me. Not only are they bad jokes for their lack of subtlety or reality but the point they are making is either obvious or mildly offensive. It still baffles me that people think 30 Rock is witty or edgy when most of its comedy is the cheapest, dumbest stuff possible.
Tracy's plot was just as obvious and pointless as he plays Homer Simpson, coming up with awful ideas to ruin Dot Com's more serious work. I think that's the second Mickey Rourke joke Jenna has told, is that just a coincidence? I don't really care.
Comic Highlight: Jack couldn't remember the name of the "black kid on Community", Liz helpfully tells him it's "D'onald Glover" pronouncing Donald like it was Donal Logue's.
The Bottom Line: Forgettable and dull.
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