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30 Rock 4.20 – The Moms

Grade: B

This week’s 30 Rock centered on the mother’s of TGS’s cast and crew. Per usual, the A-story of 30 Rock faltered without many laughs, the B and even the C stories were fantastic.

First, the bad: I’m sick of Jack’s love life. I don’t care. It’s not funny. I don’t really like Avery, I don’t think any of it is working for the audience. Tina Fey and co. are amazing when it comes to self-contained stories but they have a real issue creating stories that extend over multiple episodes. It definitely hampers my enjoyment of the show, even when 30 Rock was at its funniest. Ideally the writers would abandon this obsession with over-arching humor and focus more on self-contained stories. It’s better for the audience and its where 30 Rock is at its best.

I also didn’t really think Colleen worked. Especially the joke with Kenneth being Karl. Eh. It was kind of funny but why run with that?

The Good: I have this odd fascination with Jenna Maroney. I’m not sure if she’s actually that funny but ever since The Rural Juror I’ve laughed at almost every single scene she’s been in.

(By the way, these are two of my favorite 30 Rock moments of all time):

Today, her mother Verna comes to visit (that her father left for a surfer named Roberta). One of the funniest running gags throughout the episode was Verna’s half finished boob lift. As Jack says, they feel “like a cantelope and a zip lock bag of mushroom soup”. Jenna didn’t particularly do anything funny in The Moms but I still can’t help but laugh when she’s on screen. Even her mother’s “Jenna’s Mother’s Daughter” onesey had me going. Also Verna looking at Liz and questioning how she wasn’t marriage, cause “how do you get discounts at a  mattress store?”

Other highlights were the actress who played Tracey Morgan’s mother, star of the “pajamaralls”, Jack’s dinner with his mother (“I know it’s gay, but it’s my gay problem!”), and Our Lady of Reluctant Integration. Oh, and the Bitch Hunter pilot.

It’s hard to review episodes of 30 Rock because of where the humor comes from. It’s not from any overarching plotlines, but instead from dialog. And while I would love extensively quote the show’s greatest lines, why ruin it for you all?

As with most 30 Rock episodes, the highlights lie not in the overall plot but instead in the little jokes that the writers sprinkle throughout the episode. That’s where their talents lie and that’s what makes the show as fast-paced and hilarious as it is.


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