The season six premiere of 30 Rock, entitled Dance Like Nobody’s Watching – written by the team of Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield and directed by John Riggi – opens with “America’s Kidz Got Singing,” hosted by D’Fwan, John McEnroe, and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) – who’s the Simon Cowell of the reality competition. Jenna excitedly tells Liz (Tina Fey) that, when you google “Jenna Maroney,” her name comes up now. Not the Jenna Maroney who electrocuted all of those horses. (Liz replies, “Jenna, that was you.”)
As for Jack (Alec Baldwin) – he’s still missing Avery (Elizabeth Banks), but at least he got a Christmas card from her and her new husband, Kim Jong-un, wishing death to imperialists. His real concern is Liz’s newfound happiness that infects her in such a way that she reads upbeat poems from tampon boxes. Afterall, he had only recently signed her up for a dating website called “desperationships,” based on her should-be-loneliness.
In Kenneth’s world (Jack McBrayer), he is sorry that Frank (Judah Friedlander) is going to Hell, but he’s happy that, according to “Reverend Gary,” tomorrow is the end of the world and he will be going to Heaven, where he will receive 72 virgin-margaritas. He is granted the day off on his presumed last day alive, when he chooses to perform his “dream chores,” like peeling a sticker off of the ceiling, cheering up Liz Lemon, and wearing neon green leggings.
Meanwhile, Tracy (Tracy Morgan) – who isn’t 42, he took an age test that says he is “dead” – doesn’t understand why he can no longer push joyful Liz’s buttons. He even wonders if she has become the new Tracy. He exclaims, “Did we switch brains? Why am I not feeling your boobs?”
Tracy aside – all seems well for the cast and crew of TGS. That is, until Jenna harasses a contestant with Jack’s daughter’s name. She tells her to “seal herself in a barrel and fall off of a waterfall” before she practices her catchphrase, “Liddy, go jump back up your mother,” prompting Jack to re-evalute his stance on the program, when his new family-man ways trouble his conscience.
At the end of the episode, Jack uses his sage powers (with some help from Tracy the spy) to find out that Liz is buying joint pain medication from a location in the city that can only mean one thing: she’s joined the “timeless torches,” some sort of jazz-performing, cheerleading squad for old people. He thinks he knows Liz better than she knows herself, but he didn’t figure out that she has a new, secret man.
Overall, this was a decent episode of 30 Rock, with a select few stellar jokes, mostly involving secondary characters like Kenneth, or even more distant characters like D’Fwan. I question whether or not Liz or Jack’s story-lines were all that funny, but hopefully these character plots will put them in a better position for next week. Even Tracy was mostly underutilized, and there was a serious lack of Grizz and Dot Com.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on the WGTC forum.