Before I get started, let’s talk about what I learned today: The identity of bald writer!


Anonymous no more!

One of my best friends briefly worked for SNL, and this man — Kevin Miller — was his boss. IMDB gives his “30 Rock” character the same name, though he only gets credited for the one episode in which he has a line. Kevin Miller was a producer on “SNL” and now produces for “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

Coincidentally, I just applied for an NBC internship so if you, Kevin Miller, have a Google alert set for yourself and have stumbled across this blog, hit me up.

The episode opens with Liz in the NBC Fitness Centerready to take a workout class with Jenna. Until she stumbles across Floyd walking into another class. She and Jenna join him and his girlfriend, Liz Lemler, for Advanced Hip Hop. Yes, Liz trying to dance hip-hop is hilarious, and, yes, it’s funny that Jenna just happens to have a page boy hat to plop on for just this occassion

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Never change, 2007.

BUT. Can Floyd really be that great if he just takes Advanced Hip-Hop classes for fun? I’m having some doubts.

Also, guess who Floyd’s current squeeze is?

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Anna Chlumsky of “Veep,” who found out today that she’s nominated for her first Emmy! You go girl.

Anyway, Liz finds out that she needs to fire 10% of her staff and that Liz Lemler is an accountant for her show, so she puts two and two together and goes insane. Typical Liz.

Meanwhile, Jack’s brother Eddie reveals that Jack’s dad — well, “dad” — is dead, which reunites Jack with some of his siblings. The whole thing, as the title of the episode suggests, is very Irish.

You don’t really believe that Nathan Lane could be Jack’s brother until he tells Liz, “You could be really pretty if you didn’t scowl so much.” Ya burnt.

Any way, a lot of Irish Catholic shenanigans go down, and Liz goes insane. It’s very funny, and includes some of my favorite lines ever, including:

Liz: I pretty much just do whatever Oprah tells me to.

Tracy: I believe that the moon does not exist. I believe that vampires are the world’s greatest golfers but their curse is they never get a chance to prove it. I believe that there are 31 letters in the white alphabet.

Liz: I’m gonna go talk to some food about this.

Also Jack calls his fists St. Michael and St. Patrick, his father calls his Tipp O’Neill and Bob Sands, and his brother calls his Bono and Sandra Day O’Connor. I die laughing.

But the strangest moment of the episode was when Jack, after his family’s brawl, says, “The whole thing was strangely reassuring, though. To know that they’ll be there after l’m dead, fighting over my corpse before it’s cryogenically frozen.”

And it wasn’t weird at the time. But six seasons later it’s weird because we never see any of those characters again. Except for a plot about Jack’s father — and he’s never seen during that plot — none of his siblings ever appear again. He acts like an only child when dealing with his mother. Were his other siblings all illegitimate? This just seems like a huge plot hole.

This probably isn’t obvious from this post, but I really like this episode. It’s hard to capture how good it is, but I just found this Mike Schur quote on Tumblr that helps:

It’s also very obviously the case that jokes are fleeting, but good characters and emotional stories are forever. TV is about presenting an inviting world in which audiences want to invest their time, regularly, over many years.

Jokes help because, you know, they make people happy. But what makes people *love* a show, and get attached to it, is great characters having great adventures.

So that’s “30 Rock.” It’s funny, but I can only watch it every day for two weeks without getting bored because the characters matter so much to me.

The episode ends with the best explanation of Catholic guilt ever:

Even though there is the whole confession thing, that’s no free pass, because there is a crushing guilt that comes with being a Catholic. Whether things are good or bad or you’re simply… eating tacos in the park, there is always the crushing guilt.

Too real.

Bits & Pieces

Best reference that was topical in 2007: “You look like that lady astronaut who tried to kidnap that other woman.”

Anna Clumsky wasn’t the only actor to appear in this episode and “Veep.” Presenting Congressman Furlong:

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Kenneth tells Jack, “Your assistant is looking for you.” Tears for Jonathan, who didn’t get a name this episode.

Best Frank Hat: Liz Rocks

Jack uses an animal video to soften a hard blow, a move he’ll use again.

The only Catholics Tracy can think of are Jack, Regis Philbin, and the pope.

Character I related to most: Liz when Jack said, “Lemon you’ve gone chicken killer on me over a guy whose name you don’t even know.”

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: His church is called “The Eighth Day Resurrected Covenant of the Holy Trinity,” and he grins while the pastor vividly describes the Apocalypse. Awkward.