Sorry it took me so long to answer i was just thinking about how weird it is that we eat birds.

I really like this episode.

1. Liz realizes her handsome boyfriend, Jon Hamm, lives in a bubble and gets whatever he wants. So he’s never noticed that he’s not good at tennis, has no medical skills (despite his medical career), and that normal people don’t get free appetizers. She helps him see the bubble, but he chooses to stay in it. She cannot join him there.

2. Jack screws up his contract negotiations with Tracy when he points out Tracy doesn’t need the money from NBC. He finally gets Tracy to sign a contract when he tells Kenneth that if Tracy doesn’t work there, they don’t need him to be a Page anymore. Tracy re-signs to save Kenneth. #friendship

3. Jenna tries to get everyone’s attention by cutting off her hair. No one really notices.

I mentioned a couple days ago this article I found on The Atlantic called “The Fall of 30 Rock” by Alyssa Rosenberg and how it noticeably dropped off in season 3. As you know, I really like season 3. But I want to talk about this quote, because I think it’s particularly relevant in this episode:

Perhaps the biggest problem for 30 Rock is that the narrative conflicts established in its first season have largely been resolved.  Jack is no longer the new executive dropped in from above to meddle with the show.  Instead he’s Liz’s mentor and occasional co-conspirator, someone who pats her on the back with a broom when she has food poisoning in a Georgia motel, and blurbs her book with the quote “Lemon numbers among my employees.”  Tracy, the unstable black superstar who joined Lemon’s show (to the consternation of the writers, producers, and other actors) in 30 Rock’s first episode, may still be a disruptive force of nature, but he’s no longer the enemy: his status as an audience draw and his willingness to present them with gold nunchucks and chinchilla coats as thank-you gifts have long since basically won them over. 

First, I completely disagree with this assessment of how Tracy won them over. He won over Kenneth because Kenneth is a good, kind person he sees the good in people. The writers he won over by being funny — and sort of a genius when it comes to porn video games. Jenna, too, was won over by Tracy’s kindness: Remember his birthday wish two episodes ago? Tracy may be frustrating, at times narcissistic, but he’s fun and warm and silly. He’s a disruptive force, but not the enemy.

Rosenberg seems to be upset that the main characters mostly get along; they’re not adversaries anymore. And she’s right: the first season mostly sold us on this idea of Jack and Liz as adversaries, and it would have been easy to think that’s what the show was about.

But it’s not! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having, at the heart of your show, people who really like each other. And I sort of think the magic of “30 Rock” is that they don’t even realize how much they like each other. The lines between love and hatred, between appreciation and frustration are blurred, just like they are in real life.

The head writer of “The Daily Show,” Tim Carvell, told Rolling Stone he loves “Parks and Recreation” because They figured out how to make comedy out of people who like things, as opposed to the usual sitcom where it’s just people being awful to each other.”

I think “30 Rock” is more bitter than “Parks and Recreation.” Jack and Ron Swanson might get along, but Liz would probably find Leslie annoying. But I also think that, at the center of “30 Rock,” everyone likes each other, even though they aggressively pretend they don’t. This doesn’t mean their interactions are healthy, easy, or productive, but there’s a lot of love, especially between Jack and Liz.

External forces on “30 Rock” give us enough conflict as the characters all try to find their own personal happiness. That means relationships, parents, CEOs who never die, evil Pages, and pregnant teens.

What a weird show “30 Rock” would have been if it was just about the adversarial relationship between Liz and Jack. I’m glad that’s not what we got.

(For the record, Rosenberg does raise some good points, like the under-utilization of Pete, the writers, and Josh.)

Bits & Pieces

Tracy Junior was this episode’s Rookie of the Year when he berates Jack for turning him into a stereotype with an unemployed father. Highlight: when he asks Jack if he even voted for Obama.

Kenneth gets Tracy jerk chicken “from that place in Mill Basin.” Mill Basin is a neighborhood over from me, and the closest “30 Rock” will ever get to referencing where I live. I’m OK with that.

There’s this great moment where “30 Rock” sets us up for a montage of Tracy moments, but only gives us Liz and Jack staring into the distance.

Screenshot 2014-08-21 20.39.50

Jon Hamm brings Liz to Plunder for lunch, the restaurant Jack wanted to take Elisa too on Valentines Day.

Liz sees a photo of young Jack and is overwhelmed by how hot he was.

Same Liz.

Jenna is donating her hair to a charity called “Merkins of Hope.”

Also, this is one of my favorite “30 Rock” moments ever:

Screenshot 2014-08-21 20.43.26

Character I related to most: Jenna when she’s compared to Miss Piggy.

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: Jenna is what he imagines Mary Magdalene looked like. Pete is what he envisioned Judas like. Dun dun.

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