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30 Rock Watch: Season 7, Episode 5 - There's No I In America
30 Rock finishes its political two parter with a much more successful half hour of comedy after a lot of set up took up most of part one.
If you missed last week’s episode, Jenna’s Jimmy Buffett rip off of a song gains her a cult following in Northern Florida that will ultimately decide the election. Jack and Liz are both determined to sway her Twitter audience’s vote and they do so by taking on a 24 hour window to win Jenna’s vote. Jane Krakowski gets to just sit around and bounce off of her suitors and play crazy Jenna; it’s fantastic. Jenna delivers a number of fantastic one liners and seeing her swoon over Jack’s moronic pandering is a crushing satire of the strategy of the Right.
30 Rock makes the show as bi-partisan as possible though, with Liz being politically dim and nearly unable to defend Obama on any level. The debate portion of the episode is hyper critical of Democrats being always one step behind the political gamesmanship of the Republican’s, but I think my favorite bit from Liz and Jack’s debate was Jack’s closing statement which made no sense as he just dropped hyperbolic Americana buzzwords. Jack’s attack ad against Liz is also another piece of excellent satire and delivers some great laughs as it runs through lie after lie.
The debate swings Jack’s way, but the wild card that is Tracy comes into play as Liz gets him to get Jenna’s Twitter account banned by letting him on their for two minutes. The resolution comes a bit too easy to eliminate Jenna from a two episode build up, but it is one of a few undercooked plot points in the episode. Pete has a silly plot line that does nothing but point out how the enthusiasm this time around surrounding Obama will be much less and Kenneth does nothing but get bothered by how he is going to vote. Kenneth’s story does get a couple of good laughs though, none better then the shocking reveal that his family is behind the disappearance of the Roanoke colony.
30 Rock delivered some very good political satire this week, but ultimately wasn’t able to really do anything with it to drive the show's final episodes. Still, the show has always had a sharp political eye and it was great to see that they could spread out that humor over an entire two episode arc. Fey and company’s satire was an affective and timely diversion for the show, but I am not really sure that it was time well spent when there were only ten episodes left in the show; only eight left.
-"I need a previously on." That's it?
-"I'll put my head in a microwave."
-"Recognizes its value as a hair volumeizer."
-Obama is more than a half-nerd.
-So the Parcel's are responsible for Roanoke?
-Brown Hair, Glasses.
-"I have never dropped a hat, in my life."
-Mayor Debbie is scary.
-"An unnamed friend of the deceased."
-What is wrong with those balloons?
-"Not even when the bank failed to recoup its investment in the farm."
-"It's a human's name."
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