30 Rock Watch: Season 7, Episode 8 - My Whole Life Is Thunder
30 Rock spends the episode after Liz's wedding dealing with the Jenna fallout and says goodbye to one of the series best regulars.
Liz's nuptials were a surprise for just about everyone the next day at TGS, none more than Jenna who was planning to have her own surprise wedding that very day on the show with Paul L'Astname; yes, that is his last name. To make matters worse, Liz is being given an award and Liz decides to include Jenna to diffuse the situation. Jenna decides to use the award's ceremony to stage her “surprise wedding” and steal Liz's thunder in the process and the two get caught up in a battle to stop Jenna from always stealing the spotlight.
The visual gags surrounding Paul's “surprise” entrance are all rather inspired and we get another batch of classic Jenna insanity. Jane Krakowski has been fortunate to be given a bevy of wonderful oddball lines and sequences this season and she hasn't seemingly wasted a single one of them. It has been a shame we haven’t gotten more of Paul in this final season though, as Will Forte is great, but they have tied another fitting final bow on one of the shows longest running relationships with their bizarre wedding spot.
Before we get to that bizarre wedding spot we have to go through the other main plot line of the week which has us saying goodbye to Jack's mom Colleen. Colleen is in town for the holidays three weeks early and she is trying to control Jack at every turn. Things are pretty thin here, but they make the send off rather sweet by Colleen teaching Jack yet another lesson all the way to her last breath. Playing with Jack's emotions by using her potential death is old hat for Colleen, but when the moment finally hits she doesn't waste it on her son. She manipulated Jack so that he is motivated to give a great eulogy and realize that her soul crushing parenting is what made him the man he is today.
The plot culminates at Colleen's funeral where Jenna pops her wedding and Jack gives the greatest eulogy ever given; Kermit the Frog shows up! The reaction to the wedding is mostly disgust, again rather appropriate for the happy couple, but none of these developments really roll into Tracy and Kenneth's odd plot discussing the power of TV-style life lessons. Sure the eulogy and wedding play into the theme of Tracy trying to show Kenneth that life can be like the ones “only on TV,”but the idea never really comes together and I don't get the point of it all. At least we got a crazy and dirty Florence Henderson. The show is constantly making fun of the sitcom formula and Ken and Tracy's adventure seems a bit too on the nose.
30 Rock doesn't kill off characters all that often and I wish Colleen had a bit more to do in her final episode. Colleen had some great guest appearances over the years, but the show hasn't really given any of the final season reappearances a winning send off. Sure it has been nice to see them, but I can't wait to see if they can really give one of the shows many great recurring roles a great goodbye. The wedding fallout was handled as well as one could hope for with Jenna and while Tracy and Kenneth's story fell flat the episode was able to get around them with ease. Goodbye Colleen, you will be missed.
-I like that little credits change up.
-"That's only 14 in demon years."
-Lemon is the bad guy?
-"So I am a lesbian."
-"If only Dragnet hadn't be preempted."
-Bold turn by Henderson.
-That's it for Charlotte from Lost?
-Expected better appropriate paintings.
-And then a Lost reference.
-"The lack of oxygen is making me orgasm."
-"As she looks up at me from her throne, in Hell."
-"They have reinforced crotches."
-What's with the excessive blue screen tonight?
-Kermit would make weddings better.
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