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30 Rock: "I Do Do"

The fourth season of 30 Rock has taken us on an emotional rollercoaster. After the third season I was rife with anticipation over the imminent greatness of season number four. Then I got a directive from the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Hipster Affairs ordering me to spearhead a nonsensical and inexplicable hipster backlash against 30 Rock.

This struck me as insane. I love 30 Rock. Why would I turn against it? Yet I am, as always, a slave to the hipster mind hive and the mind hive determined that while it was super-cool to like 30 Rock for its first three season it was now hip and cool to bash 30 Rock for its supposed slide in quality.

There was so much to be gained from such an endeavor. I would be allowed into all of the coolest hipster parties, Urban Outfitters promised to give me a lifetime’s worth of free clothing and I was offered an opportunity to write and produce the next albums from M.I.A and The Strokes. How could I resist?

So I cravenly and callously pretended to find a handful of episodes of 30 Rock tired and tepid. I pretended that the show recycled gags and that previously delightful characters like Tracy, Jenna, Kenneth and the writers had worn out their welcome and were subject to the law of diminishing returns.

Then a month or two back I got another directive from the chairman of Obama’s Council of Hipster Affairs. It was now hip and cool to like 30 Rock again! Yay! I didn’t have to pretend to find the show disappointing anymore! With that in mind, I would now like to give the proverbial mad props to a very satisfying season finale.

When we last caught up with the gang over at 30 Rock Jack was faced with a tough decision: Julianne Moore’s blue-collar, sassmouth middle-aged round the way girl or Elizabeth Banks’ insanely hot, intoxicatingly evil sexpot. It was truly Sophie’s Choice.

The last episode ended on a bit of a cliffhanger as Jack asked Liz, who was reading at ex-boyfriend Floyd’s wedding, to stall as much as possible so that he could work through his issues with Moore, who was apoplectic upon discovering that she was competing with a much younger woman for his affections. Incidentally, I imagine that many readers are now apoplectic over my over-use of the word apoplectic. What can I say? It’s a fun word. Apoplectic. It just sounds good.

I love it when 30 Rock affords Tina Fey an opportunity to do physical comedy and she had some killer moments improvising and dragging out her wedding reading interminably. The last episode also witnessed the delightfully obnoxious return of Tony Blair, I mean, Michael Sheen’s deliciously irritating Wesley Snipes, who agreed to accompany Liz to a wedding out of his conviction that he and Liz were, in his indelible turn of phrase, “settling soulmates”.

Ah, but tonight Liz didn’t have to settle, since she stumbled upon something even better than a really dumb doctor who looks like a comic-strip pilot: an actual pilot played by Matt Damon, who once again illustrated his formidable comic chops as the man of Liz’s dreams. He was a curmudgeonly soul but delightful all the same. He even seems to have accepted/embraced Liz’s neuroses.Will we see more of this handsome young man? I hope so. I've always liked/respected Damon.

Meanwhile, Kenneth is horrified to learn that he’s received a promotion that will force him to move to the nightmarish hellhole that is Los Angeles. So we got to see a different side of Kenneth tonight as he tried to sabotage his promotion by behaving as obnoxiously, drunkenly and unprofessionally as possible. It was a bizzaro world Kenneth we saw tonight and it was very funny, especially during a closing monologue that had the timing, tone and drunkenness of a massive fuck-you to everyone he works with but turned out to be the exact opposite.

Jack first decided conclusively that he wants to be a blue-collar Boston boy with Moore forever before deciding just as conclusively that it’s actually Banks that he wants. It’s a testament to the show’s writing and acting that both decisions seemed completely legitimate. Shit, who wouldn’t want to end up with Banks or Moore? They’re both perfect mates for our Jack.

Not to be outdone, Jenna is horrified to discover her female impersonator boyfriend (Will Forte) is doing Cher on the side (in his act) but even that thread was wrapped up with a tidy little bow when her cross-dressing paramour decided he’d compromise creepily by doing a half-Jenna, half-Cher act. Eh, whatever gets you through the night. It was a terrific end to a season that wobbled for a while but ended strongly. At least I think it did. I’ll have to receive my next directive from the Council of Hipster Affairs before making my final determination.

Stray Observations—

—“It’s possible. Have you ever read Archie comics?”

—“Our minds are already one, as our bodies will soon be”

—“Why is your face like that?”

—“That’s how I got out of foreplay. And taxes.”

—“Like a S’more you can take a shower with.”

—“Like in a haunted house sex party.”

—“I’m a doorman—to the sky.”

—“Let’s meet up later and smoke some drug cigarettes”

—“Her voice is like music, really mean music”

—“With a textual transmission!”

—Loved Tracy's naked dance at the end. So wrong. So right.

—Well, that does it for another season of 30 Rock. I’ll see you all in heaven.

Filed Under: TV, 30 Rock

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