…Now what? Please don’t get me wrong. I have been a big fan of NBC’s Little Show That Could from the very start, entranced by the overwhelming zaniness of the proceedings almost as much as the way in which the show danced around cancellation. It’s a little unbelievable that a show like this is heading doggedly into a sixth season (the first episode of which premiered last Thursday evening), but it does beg the question–does 30 Rock have anything new to say?
Liz Lemon is happy. That, my friends, was both the major plot twist and the major storyline of last week’s season premiere. Needless to say, it made the episode feel a bit empty and I kept waiting for something more to happen…I don’t feel like having Liz perform jazz routines at Madison Square Garden or (gasp) giving her a date to a movie really cut it. It’s like riding on the world’s slowest roller coaster. You’re moving and there’s a great view, but it’s not really what you signed up for.
Great moment: the children’s singing competition. The show opened with a fresh-faced seven-year-old
butchering Beyonce-ing our national anthem on something horrifically entitled “America’s Kidz Got Talent”, a gag which provided the most consistent comedic hits as far as I was concerned. Especially brilliant was when Jack announced that NBC would only have the kids sing songs from the back catalogue so that the network wouldn’t have to pay royalties, which led to an emotional climax scored by an R&B rendition of “Camptown Races.”
The out-of-date Rapture B-story. I’m sure it might have been timely when the episode was shot, but the hysteria surrounding the non-rapture felt a bit old and out of place in the rest of the story. We, as a nation, united last year in an effort to make fun of people like Kenneth, but now we’re back to arguing about elections and watching The Bachelor. Let’s keep it timely, NBC.
More John McEnroe. He seems like such a sweet guy. Maybe they can get him doing a duet of Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” with Michael Bolton before the season’s over.
Conclusion? As with almost any 30 Rock episode (or life itself, really) there were hits and misses, but I have hope. Here are my hopes: I hope that the show controls its usage of Kenneth, who is best in small doses. I hope that they take some new risks with their characters instead of merely falling back into the Jenna-is-a-diva, Tracy-is-crazy routine of old. I hope they don’t let Jack Donaghy lose his acidity now that he’s a father. I hope that they have some tricks up their sleeves as far as Liz Lemon is concerned. And for heaven’s sake, let’s have more of Jack pulling stunts like this: