Don’t ‘Baby’ me, show. If you are going to make me sit through an hour-long episode, at least give me something I haven’t seen before, or something that’s somewhat pleasant.
30 Rock-Does-Things Awards is back. Let’s break it down…
Most Unnecessarily Painful Viewing Experience: Naturally this occurs at an IKEA. Liz (Tina Fey) and Criss (James Marsden) try to make up for failed Valentine’s Days past by buying Liz a dining table for their stay-at-home meal. However, their solidarity crumbles as they make their way through the endless fortress of home goods, and they turn on each other faster than Liz can say “sperm-shaped salt and pepper shakers.” It’s not surprising that this particular holiday ends up going awry for Liz as it often has in the past – for every accidental-flower-guy-introduction with Floyd (Jason Sudeikis), there is a flight-delay-decent-into-Apocalypse Now with Carol (Matt Damon). However, subjecting the audience to the soul-crushing awkwardness that is shopping at IKEA is at best unnecessary. It isn’t funny to see Liz and Criss start attacking each other using the furniture as metaphors for their new and uncertain relationship. It’s just uncomfortable. It could’ve been worth the pain if there had been some original jokes, but all that we get are a guy who walked too close, brainwashed employees, and other bickering couples. How fun?
Best Excuse to Break Out the Martini Glasses Gathering Dust in the Kitchen Cabinet: Criss serves MASHED POTATOES in them to Liz! That awesomeness alone garners Criss fifty points in the competition for Liz’s best boyfriends (not that there are a whole lot of winners on that list to compete with).
Lowest Tension between Two Sexually Frustrated Adults: Jack (Alec Baldwin) and his mother-in-law, Diana Jessup (Mary Steenburgen), dance around the issue that when the wife is away (as Kim Jong Un’s sex slave) the adults can play…golf. There are a couple of interesting exchanges between the pair, like the discussion of baseball used as a possible mood killer (there’s also a reveal of Jack’s secret longing for “Jeter’s thighs in those pants”). But again, it isn’t all that much fun to watch two adults walk around as they deny that they are sexually attracted to each other before they channel their energy into orgasmically hitting a bucket of balls. The biggest problem is that their scenes were often used as filler for this hour-long episode, since about half of them could have been cut without affecting the story. The worst scene? The unnecessary visit with the Transylvanian ambassador, since it is so clever that he might be a vampire (the joke is both obvious and desperate).
Most Astute Analysis of the ‘Revelation’ of the ‘Tacit Love’ Shared between Liz and Lutz (John Lutz): Tracy (Tracy Morgan) observes that it is “’Bout Time. The past six years have been like watching Moonlighting.” Trust Tracy to pick up on the secret simmering passion between the woman who wakes up with a chip can stuck on her hand and the man who can’t even score at IKEA.
So, Rockers, did you feel the love this week? Or were you, like me, a bit disappointed with this laugh-lite episode? Sound off below!