Today’s lesson: you can always count on Batman. After a lackluster episode last week, NBC lights up its bat signal and 30 Rock flies in to save the day.
Let’s hand out this week’s awards…
‘Kinkiest’ Excuse for a Trip to Bed Bath and Beyond: Jenna (Jane Krakowski) and Paul (Will Forte) try out a new ‘sexcapade’: Normaling, the orgasmic new fetish which involves napping peacefully under comfy afghans and make Costco runs in Zipcars to save money on cereal. And what does the couple learn from it? That maybe being normal ain’t so bad. Like I’ve said before, it’s episodes like this that really bring out the best that Jenna has to offer. She gets to be her egotistical, weird self, but her ultimate goal is actually relatable: she’s pursuing what makes her happy, and she learns that it may actually be getting married and settling down with Paul. Of course, she wouldn’t be Jenna if she doesn’t pursue a three-month sexual walkabout first.
Most… No no, Inbred-est… Or how about Pointiest Nose… I Give Up: The Kenneth is Still Just Hanging Around Aimlessly award: Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) still hasn’t gone anywhere or made any attempts at finding a new job, despite his grand announcement a couple weeks ago. Uugh. Can we just ignore his character until we get something new out of him? On the bright side, the human race can sleep a little easier knowing that Kenneth knows what condoms are and what they’re used for.
Catchiest Campaign Slogan since ‘I Like Ike’: “Vote for Jack Donaghy. Slogan to come.” Consider my ballot submitted!
Most Elaborate Yet Completely Appropriate ‘Batman’ Allusion: Liz’s (Tina Fey) bag-lady rebellion against the rule-breakers of New York converges with Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) 2013 New York mayoral candidate in a climactic Batman versus the Joker showdown. This episode achieves Community level of character-driven pop culture meta-humor. Normally, 30 Rock’s meta jokes are just that, jokes, or occasionally extended parodies. They’re funny, but they usually don’t make as great a statement about the characters and aren’t all that… artistic. In this episode, the build up and reenactment are expertly executed. Everything comes together perfectly, from the darkly lit TGS soundstage with the New York backdrop to Alec Baldwin’s and Tina Fey’s portrayals of the classic comic characters (seriously, Tina Fey needs a cameo in the next Batman movie). But more than that, it makes sense for Jack and Liz to end up this way. Of course Liz would finally crack and indulge in every possible form of Joker-esque rule breaking she could after acting as New York’s middle school hall monitor for forty years. Jack’s inner Batman would naturally respond to a mugging scare by running for office and trying to return the city to its former glory. My one complaint about this story? Jack’s mayoral run ended way too soon. There is just too much potential in that plot for it to only last half of an episode.
Best Monologue Cut from a Cross Between ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Batman Begins’: “New York City. Villains and Heroes. The one percent and the ninety-nine. Eight million people in this crazy, beautiful city, and I, Jenna Maroney, am going to go to town on every last one of them.” Words to live by, those are.
So, Rockers, did this episode live up to your great ‘sexpectations’? Or did you think that it was just ‘a thug in a cocktail dress’? Sound off below!