What the blerg, 30 Rock? Why would you save so much awesomeness for the end of the series? There is so much great stuff in this episode that I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant!
Let’s break it down…
First off, let me wipe the egg off my face for being wrong about Kenneth (Jack McBrayer). The writers finally step up this week and not only return Kenneth’s page uniform to him, but promote him to the President of NBC! I can’t even explain how excited I am to see the finale next week, because if it’s anything like the train wreck that was Gold Case, Kenneth’s vision for NBC is going to blow us away. And how perfect is the Willy Wonka set-up? From the five candidates even mimicking the fashions and accents of the kids from the movie, to Kenneth’s ridiculous test of MacGuffin as C.B. Essington, the allusion is executed brilliantly. Although it’s a little sad that we don’t get to see Jack (Alec Baldwin) serenade Kenneth.
This homage is done so well that I almost hate to add a caveat, but after enduring Kenneth ‘the janitor’ for two seasons, it’s warranted: if this was the plan for Kenneth all along (there have been hints that Kenneth would end up with everything one day throughout the series), why didn’t the writers promote him back to a page earlier in the season? It wouldn’t have made his rise to president any less fantastic, and it would’ve given him much more to do than just hang around wearing his janitor’s uniform (made of toilet-clog hair, no less), pushing his broom and giving exposition. It’s awesome, but nearly a case of “too little, too late.”
Meanwhile, Liz (Tina Fey) and Criss (James Marsden) learn that their twins are flying into the city today. But while Criss is off trying to be a good future parent and buying his kids a trampoline, Liz is busy trying to save TGS from cancellation. This A-story is just so rich that I’m sad that we don’t get to see more of Liz’s attempts to get sponsors like Bro Body Douche. Here’s just one example of the brilliantly witty repartee that comes out of their meeting of the minds:
The Douche: “I get it. You need a sugar daddy. So dazzle me. Why should Bro Body Douche get in TGS’s panties?”
Liz: “Well, broseph…”
The Douche: “Sup?
Liz: “I think TGS and Bro Body Douche would be tight.”
The Douche: “Totes?”
Liz: “Nah mean? No homo.”
The Douche: “Mos def.”
I’ll even award the show a gold star because the need to slash the show’s budget actually gives producer Pete (Scott Adsit) a significant role on the show! It’s good to see you again, Pete (even if only for a few moments)!
The kids, Terry and Janet, finally arrive and Liz meets them at the airport, and who do they resemble but eight-year old versions of the two children she’s been raising for years: Tracy (Tracy Morgan) and Jenna (Jane Krakowski). It’s only fitting that our perennially tragic Liz finally achieves her dream of being a mom and winds up with another blonde diva who primps for the “cam-e-ra” and another young boy who can’t go to school because of his lizard.
- The adult-yet-less-mature adult versions of Liz’s kids provide the episode’s runner, and it’s one of the best projects that Tracy and Jenna have ever embarked on. Their proposed movie “Heads of State: The rise of Doctor Ronfulus” has box office smash written all over it. Especially when you’ve got such deep characters like Gretchen Vanderhausen, a sexy twenty-something president, and her Siamese twin Nick, a down-on-his-luck but muscular Santa Claus. I’ll be first in line on 13/13/13 (January 13, 2014).
- Anyone else want to admit to holding their DVR hostage with episodes of Treme? I may or may not have had the first disc of the first season sitting on my coffee table for a couple months before sending it back to Netflix unwatched…
- Even Kenneth’s jokes are highlights tonight. Classics include bleeding NBC colours blue and grey (especially when he stepped on that nail), and how he caters his tours to his guests, such as “accidentally” walking in on a blonde woman peeing whenever he’s showing Japanese tourists around.
- Subhas definitely gets the best last word of the TGS crew: “Subhas out. Suck it!”
Your turn! What do you hope to see on Kenneth’s fantastical new NBC? And raising which set of kids would push you to stick your head in an oven first: Tracy and Jenna or Terry and Janet? Sound off in the comments below!
And make sure that you come back next week for the SERIES FINALE! I’ll be bringing back the 30 Rock-Does-Things Award for a special review!
30 Rock airs its one-hour finale next Thursday, January 31, at 8pm EST on NBC