'30 Rock': Jack's Back!

Will_lJoy! Rumors of Jack Donaghy’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. One week after his undignified meltdown at the feet of Jerry Seinfeld, the savvy network exec is back to what he does best: Plotting world domination. When General Electric CEO Don Geiss (Rip Torn) hints at retirement, Donaghy positions himself for succession. But he’s outflanked by gay corporate rival Devin Banks (Will Arnett, pictured), who conveniently proposes to Geiss’ homely middle-aged daughter. Arnett’s return — yes, he still has the hots for Kenneth — sparks the entire episode, as he threatens Jack’s recovering heart with rich cuisine, and playfully wrestles with a sweaty hunk ("Oh God, you’re having your way with me! Your back is like a barrel of snakes") at a corporate picnic. More importantly, the man simply brings out the best in Jack. Their whispery mano a manos are like some gloriously-warped vision of Glengarry Glen Ross, if David Mamet had been replaced with Adam McKay. I only hope Banks’ engagement to the Geiss crone sticks, if only to keep him around 30 Rock as Jack’s own personal "Newman."

Thankfully, Tracy and Kenneth’s own "marriage" of convenience didn’t last. Let’s be blunt: cosmically and comically, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Kenneth’s domestic servitude after Angie kicked Tracy out of the house was a disappointing thread in the season premiere. At least their swift break-up treated us to Kenneth’s excruciating come-ons, when he awkwardly hit on Angie ("I’m a real good sex person. I do it all the different ways.") Ummm, maybe Banks shouldn’t give up on his crush too quickly. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Kenneth).

Plus, I’m grateful for any opportunity to sift through the loony binof Tracy Jordan, and his marital separation provided severalopportunities. We now know that he lives on Da’ Crib Avenue and has avanity license plate that reads "ICU81MI," which makes perfect senseonly to him ("I See You Ate One, Am I?") But the real gems were his"Thriller"-esque video for "Werewolf Barmitzva," and the honorary keyto the city of Gary, Ind. That’s pure gold, Tina Fey.

Speaking of: Where were you, Liz Lemon? Last week, I suggested theshow give her some room to breathe, but this wasn’t what I had in mind.Her role was, quite literally, toothless, as she suffered some dentaldiscomfort, and encouraged Jenna to quit her Japanese porn star diet(just eat paper) and come to terms with her undigested pizza. Do youfeel like Liz Lemon took a back seat, and if so, did you mind? Baldwinand Morgan get the laughs, but like the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine, 30 Rock requires three distinct flavors. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle in the Lemon.

Comments (59 total) Add your comment
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  • marykate

    was it me, or was Alec Bladwin looking a little sexier than normal last night?

  • Nancy

    Oh my gosh, Kenneth’s line “I do it al the different ways” is still cracking me up today. 30 Rock is not perfect, but it’s still my favorite show on TV right now (until Lost gets back). And MaryKate, I’m not completely sure why, but I always find Alec Baldwin sexy.

  • Philip

    Anyone else notice the picture of the Unabomber in the office of Dr Spacemen

  • NatAttack

    Best line of the night: “I will make your heart EXPLODE.”

  • megan

    the best part is when angie told tracy about “this white boy came to the door, kissed me, threw up and then cried.”

  • Melissa

    I saw the Unabomber, and my boyfriend saw Alf.
    Awesome, awesome show. Harvard gay Business Review.
    Love it. Best show on tv.

  • NineDaves

    what about jenna! she was my favorite part last night! her scene with dr. spaceman? “i don’t want to look like i just had a baby or something.” pure genus. and the “you do the meth” flyer. that’s tina fey at her best. i will be saying “me want foooooood” for the next year or so. i may even buy a t-shirt!

  • NineDaves

    also, i think the words to “werewolf barmitzva” might help your story. “werewolf barmitzva / very scary / boys becoming men / men becoming wolves.” when will i get to see that full video, a la robin sparkles’ “let’s go to the mall?”

  • Michelle

    That episode definitely showed why 30 Rock won the Emmy. How can you beat comic gold guest appearances by Will Arnett and Chris Parnell? And I absolutely loved how Jenna showed her true, hard-core narcissism by wanting to remain fat to get attention.

  • luvhoney

    I watched my first episode of 30 Rock last week because of Seinfeld. I watched again this week, and will be tuning in next week. I am now fan. And also kind of bummed that I ignored it so long, because I now I have missed some great comedy. Werewolf Barmitzva – I want that song!

  • Dave


  • snarky

    The show was gret last night, which just proves that it is genius – even without its main character it is highsterical. I love me some Lemon, (“$4,000 ham napkin!”), but i think the show is perfect as is. Don’t change a THING. BTW, Kenneth the page is priceless.

  • Stephanie

    A boy becomes a man, and a man becomes a werewolf.
    This show is f-ing genius.

  • Louise

    I love this show. It actually takes a wee bit of the sting away from the cancellation of Arrested Development. Also, why isn’t Will Arnett more famous? Is there anyone on television funnier and more charming than him?

  • GingerCat

    I, too, want to know why Will Arnett isn’t more famous. He needs some good movie roles. But this role on 30 Rock is a good fit too.

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