March 15, 2012

Quick Thoughts: 30 ROCK, "St. Patrick's Day"

So far, Season 6 of 30 Rock has been pretty hit or miss, and I've been thinking about cutting down on how much I cover it on this blog, but then we get an episode like "St. Patrick's Day," and I remember why I started liking this show to begin with.

It seems like this season's trying to strike a balance when it comes to how much time it dedicates to the Liz/Jack dynamic. They had some solid moments at the start, but we haven't been getting as much from the pairing as I'd like, but I'm OK with that as long as she's dealing with someone like Dennis. Bringing him back into the fold and helping Liz realize some her foibles so she didn't blow it with Criss was a nice touch and an encouraging sign that these characters are able to grow. Plus, we got some well-time (and of course offensive) Irish jokes and a darkly humorous nod to the Troubles thanks to Liz's storyline.

Speaking of Jack, I loved the fact that they teamed him up with some of the writers and having them riff on board/role-playing games like Settlers of Catan was something that only this show could pull off. My only quibble about Jack's plot had to do with the fact that we're still watching him go through this professional crisis because of Kabletown. Yes, issues like these are not solved over night, but it feels like he's been wrestling with this for over a year now which is forever in sit-com years.

The only real weak link this week was the Jenna/Tracy/Kenneth/Hazel story about the two actors hosting the St. Patrick's Day Parade coverage. Much like Jack's story, the rivalry between Jenna and Tracy in regards to which one's the star of TGS has run its course, and I'm ready for them to move on. What sucks is the fact that the writers have tried to have these two progress in the past, but then they saddle them with a story like this one which would have fit in during 30 Rock's earlier seasons. Add the fact that it looks like Kenneth's backsliding and Hazel's completely absurd character, and you've got a mess on your hands.

"St. Patrick's Day" will probably not go down as one of the best episodes of 30 Rock, but it had a decent amount of character development amongst all of the off-the-wall jokes to keep me happy, and it was better than "Leap Day" so that's a positive sign.


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