After last week’s slight misstep, it’s nice to see a return to normalcy. The high production value is back, the acting is better and the characters are all themselves, not some exaggerated cartoon versions.
Jack hasn’t done a single thing wrong in almost 24 hours (something called “Reaganing”) and hopes to solve Liz’s Everest-sized sexual hangups and save her and Carol’s relationship, Tracy is tasked with appearing in a Boys and Girls Club commercial which unfortunately means he has to memorize one simple line and Jenna tricks Kenneth into teaming up with her in scamming an ice cream place.
Kelsey Grammer appeared as the violent con-man version of himself who teams up with Jenna and Kenneth in their ice cream con. I was never a fan of Frasier but always thought Grammer had excellent comedy chops and he did not disappoint. It’s always a treat to see an actor like him play himself in a much darker light.
Also present were a few awesome digs at cable news personalities. Jack wants to confront Rachel Maddow because only one of them can have that haircut. Jack also offers a disgusting story about Greta van Susteren’s “head transplant” in an effort to console Liz.
Usually, when there’s a flashback in an episode of 30 Rock, it’s a scene crafted specifically for that episode. There were still some hilarious episode-specific flashbacks tonight, including Jenna dancing as a spoon on an ice cream float in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we were also treated to Liz’s references to sex in episodes past (including her discomfort regarding the words “relationship” and “climax”).
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s really awesome to have a network comedy that stays funny and relevant after five years. 30 Rock rewards people who pay attention and does away with that awful laugh track (except in last week’s misstep).