30 Rock Review: "Florida" (Episode 7.10)
There was a point in this week’s episode of 30 Rock where I screamed at the TV, “’Good God, Tina! You only have three episodes left. Stop wasting precious screen time on Hazel.”
Hazel is easily my least favorite character the NBC comedy has ever come up with. The show is under no obligation to give viewers exactly what they want as it winds down its run, but does it have to give viewers exactly what they DON’T want? Give me more of Grizz and Dot Com. More of Pete. More of Cerie. These are the secondary and tertiary characters I will truly miss.
But Hazel was back suing TGS for sexual harassment and, as the TGS lawyer (guest star Tim Meadows) said, “her deposition was very gross.” That’s my problem with Hazel in general—she’s more creepy than funny.
Interestingly, the other thing the “Florida” episode chose to do was address why Liz and Jack never had a romantic relationship. To me, the duo has never, ever been a will-they-or-won’t-they couple. I mean, this isn’t Castle. I’ve always liked the fact that a possible romance wasn’t even on the table. They were colleagues. Sometimes Jack was more of a father figure to Liz. Sometimes Liz was the only rational one. They respected each other and loved each other. TV needs more of this type of male/female friendship.
Jack must go to Florida to settle his mother’s estate and Liz, trying to prove that she can be spontaneous, accompanies him. Jack thinks his mother has left everything to her maid, Martha, but she really left everything to her girlfriend, Martha. It seems Colleen had become a lesbian late in life. This is something Jack has a very difficult time accepting.
To prove that his mother could have shared a bed with Martha platonically, Jack insists on sharing the one guest bed in his mother’s house with Liz. We got to see Liz’s turtleneck pajamas (of course she has turtleneck pajamas!) and a frank conversation between the pair. Liz wonders why nothing ever happened between them, not that she wanted it to, but worries that it was because she’s not fun. Plus Jack is “kind of a slut.” Ha!
The show has experienced a certain freedom all season long—they know it’s the end, so they didn’t have to worry about who they might offend. And 30 Rock really doesn’t seem to care if they anger any viewers in Florida (or maybe they know they don’t have any viewers in Florida?). Earlier this season Jack referred to the state as “the penis of America.” This week Martha offered Jack warm Gatorade as a beverage, and when Jack called 911, the recording said “Press 3 if you want to know why JAG wasn’t on this week.”
While Liz and Jack are away, Tracy and Jenna decide that they are in charge which, of course, leads to expected disastrous results. I don’t expect to see any growth from these two, but their shtick is getting a little old.
By the end of the episode, Liz agrees to adopt a brother and a sister. While she’s on that emotional high, she learns that Hank has canceled TGS due to Hazel’s lawsuit and because of the “den of sin you’ve built here.” Next Friday will be the last show. I didn’t really understand how Hank could cancel the show if Jack is the incoming CEO. Couldn’t Jack just uncancel it?
In its third-to-last outing, 30 Rock wasted prime real estate on a character I can do without. But maybe, like a child who argues with his parents the summer before he leaves for college, I’m being harsh because I’m not ready to let the show go.
A few other thoughts:
• It’s disappointing that we haven’t seen Criss since he and Liz got married.
• Hank told Liz she was glowing. In TV speak that usually means a character is pregnant. Could the series end with Liz being pregnant and having two adopted children? That’s the kind of plot twist that always happened on TV, but I would still be totally for it.
• “I love my mother, Lemon, obviously because of Stockholm Syndrome.” Once again, even the throwaway lines on 30 Rock are hilarious.
• Seriously, I need more of Grizz and DotCom before we say goodbye to the TGS gang.