30 Rock review. Season 3 Premiere—”Do-Over”

TV Reviews 30 Rock


First off, it must be said how great it is to have 30 Rock back. Fall TV has been on the air for weeks now, but NBC decided to wait until the end of October to air the premiere of the best sitcom on television (sorry, Office fans, but it’s true). The show’s first installment of season three, “Do-Over,” was sort of like the first day of school after summer vacation: sort of awkward at times, but fast and buoyant and warmly familiar all the same.

“Do-Over” saw Liz Lemon work her little heart out to impress Bev (Megan Mullally), an adoption agency clerk picked to inspect her home and workplace to determine if she’s fit to be a mother. Here’s but five things we learned in this episode:

1. Will Arnett has swiftly become the funniest person on the show
Arnett’s Devon Banks consistently stole every scene he was in, be it squaring off with Jack, running barefoot through the park, or purposely getting hit by a car (driven by Tracy, no less.) He also provided us with a gold mine of uproarious quotes: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies so close that you’re almost kissing”; “Don’t even think about talking to her when her soaps are on. Seriously, she will bite you” (referring to Kathy); “It’s just G now, Jack. I sold the E to Samsung. They’re Samesung now”; and, last but not least, “Nice to see you Liz. Let’s chit-chat. What’s that, man trouble, bootcut jeans? Fine. Bye.”

2. Even Jack has morals (And Kathy Geiss is a Dora the Explorer panty-wearing sex freak! Who knew? Wait, who wanted to know?)
It was pretty obvious from the start Kathy Geiss was a freak, but when she reaches for Jack’s “swimsuit area” and yearns for his “strawberry mouth,” things are taken to a whole new level of weird. Jack ponders whether to give Kathy his “gift” in hopes of taking back control of the company, but that would mean resorting to Devon’s level. Thankfully, he doesn’t and cleverly wins her favor by the end of the episode.

3. Liz Lemon’s baby craving might become an over-arching story
Even when Liz got a do-over with Bev (after Frank knocked her out with his golden nun-chunks, as given by Tracy), Liz still wasn’t able to convince her she’s fit to raise a child, what with her 60 hour workweeks. She conceded this whole baby thing might take a while, suggesting she’s not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

4. Jenna’s resume gets weirder by the minute
The Rural Juror? Arliss? The musical adaptations of Con Air and Mystic Pizza? Now she’s collecting checks from spastic Japanese commercials that doll her up in thick eye makeup and pigtails and slap her around a bit. “I still don’t understand how that advertised Tokyo University,” she says. Us neither.

5. Something awful went down when Tracy visited the San Diego Zoo
Jenna accuses Tracy of not compensating for her voice-acting duties on his uber-successful video game (the “most profitable thing since the war on terror”) and threatens to sue, prompting Tracy to counter with this: “Who do you think you are, the San Diego Zoo?” Do we even want to know what happened?

Finally, here’s a semi out-there theory: Over the course of the first two seasons, it’s become increasingly apparent (we think) that the easy rapport between Jack and Liz seems to be building toward something. While a long-in-the-works romance between the two would be exactly the sort of conventional, clichéd storyline the series has avoided thus far, we wouldn’t be totally opposed to it. Liz and Jack (and the two gifted actors who play them) have considerable chemistry, and are always at their funniest when working and conspiring together. In an environment where they’re surrounded by crazy and crazier, the two have forged a unique partnership that adds new layers of depth with each episode. Perhaps it’s off-base, but it wouldn’t surprise (or disappoint) us to see it developed down the road. After all, they did almost kiss in this episode. Never mind the fact they both chickened out and looked mildly disgusted.

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