Friday, November 14, 2008

30 Rock, "The One With the Cast of 'Night Court'": With Friends like this...

Spoilers for last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I do "mannequin comes to life"...

When all the big-name guest stars for this season of "30 Rock" were announced, there was a lot of concern that Oprah, Steve Martin and company would start to dominate the show in the same way that all those latter-era guest stars did for "Will & Grace." Having seen how gracefully Tina Fey and company incorporated guest stars in seasons past -- including another former "Friends" star -- I wasn't too worried, and certainly Megan Mullally and Oprah didn't take over the show the past two weeks.

Jennifer Aniston, on the other hand, almost did. I thought she was very funny and un-Rachel-like, but it felt her presence turned Liz Lemon into a bystander in her own show, in the same way that Tracy Jordan's arrival turned "The Girlie Show" into "TGS with Tracy Jordan." (Would this be "3R with Jennifer Aniston"?)

Again, I thought Aniston gave a good comic performance. So I can't decide whether it's a screentime issue (she was in this one a lot more than Oprah was in last week's episode), or simply a matter of her personal life and the tabs creating this impenetrable halo of celebrity around her to the point where it's impossible to watch her in anything -- particularly something this relatively small-scale -- without seeing imaginary flashing neon letters spelling out "JENNIFER ANISTON! OMFG!" in every scene. That's not her fault, nor is it her ex-husband's new wife's, or Bennifer 1.0, or any of the other celebs who get consumed by the tabloids like that, but there can unfortunately be something as becoming too famous.

That said, the Claire story did provide writer Jack Burditt the opportunity to dip into one of the show's deepest comedy wells: Jack Donaghy talking about sex. Alec Baldwin get this wonderfully juvenile gleam in his eye whenever Jack's getting lucky or using phrases like "emotionally unstable women are fantastic in the sack," and it's always delightful.

(Liz uncomfortably pretending to talk about sex is also funny: see her story about the guy from Chili's who "gave me the business.")

But is it wrong that I got a much bigger kick out of the episode's other Ghosts of NBC Thursdays Past? If John Larroquette wasn't going to do it, they got the right collection of "Night Court" alums (I always thought Charles Robinson should have had a better career after that show ended), and it was fun to watch Kenneth be horrified to discover that even his past idols could bicker the way Jenna and Tracy always do. (Maybe the funniest thing in the entire episode: the ashamed look on Kenneth's face when he admits to Jenna that he did know she played the were-lawyer for three episodes in the final season of "Night Court.")

The storyline also gave plenty of opportunity for patented Tracy lines like, "Court? At night? I'm laughing already!" and, in response to Liz's complaints about copyright infringement and broken union rules, "I want a different answer!," plus the weird meta moment when Tracy notes that if this were an actual episode of "Night Court," we'd get a joke right now, followed by a long pause. And the subplot also gave the Claire story a good conclusion by having Jack complain about how the real night court compares to the show, followed by a snippet of the "Night Court" theme music as Jack and Liz walked out of the courthouse.

Some other thoughts:

• Is this the first episode to feature Pete's new bit in the opening credits? I watched the first two episodes on screeners, which often don't bother to update the main title sequence.

• "TGS" itself has basically become an afterthought, but I like that we're continually told it's not supposed to be very good. Here, Liz is giddy when Variety gives them a "shout out" by calling it "a comedy show."

• One of my favorite small moments of the episode: Liz, Jenna and Claire start jumping up and down giddily at their reunion, and Kenneth joins in for a moment, only to start sobbing over the hated new page uniform.

• I know Fey has made it clear that Liz and Jack will never hook up -- and agree 100% with that decision -- but does someone want to analyze the looks on their faces as they're deciding what to say in response to Claire's threesome suggestion?

• Funnier name: Mi Yao, or Esmerelda Fitzmonster?

• Can any hardcore "Night Court" fanboys or girls (if such a thing exists) remember if the series did, in fact, end with Harry and Christine on the verge of marriage? I lost track of how many times those two hooked up and then broke up. And if Tracy's playing Mac in a "Night Court" movie, who should play the other parts?

What did everybody else think?

64 comments:

J said...

These things careen along so fast and bring enough funny that I think I've forgotten how to tell good from great. I laughed lots, and the ep didn't wind up with Aniston's character doing some predicatably sitcommy jealous-of-Tina turn, so I'm cool with it.

What I couldn't understand was, given all the promo for Aniston's appearance, how the network failed to call attention to a full-on partial Night Court reunion.

I'd actually pay to see Krakowski and Ellen Foley do a Meatloafoff. I don't know why, but I would. And times are tough.

Chris Littmann said...

You know it's a funny episode when you didn't even get to mention maybe may favorite part: Cerie's throwaway line about the club called Aquarium where women dance in an area encased by water and men feed them!

Jon Delfin said...

"Is this the first episode to feature Pete's new bit in the opening credits? I watched the first two episodes on screeners, which often don't bother to update the main title sequence."

Wait, I can't FF through the opening credits every week? Sigh. Thanks for the heads-up.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You know it's a funny episode when you didn't even get to mention maybe may favorite part:

And I forgot yet another one: Kenneth doing a fake freeze-frame, ala the end of every episode of "Police Squad!"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Wait, I can't FF through the opening credits every week? Sigh. Thanks for the heads-up.

My wife won't allow me to. It's one of her favorite parts of the show.

And, in theory, if you just want to see Pete's new thing, you only need to watch it once. I doubt they're going to be changing it again as the season moves along.

John Royal said...

I liked Harry Anderson asking Liz if she was a network exec and if they might have a part in Heroes for a magician.

JoelW said...

Too much good Donaghy for me to complain. The "objectively awesome" line had me cracking up.

georgekaplan said...

How could "F Train" be such an obvious, easy euphemism and still so funny (to me, anyway)? Is there a place where I can place bets on future catch-phrases?

And let's not forget the fundraiser for the fundraising org with hopes of better success than the cocktail party for the rehab center.

That First Andrew said...

My favorite moment:

Kenneth: This is the bestmy life! First I found a quarter this morning, and now this!

Guy Who pLayed Mack: You know, I lost a quarter this morning...

And Kenneth's smile doesn't even dim as he hands it over. AWESOME.

David J. Loehr said...

Pete's new bit started in the season premiere. I usually FF through credits, but I just like the music so much, I actually let it play, especially now that they don't go to a commercial break right afterwards.

One of my favorite moments--thank you, subtlety--was Liz's "I'll attempt a hairstyle," and then getting to see her waiting in line, and by God, attempt is maybe not the word...

I also like Kenneth's "a reunion of friends...from Night Court!"

As I recall, Night Court ended with Harry getting several job offers but deciding to stay put, Christine going off to Congress, Dan quitting and falling in love and Bull being abducted by aliens. I think maybe I agree with Kenneth...

carol said...

"I haven't been blindfolded since I played the piano for that weird party."

So it was Kenneth in "Eyes Wide Shut." Who knew?

chris w said...

Line of the night:

"What's the matter, Ken? You got wife-eyes."

AnastasiaBeaverhausen said...

"..the ashamed look on Kenneth's face when he admits to Jenna that he did know she played the were-lawyer for three episodes in the final season of "Night Court.")"

I took that as his not mentioning it because he shared the opinion of the cast that Jenna was responsible for the demise of "Night Court" and since we know Kenneth doesn't lie and is always a gentleman, he would never have never brought it up with her.

I'll be in the minority and say this episode was not great and it was not great because of Jennifer Aniston who is comedy Kryptonite and equals the death of fun, onscreen anyway.

I don't think it's due to her tabloid status, I think it's due to her lack of range and comedic ability. (I'm actually Team Aniston in the "Uncool" debate, to the miniscule degree to which I care about that matter, so it's not that I hate Jennifer Aniston).

I didn't mind the Oprah thing too much, but this was stunt casting/movie promotion gone bad. And I worry that in hopes of attracting new viewers, we're missing out on the things that make the show so great - I'll take Dot Com and Grizz over Oprah and Jennifer Aniston. And what a waste of Tracy Morgan. I laughed more at his awesome appearance on "Today" than I did at all of last night's episode.

The Godfather said...

"The F-Train" was a great running bit.

StickUpKid said...

I was reluctant to join the 30 Rock bandwagon but it has definetly become appointment television.

Aniston was good, although her overexposure grates on me (see her apperance on oprah earlier in the day showing pics of her dogs. WHO CARES!!!) Was I the only one who saw the "grab a cop's gun crazy" line coming back around at some point? Nevertheless, a funny episode. Kenneth's elongated cheer at the end had me rolling despite seeing it in the commercials. (And is Marky Post a good looking woman for her age or what!?)

The one thing I really want to stir up conversation about is, gee, how excited are we all to finally be blessed with a Rosie O'Donnel variety show? Does sarcasm translate in type?

I saw that commercial and about chokes on my chicken teriyaki. Wasn't her HBO special on the cruise enough punishment for the viewing public? In these tough economic times should we really be taking part in this type of Pork-belly spending? Sorry cheap shot. But she does suck!

Evie Garland said...

I wonder if they had had the same episode, but with an unknown actress playing the friend, would anyone say there was too much of her? Sitcoms often use the "old friend visiting" as a plot, and the old friend always has a huge part. So it didn't bother me seeing Aniston so much, and I thought she did a great job. I especially loved the happy birthday scene.

And I take the F train every day...I wish I meant that figuratively rather than literally!

Carolyn said...

@david j loehr: the hairstyle was the moment for me as well!! otherwise I found this episode kinda lame. I was never a big Night Court groupie.

Nicole said...

I can't say that I was a Night Court superfan, but I did watch the show a lot when it was in syndication, and it was probably that and Street Legal that helped me decide to become a lawyer.

The Kenneth freeze frame was more likely an homage to how Night Court ended each episode because there would usually be a sort of silly coda that ended in a freeze frame. I was really excited to see the Night Court cast, even though John Larroquette was a no-show. With JA already guesting, it probably would have been too much anyway. I was secretly hoping that Brent Spiner would reprise his yokel character from the show, but knew it was unlikely to happen.

I liked the Night Court stuff better than the main plot, except for Alec Baldwin. He was the reason any of that plot worked. Aniston was only really funny for me in the Esmerelda Fitzmonster scene, and the rest was so-so. I'm probably influenced by her overexposure in the tabloids and her participation in continuing the "pity me" routine years after divorce. Obviously I don't condone adultery, but the more I hear about it, the more I think it is used as a publicity gimmick, or else she needs a lot of therapy if she isn't over this yet. So, it was hard to separate this from the character, and she isn't a good enough actress to do it.

mp said...

What the heck is Richard Moll doing that he couldn't have been there, too?

Alan Sepinwall said...

The Kenneth freeze frame was more likely an homage to how Night Court ended each episode because there would usually be a sort of silly coda that ended in a freeze frame

Oh, I get that. My point was that pretending to do a freeze-frame by standing still, while other people are moving around you, was one of the great running gags from the end of every episode of "Police Squad." Here's a collection of "Police Squad" epilogues.

R.A. Porter said...

Alright, too many others said all that needed to be said about the episode, but I've got a casting choice for Night Court: The Movie. Clancy Brown as Bull.

Toby said...

My favorite line - "No group hugging! Who DOES that, anyway?"

Within the framework of the show, I don't think Tracy Morgan would have invited Richard Moll to be in that reunion. (Probably thought he really had gone to Saturn!) But I'm surprised he didn't try to get Marsha Warfield. (Or at least dress up as her bailiff character himself!)

Justin said...

I'm not complaining because they're almost always funny, but it's getting to be like a game with 30 Rock: "Guess which seemingly throwaway line will show up later in the episode."

It was no "mind grapes," but Claire being "grab a cop's gun crazy" was pretty amusing.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping someone would have either questioned or explained one of the jokes last night that I just didn't get.

Liz says about Jennifer Aniston's character "We had a name for her back in Chicago, but it's too rude to say out loud..." Liz then writes something down on her Variety and shows Jack, who says "Crazy Putty?" to which Liz says "No!". And then Jack says "Oh..."

I didn't get it at all, someone please expalain...

R.A. Porter said...

@anon, I'm ashamed to admit I'm with you on that. Which kills me, being as I'm both wordy AND vulgar and NEVER fail to get any dirty wordplay.

Ego tells me it means nothing, but the writers put it in to keep the audience scratching heads. Good boy, Ego! That's a good Ego, keeping daddy's pride intact!

mp said...

I certainly could be wrong, but I assumed it had to be "crazy [nickname for a kitty cat]"

Nicole said...

I was thinking that the "t"s were misread and should have been "s"s.

Bix said...

Night Court ended with Dan realizing he was in love with Christine and deciding to follow her to DC.

Zeke said...

I actually think Jennifer Anniston is VERY responsible for our thinking of her strictly as a tabloid fixture and not a real actress (and I thought the first seasons of Friends when she was playing Rachel Green and not Jennifer Anniston, she was quite good.)

She never had to do a million magazine covers with their attached trivial interviews, share her dating life, go on Oprah, etc. There would still be coverage to be sure -- lots maybe -- but look at how the rest of the cast of Friends are (for better or for worse) known for their varying comedic chops and acting ability.

She was okay in the episode -- not her fault that they used way too much of her (I have a feeling that sort of push comes from the network.) She can be funny at times, and is certainly fit.

I do like how they gave this episode a Friends-like title.

And yes, the Charlie Robinson bit with the quarter was hilarious.

KB said...

I thought Aniston was great. Its funny to hear everyone saying she's so overexposed because last night I kept thinking its been forever since I've seen her in anything. I almost forgot how great she can be. If you don't read tabloids or watch daytime tv, she's not really all that exposed.

Also enjoyed the Night Court reunion but since they didn't even mention any of the bailiffs, I was somewhat distracted wondering if Richard Moll (Bull) might be dead. I'm happy to find out today that he's not. Maybe its because I was a kid when Night Court was on, but Bull was easily my favorite character and sort of defined the show for me.

Very good episode overall, so many great lines. And for the record, I thought Jack was totally down with the threeway suggestion. That was perhaps my favorite line, totally unexpected and delivered perfectly.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

Night Court was originally supposed to end after its eighth season, and the writers (who had been brought in to rescue the show after its disastrously bad seventh season) planned to end it with Harry and Christine getting married. Then they got a surprise pickup for a ninth season, and had to scrap the idea.

Then, at the end of the (possibly even worse than the seventh) ninth season, the producers apparently expected to get another season, so they didn't come up with a finale. But then NBC announced that they weren't picking them up, so they had to throw together something at the last minute and pass it off as a finale. Hence the famously awful, Dan-loves-Christine, Bull-abducted-by-aliens finale that made Kenneth so sad.

Hal Incandenza said...

...plus, if I'm not mistaken, they did throw in a freeze-frame right at the very, very end of the ep. Am I losing my mind?

Favorite line: "this is worse than the actual final episode!"

R.A. Porter said...

@mp, @nicole...well, that would explain it, and also explain how someone as vulgar as I am wouldn't have thought of that. It just doesn't seem far enough.

Of course, I still gauge network vulgarity by how close it comes to the bar set by The Loop. So I automatically assumed "crazy putty" was going to be as bold as "The Rusty Trombone".

Garnet said...

Regarding the threesome: Liz was clearly mortified, and Jack was just going to go wherever his crazy lady led.

olucy said...

I'm probably in the minority, which is fine. But this episode was weird. And not necessarily a good weird. I can't quite put my finger on why.

I love this show as much as House loves Vicodin, so I'm always willing to give minor flaws a pass. I think it's great comedy and one of the best shows on TV right now.

Both storylines had their funny moments. This show is always dependable for a list of Top 10 favorite lines. Usually a 30 Rock ep has outstanding hilarious moments, and still gels as an overall episode. Maybe the Night Court and Claire storylines would have fared better handled separately. But in the same ep, nothing seemed to gel quite right.

I think Aniston's comedy abilities are just fine. She used them well during Friends. So it wasn't the whole "stunt casting" thing--this show does great with its guest casting.

But something definitely felt off.

Greg said...

I agree with Olucy. This show is far and away my favorite show on television, the one I look forward to every week. And I'll continue to do so, but something felt very, very wrong with this episode. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't 30 Rock.

I'll just consider this a week off and wait for 30 Rock to return next week.

dez said...

...plus, if I'm not mistaken, they did throw in a freeze-frame right at the very, very end of the ep. Am I losing my mind?

If you are, so am I because I saw the same thing you did.

I also agree that this ep felt off, but there were so many funny moments (like the first mention of Mi Yao) that I didn't mind. Plus-Harry Anderson! WOO!

belinda said...

I'm sure they didn't intend this, but I'm glad the promos didn't show the Night Court reunion bit - because I was happily surprised! Though I do feel that the plot A and B (but both hilarious! Whatever Aniston's real life drama is, she's a great comedic actress.) didn't come together as well than some previous episodes.

BTW, is the screensaver of a promo pic of TGS with Tracy, Jenna and Josh on the tv screen in the background the FIRST time we've seen Josh around this season? I kinda miss the worm! Is he even on the show anymore?

Jennifer J. said...

I'll just say hubby and I both really enjoyed last night's show.

Everyone has mentioned everything funny I would have mentioned so I'll go with 2 things I don't think I saw in the comments:

1) We, being huge Friends fans, really enjoyed the title of this episode (which Alan so graciously used).

2) Everytime I picture Jack in that brown sort of women's top hat with the blue ribbon I just start giggling (nearly to death). Doing it even now. He just looked so ridiculous in that hat! :)

tdf said...

I liked the episode but agree with your review. Unlike the other guest star episodes, in this one it was obvious the story had been written around Aniston rather than her just being part of it.

I think it was a combination this, her large amount of screen time, and the fact that she turned Jack into an almost unrecognisable character that made it feel slightly off. Take out one of those three factors and it would have worked a lot better.

It was still a very enjoyable episode though. My favourite part was Kenneth's line:

"finally giving America what it wants, a reunion of friends... from Night Court"

I'd also never heard of "Night Court" - I assumed it was just a made up show until I read your review!

Anonymous said...

Because Mac on Night Court was involved with an Asian woman, I expected him to get with Mi Yao somehow. I was disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Pete's bit in the credits appeared in the premiere (as others have mentioned). My question is, where IS Pete?! Have we seen him for more than 40 seconds total this season? COME ON!

Stef said...

I totally agree with the recent posters above that just something didn't work with this episode. I like Jennifer Aniston and I thought she did a fine job, really bringing out the hilarity of Alec Baldwin. Maybe Liz was less funny with her around? But i really didn't like the Night Court storyline, and I liked that show when it was on. It just didn't seem to fit, and doing N.C. without John Larroquette just seems pointless to me.

I have been a little disappointed with 30 Rock so far this season, and that may just be because The Office has been *so* on, that it's paling in comparison.

One question - when Jack met Claire and gave her a very quick rundown of sort of updates on New York, was that a little reference to it being a few years since Friends went off the air? I kinda took it as "Oh, since Rachel left NY (went off the air), here's what happened..."

Anonymous said...

mp and Nicole, thanks for the "Crazy Putty" explanation. That same thought actually did occur to me, but I found it so uncreative and lame for a "30 Rock" joke that I dismissed it. I really believed I was missing something much more clever having to do with the history of Silly Putty or an extreme play on words I was missing. I'm still hoping for something like that, because the obvious joke is just too, well, obvious and beneath the normal cleverness of this show.

While I've enjoyed the new season of 30 Rock, I'm also feeling the "it's off" wave too. I think, in the desperate attempt to goose ratings, these season 3 shows have focused way too much on the guest appearances at the expense of the normal TGS show dynamics (including Pete, Twofer, and other TGS players), and the GE political struggle, and is a lot different than the previous two seasons.

If they new Tina Fey was going to be the hottest thing around, it would have done 30 Rock a lot more good to push off these BIG STAR APPEARANCES till later in the season and just give new viewers a taste of the "real" 30 Rock that we've gotten the past two seasons. None of these Season 3 episodes have been memorable like so many of season 2. And it doesn't feel like 30 Rock as much as 30-Rock Lite with BIG STARS inserted in.

Allison said...

Last night's episode did feel kind of weird but of course still had tons of funny moments. I didn't like the Jennifer Aniston character--did she do anything that Jenna hasn't done some version of before?

Speaking of Jenna, for some reason it totally killed me that the were-lawyer was named Sparky Monroe. Too perfect.

Anonymous said...

I also was wondering about a Mac-Quon Lee/Mi Yao connection. However, I was sure Kenneth was going to make some reference to the deaths of Selma Diamond and her replacement Florence Halop.

Pamela Jaye said...

I'm confused (and it's r.a.'s fault) - why does the one with the cast of Night Court have a Friends title?

Granted, I was confused last year on my birthday, when Grey's (not Scrubs) came out with an ep called My Favorite Mistake.
(oh wait, that was ...no, it's still 2008, so yes it was last year)

R.A. Porter said...

@pamela jaye, it's just because Jennifer Aniston was guesting that they went with a Friends-style title.

Wow, I could not disagree with @stef more. I'm watching The Office out of loyalty at this point. I thought the season premiere was awesome, but I haven't enjoyed more than five minutes of any episode since.

chrissie said...

This might sound strange, but this episode felt more written than last week's. Something about Fey's performance and the writing last week felt so natural, and each scene connected seamlessly to the next.

This one felt like all of the "A" team writers were so preoccupied with the Oprah episode that the "B" team handled this one and ended up cramming a bunch of funny scene ideas together rather than developing a semblance of a plotline.

Anthony Foglia said...

Hmmm, I must differ with everyone. Of the two episodes, I thought last week's was weaker, and more disjointed, and had more of a special-event-guest-star feel. Yes, Aniston was on more than Oprah last week, but I'm more familiar with her as an actress, and not Oprah. And while Aniston might have been on Oprah this week, Tina Fey was on Oprah last week, which really made it feel like Oprah was promoting "30 Rock".

Anyway, here's my half-thoughts about the cast of "Night Court: The Movie"

For Bull, you need someone big, creepy, and odd. Brian Posehn

For Harry, there's a perfect choice. Someone who's funny, can do magic, and has experience playing someone young for the job. Wait for it... Neil Patrick Harris.

There is no better choice.

PS: Didn't some other show recently do the fake-freeze-frame gag?

Pamela Jaye said...

yeah, well, R.A. if you didn't have suddenly FF'ing thru every episode of Friends looking for a duck... ;-)

(the duck is much cuter without the tbs logos over him/her (and my duck friends say it's a him/her - apparently the animal wranglers weren't consistant in which one they used. I can't tell cause my duck doesn't quack. (well, hardly ever - she's half Muscovy. She mostly squeaks and twitters))

Night Court was, to me, one of those shows that had been on for *years* before I had ever even heard of it. So I have no idea except Dan was a lech, the tall guy died (didn't he?) and the judge liked Mel Torme.

(I think when they ran the finale of Friends, I watched the people on Lifetime watching it. and it's possible that, before this past week - I'd seen the actual set more often than the show itself.)
but the ducks are cute.

I just watched 30 Rock and I've forgotten most of it already.

Anonymous said...

The end credits with the Night Court theme playing really should've had a producer credit for Reinhold Weege ... they missed the boat there.

Chris

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to be a majority opinion, but for those that think the guest stars are overwhelming, I have to disagree. Last season had a guest star or two in almost every episode (Seinfeld, Sherri Shepherd, Steve Buscemi, Carrie Fisher, Harlem Globetrotter, Matthew Broderick, etc.). Maybe not anyone as "big" as Oprah or Aniston (although they did have Schwimmer and Al Gore in the same episode, so...), but it's not like 30 Rock is suddenly trying to get all these guest stars. They've always done that.

I don't think it's about the number of scenes either. Schwimmer had at least as many as Aniston did, whereas Buscemi's was more like Megan Mullally's appearance. If there's a problem with 30 Rock, it's not that they're getting guest stars or giving them parts that are too big.

lungfish said...

I always knew there was more to the Scottie Pippen's departure from the Bulls.

Craig said...

When did Harry Anderson turn into Edward Herrmann?

olucy said...

When did Harry Anderson turn into Edward Herrmann?

I know! I wondered the same thing!

filmcricket said...

For Harry, there's a perfect choice. Someone who's funny, can do magic, and has experience playing someone young for the job. Wait for it... Neil Patrick Harris.

Oh, my God, that's perfect.

The only thing this episode did for me was make me miss Night Court's super-funky theme song. I really haven't been feeling this show so far this season; I don't know what it is. I too miss the supporting players, and it seems like they're leaning way too heavily on Jack and (especially) Kenneth for all the laughs.

olucy said...

The Office is doing a decent job this season of incorporating the other office mates into the stories. They rotate them in, and it's fun. This show needs to do that, and fast. I miss the other characters in the writers' room.

Remember when this used to be a show about a beleaguered showrunner trying to produce a comedy show ever week and the wacky colleagues, boss and network she had to endure? Hilarity ensued!

And before everyone jumps me for that comment...I know, I know...it's not supposed to be about TGS or even a funny version of Studio 60. TGS isn't the focal point. But I kind of miss the old days when they at least alluded to working on a show together. I don't want 30 Rock to BE about that. But I don't want them to forget it, either.

LA said...

It's only a few episodes in, and I'm already weary of the stunt casting. 30 Rock is strong enough that it doesn't really need it. Tina's A-list now. Maybe I should be glad that she still has enough humility to take a backseat behind these big names, but honestly, she doesn't have to. I'd rather see a Liz Lemon-centric episode over one that features Oprah or Aniston any day.

Loved the Tracy/Kenneth B-story.

Craig said...

I think the show is still very funny however it has definitely changed from a workplace comedy to something a lot more surreal, almost in the Arrested Development vein.

dez said...

When did Harry Anderson turn into Edward Herrmann?

Maybe if Herrmann's not available for a role, Anderson could get it!

Ben said...

I actually had to pause the show and double check - "Edward Herrmann wasn't on Night Court, was he?"

Rover said...

I didn't even get the F-train metaphor until reading this post -- I live in NYC, and the F-train stops right underneath Rockefeller Center. While I knew the idea was that Aniston was headed to hook up with Jack, I totally missed the double entendre...

jazzfan360 said...

@ Chris: BAHAHAHAHAHA Reinhold Weege. They TOTALLY missed out!

I agree with Alan re: Charlie Robinson not having a better career. I still mourn for Buddy Faro...

And the main reason I was excited for the Night Court reunion was because my friends and I have spent years trying to figure out where Marsha Warfield disappeared to, and they didn't even get her. She didn't really make it out of the '90s, did she?

It makes sense that Larroquette wasn't there because he's actively working on Boston Legal in L.A. and would not have been available (or likely willing) anyway. It would've been funny if they'd been able to get him and he'd been the big ego preening and lording his eleventy-jillion Emmys over everybody and how he was too good for this, but they couldn't have done it without mentioning that he's on Boston Legal on a different network, which I don't think they would've done.

There was so much great throwaway stuff here. "I made you a white pizza...and a pot roast." Kenneth folding his suit like a retired American flag. Baldwin in that insane hat (almost IDENTICAL to a hideous hat Judith Light wore on Ugly Betty the same night) lamenting, "I look like Lewis Carroll."

And can't believe nobody mentioned the single best line, Jenna's remark about her hand-reduction surgery. That made me cry.