A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" double-feature - and why I may be taking a break from reviews for a while - coming up just as soon as Santa Claus takes a shower...
There was a time when getting two episodes of "30 Rock" in one night would have been the highlight of my TV week. The way this season has gone, though, seeing those two episodes on my DVR's list of scheduled recordings only filled me with dread. Watching only one "30 Rock" has felt like a chore lately, and two in short order - both featuring plots where Jack tries and fails to choose between Avery and Nancy - was even moreso.
And where I was able to say earlier this season that even the weak episodes had enough funny jokes on the side to make the viewing time worth it, I mostly spent this combined hour saying to myself, "Okay, I recognize what joke they're going for here" - case in point, both Jack's situation and the janitor spat as Conan/Leno parody(*) - but never actually laughing.
(*) A few weeks back, some of you convincingly argued that the Tracy-as-Bizarro-Tiger-Woods story worked independently of the ripped-from-the-headlines aspect, since it was also a nice role reversal for Tracy (and since plenty of other celebrities have also gotten in trouble for stepping out on their wives). With Khonani, there was no way to view it as anything but Conan, and yet it already felt dated, since the actual mess happened months ago, and since Conan ultimately chose TBS over Fox. The speed with which "South Park," "The Daily Show" and some other series can respond to events in the news like this has made it a lot tougher on shows like "30 Rock" that work on a more elongated schedule.
I don't want to be the crank making the same complaints about episodes week after week, and it's entirely possible that if I can step away from having to write about each episode - a process that requires me to figure out what worked and what didn't, and why - I might start to enjoy "30 Rock" again. (That plan worked wonders for me and "Grey's Anatomy," where I still watch it most weeks and can focus on the parts I like, since I don't have to write about the parts I don't.) So until we get a "30 Rock" episode or two that makes me laugh early and often the way the show used to, I think I'm hiatus'ing it from the blog rotation. Happier for everyone that way.
But for this week, what did everybody else think?