Friday, April 20, 2007

Cleveland, 'Rock'

Brief spoilers for "30 Rock," "Scrubs" and "Grey's Anatomy" coming right up...

"30 Rock" is edging close to permanently bullet-pointed status, where I have nothing to say but listing the stuff I found funny. Some highlights in this episode:
  • Tracy on the "Jefferson" budget: "It's gonna be at least 30 million dollars with all the Claymation sex scenes in it!"
  • "Well played, Garkle."
  • Kenneth's Michael McDonald impression
  • Jenna drunkenly trying on thongs in the background of the Liz/Phoebe scene (now, I didn't miss her when she was gone, but she definitely can add something when she surives to final cut)
  • The fact that Gordon from "Sesame Street" is an inner circle member of The Black Crusaders
  • Jack running
  • Liz trying mix in "By the Hammer of Thor!" (she and Will Ferrell really dig Norse pantheon references, don't they?) and "Blurg" (totally warranted after the guy spit in her mouth) into every conversation
  • "This is Frank's "Hot Baby" sketch, which is regrettable...."
  • Liz as catalog model
  • Jack once again in a tuxedo after 6
I love that show so much.

"Scrubs" essentially went one-for-three in its Ted/Jordan/The Todd spotlight episode. Ted's narration had me laughing so hard I had to take a break to cure my hiccups (preferred method: chugging a glass of water), but The Todd stuff really only amused me during his parenting fantasy, and the Jordan material just fell flat, outside of the Elliott/Dudemeister stuff on the periphery. Still, I'm glad they tried it, and it's given me ever-increasing appreciation for the multiple talents of Sam Lloyd. He can sing beautifully, is a master air-bandist, and now can do brilliant voiceover narration and rock a powder blue polyester suit? They don't pay him enough.

I said last time that I was done blogging "Grey's Anatomy" at length, so all I have to say about last night's is that, while Izzie's situation sucked for her, the character's been mangled so badly that I spent most of the episode rolling my eyes like she had just made a Virginia Tech shout-out to gain some sympathy for her previous odiousness. Katherine Heigl did what she could (well-aided by Chandra Wilson), but my hatred for Izzie -- and for the seemingly inevitable Izzie/George 'ship -- overwhelms all.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I was really hoping for a Bill Cosby cameo. Otherwise, I enjoyed this episode of 30 Rock.

I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy when they didn't kill off Meredith and I am unlikely to watch again, especially when 30 Rock is not a rerun.

Kris Eton said...


I was hoping the same would have been hilarious.

This was a good episode again. Very little Tracy. Just a bit of Jenna (a little of her character goes a long way, IMHO). These two elements always make for a better show.

I also wish I knew more about Cleveland, so I could have appreciated the song lyrics a little more.

Emily Mortimer has been a fantastic guest star.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more on Grey's. The only interesting storylines were Alex and Jane Doe and the Chief's pursuit of romance. Wouldn't it be great if Alex and the Chief left with Addison for the spin-off?

I see the writers are adding another arbitrary obstacle to the relationship between Meredith and Derek. This grew tiresome last time around. Now, he is going to drop Meredith so he can be chief, and we're all supposed to want them to get back together. Just like we are apparently supposed to want George and Izzie to get together. But George, Izzie, Meredith, and Derek are the most poorly behaved and least interesting characters on the show.

I mean, Meredith's reaction to the pseudo-mom was just ridiculous.

Unknown said...

I used to live in Cleveland, and believe me, the lyrics were spot on.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree about Jenna -- that she definitely can add something when she's there -- and that being the case, the writers should come up with more for her to do.

Off-topic: NBC is tracking how well Black Donnellys is doing at, and may give it another 13 order if their 2007-2008 drama development field is weak. If you enjoyed "Donnelly's," surf over and watch the unaired eps.

Anonymous said...

30 Rock is the new Arrested Development, with funkier music. Oh, and with a future. The episode when Tracy danced on Conan lodged that music in my brain, never to leave again.

Why is it that a sitcom like 30 Rock can handle a multi-episode character arc like Jack's avian auctioneer assistant while most hour long dramas feel the need to wrap things up neatly?

Anonymous said...

Off-topic to Dennis Wilson's off-topic: Is NBC also tracking Friday Night Lights viewing at its web site? That's how I watched most of the season, which I loved. I'd like to think those views count somewhere in their decision-making.

Anonymous said...

I think your Grey's point of view is not objective or particularly rational. Whilst I am not convinced the George / Izzie thing is a good idea - I really dont see how Izzie has been so bad unlikeable. The other characters have done far worse things yet she seems to be getting an unfair amount of criticism. Aside from that Katherine Heigl's performances have been outstanding despite the rollercoaster the writers have taken her character through. If you cant enjoy the brilliance of her work or see that its been great entertainment then that is your loss.

Anonymous said...

Jack running was, without question, amazing. So was Liz's book (which you saw when she was searched at the subway) was called 'You're going to be OK,' I got quite the chuckle out of that.

I agree that a Cosby cameo would have put this episode over the top, but Tracy burning a Roaker cut-out made up for it.

I also have to go with the majority on Izzie, ever since Denny she's just become more and more unlikable. I miss the S1 early S2 Izzie that was a funny roommate and a great friend (and foil) for George and actually wanted what was best for him.

(and sorry about my sarcastic House comment from a few threads ago, I don't know why I thought you commented on that).

Susan said...

One more bullet point for me to add to the "30 Rock" list: I love that every time Phoebe sees Liz, she re-introduces herself.

Grey's: meh. Although I do think Katherine Heigl continues to do great work with crappy writing and storylines.

Anonymous said...

Tina, yes FNL web hits are being watched as well, but it's not such a longshot for renewal, according to some friends at NBC. "Donnellys" needs a miracle.

Unknown said...

"How Sex and the City are we, right now? I'm Samantha, and she's Charlotte, and you're the lady who sits at home who watches it."

bill said...

Oh, you like Wagner?

No, it's Bugs bunny: kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit!

Donlee Brussel said...

Is there anyway to throw a Hail Mary for "Studio 60." I think people would much rather watch that than "Black Donnelys."

bill said...

Is there anyway to throw a Hail Mary for "Studio 60." I think people would much rather watch that than "Black Donnelys."

As 3 is a larger number than 2, technically you are correct.

Anonymous said...

Did Richard Cheese sing the Cleveland song on 30 Rock? The lyrics were hilarious and it had that elevator music style that Cheese does so well.

Donlee, for my money they should give a shot to any other drama besides Studio 60 OR Black Donnellys. Studio 60 had great acting but bad story lines and TBD had terrible acting and average story lines.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway to throw a Hail Mary for "Studio 60." I think people would much rather watch that than "Black Donnelys."

Problem is, not enough viewers watched either of them. But Black Donnellys was the better show. Studio 60 is dead.

Anonymous said...

One of my other favorite 30 Rock moments was when Liz was talking to Jack's assistant about herself and the phone rings and he says "Thank God!"

Blankity-Blank said...

How is everything ending up at a save The Black Donellys rally point?

I was watching this with my new roommate, who is Middle Eastern, in the room (on the phone) and after the joke with the sheik buying the dream apartment for his son's motorcycles there was a pause, then he said something into the phone and sounded annoyed and/or resigned, then continued with his conversation. Luckily, I suppose, I didn't even think to laugh at it. It's a good thing I don't find this show as funny as everyone else seems to.

Anonymous said...

I somehow managed to hear the casting announcement for Izzie's latest travail (despite my best efforts to the contrary) so I knew it was coming.
I still feel Izzie/George is stupid, and I hope that George (and Shonda) know this too. Callie without eyeliner was interesting and deserves a rewatching

Alas, with the death of the DVR I've been trying varying old fashioned methods of recording -- last night: hitting the record button. Unfortunately this didn't happen till 9:07, so I was forced to resort to other means till ABC can get their rerun aired tonight. (when I shall try again to record it to DVD)

the DVR died with all but the last 3 eps of Brothers and Sisters unbacked up, so it's been an interesting week.

Back to Grey's - I liked the Chief looking out for Mer, and Derek realizing he's been overprotective. And to be honest, I just like looking at Ellen (and moreso when she's with Patrick) so I'm happy. If they decide to break them up to further Derek's career, I will throw things at Shonda (wow, I've forgotten to read the writers blog!!)

Scrubs was okay. Can't remember a lot of details right now. And I haven't gotten to 30 Rock yet.
One thing I noticed about Scrubs is it seems to be following Boston Legal toward the 4th wall breakage. What was that line? "stars and secondary characters"?
Not a problem, though. I do miss seeing Zach whenever he's otherwise occupied, though.
And I LOVED the Todd forgetting his own last name!!

Pam (back in the 20th century for a month and counting...)

Pamela Jaye said...

Gotta add -- Cristina throwing Burke a bone -- which I think she really did out of realization that you have to be concerned for people and not just to show Marlowe up -- good character growth there. I really liked that. (though - nail polish? on a surgeon? makes for about as much credulity as anyone believing Addie *really* couldn't get her wedding rings off)


Anonymous said...

Liz's ringtone was actually Elmer Fud and then both Liz and Jenna singing it was hysterical.

The SATC line was also pretty funny "and you're the woman watching it at home." And this is just a week after HIMYM had a hysterical SATC line, when Lilly's mother said "Oh, I always watch that show on TBS, you're such a Samantha." It's the TBS part that makes the line.

Edward Copeland said...

I thought Scrubs was mixed bag, but Ted was the highlight. It seems as if they are being blatantly obvious about trying to set the stage for a possible continuance of the show should Braff decide to bolt. He's been more peripheral this season than ever before and with that comment that "I've been the star around here for six years." I just want to toss in some kudos for My Name Is Earl, which keeps surprising me by its ability to keep what I feared would become a formula coming off fresher and fresher and Norm MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds' son was priceless. As I've said before, give Jaime Pressly the damn Emmy already.

Isaac Spaceman said...

Alan -- can you use your critic-fu to confirm that that was Tina Fey singing the woman's part in the Cleveland song? It sounded just warbly and unprofessional enough. I like the idea of her and her husband recording the song in their spare bedroom.

Ted Frank said...

See, I found the sheik funny.

Who was the older woman on 30 Rock who was elbowed into the garbage pile of full trash bags? I was laughing for a good two minutes after that, and then they followed up with "He spit in my mouth!" It reminded me of my days in NY.

Krista Miller used to be beautiful and funny; her plastic surgeon should be shot for what he did to her.

J said...

The sheik thing was funny because the joke was about $$$ - while that FOX cab driver is still horrid and racist.

Anonymous said...

The older New York woman was played by Jennifer Bassey from All My Children (well that's how I recognized her).

I love Jane Krakowski on the show, she's had some of my favorite lines (the Grace Kelly one and when she said Liz couldn't be an acress because she has brown hair). But I think this was the first episode that really captured Liz and Jenna as best friends.

Anonymous said...

I thought far and away the best moment was Kenneth's "Oh Tracy You Can't Use Any of My Songs" diddy, a la Michael McDonald. I seriously can't stop thinking about it. What's the name of that song anyway? Tina Fey and Company are friggin geniuses.

John said...

One of my favorite parts of 30 Rock was something I only got because I work in Battery Park City: The "Cleveland" scenes (the ones with the show's characters in them) were shot down here. The body of water Floyd and Liz were walking next to was the Hudson; they chatted with the mounted officer right near the New York Police Memorial; and the street that Floyd, Liz and on-the-lam Tracy were on was South End Avenue, right across from my office. I love the twist on the usual Vancouver-as-New York thing: New York played Cleveland!

Loved the rest, too. "I would be in a three-way with two Jacks!" "Why didn't you tell me the Black Crusaders were after Tracy?" And, of course, Phoebe not even being British. "... I don't know what you're on about, you daft wanker."

John said...

The song Kenneth was imitating was "What a Fool Believes."

Unknown said...

Why is everyone on Grey's Anatomy such a freakin' ninny? That's the best word I can use for them, despite the fact it's not 1956. For allegedly smart doctors, they have zero common sense.

"Hey! Here's a secret about Izzie! Don't tell anyone!"

"What if I tell George, then also let it slip to Callie?"

"Okay, that's fine too! We're totally out of ideas for this show anyway! Soon we'll have Sloan and Shepard sleeping together! Weeee! Watch us make TV!"


dark tyler said...

I'm hijacking the thread, because the utter brilliance of last night's Survivor should at least be mentioned! Seriously, this was Fiji's very own "Mutiny" episode. Awesome!

Chris Littmann said...

Did you just use "brilliance" and "Survivor" in the same sentence? Bleh.

dark tyler said...

Oh, but it was. This season has been one of the suckiest in the history of the show, but this installment was pure strategy. The rule tweaks finally paid off.

Comb & Razor said...

30 Rock was brilliant on a number of levels...

forgive me for asking what might be a stupid question, but did everybody get the "Black Crusaders" reference?

talking to some friends (who enjoyed the episode nonetheless), i realized that maybe everybody wasn't familiar with the (urban) legend of the Dark Crusaders

Anonymous said...

It was a stock episode of Grey's (average story, add in some emotionally wrenching moments, coupled with good music and a touch of humor). Nothing to write home about, but I did question myself in the middle of watching it about how so many people are smitten with it.

One thing though: Could Kate Walsh be the most charismatic person on television? She was on there for only a couple minutes, during which you realise why Grey's was (and sometimes is) good. Thank God she's getting the spin-off, and the shticky-ness of Lord John Malbury has left the building.

Anonymous said...

well, after another fruitless stab at Grey's (timer program lost a whole minute, while I watched, helpless to make it start) it was brought to my attention that not only was that Carol in the elevator with the Chief but


that was Lord John Marbury?
It must have been the batch of people referring to his character on... what was it? Cheers? that totally threw me off the scent.
Just kill me now.
I may need a new infusion of The West Wing.

Pam - banging her head on the desk (well I would if there were a desk here)
with thanks to

Anonymous said...

I love 30 Rock but as a Clevelander I have one nitpick. There is no way anyone who grew up in Lakewood would want to live in Shaker Heights. We Westsiders don't venture to the East.

Donlee Brussel said...

I felt the same way about the Dark Crusaders bit, that it was aimed at a very, very small audience that knew what they were talking about.

Unknown said...

My wife and I have nicknames for many of our fave shows, based mainly on the premise of someone getting the tilte wrong, like "Scurbs" or "The House Show", and our nickname for 30 Rock is "Dirty C**k". Just FYI.
This show has gotten better and better, but we still laugh hardest just thinking about Alec Baldwin, brandishing 2 coffe mugs, saying "This...feels natural." The Cleveland song was great, it took me a minute to realize it was a spoof.
I'd like to address the Alec Baldwin voicemail for a second. My opinion is, everybody calm down. Most of us who are parents, if we're being honest, have lost it, or almost lost it, this badly with our own kids, only not as articulately and hilariously. He was totally wrong, but with no context, you can't really hang him for this. In my family, my kids would play this tape at dinner and laugh at me. Add to that that he was obviously deeply hurt as well as angry, I think it's eminently forgivable. Leaking the tape is not. Discuss.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to add about the brilliance of 30 Rock, except that I started watching it because of this blog, so thank you Alan! Can't wait to see the inevitable showdown between Phoebe and Liz ...

Laura Roemer said...

lovin your blog man - sadly i must agree about grey's...i'm in denial and still hoping it will return to previous glory. has a show ever jumped a shark this quickly and this badly? but, of course, there is the amazingness on display on 30 rock to keep thursdays worthwhile. my favorite moment by far was the michael mcdonald impression -- i rewound like 5 times and it never stopped killing me.

Isabel said...

30 Rock just gets better and better.