January 28, 2012 - 5:39pm
BY PROMA KHOSLA AND RADHIKA MENON
NBC's ever-meta, ever-hilarious "30 Rock" is finally back for its much-anticipated sixth season. Daily Arts Writers Proma Khosla and Radhika Menon recap the third and fourth episodes of the celebrated sitcom.
Radhika: First of all, two episodes in one night was awesome.
Proma: Amen to that. So, from the top: Will Arnett!
Radhika: I love everything Devin-Banks-related.
Proma: Did you catch that line about him being a stay-at-home dad? I know Banks does stay home with his kids, but it was a nice little "Up All Night" shout-out. And the return of Kathy!
Radhika: Ah yes, good old Kathy Geiss.
Proma: A throwback to the glory days of GE and the Geiss empire.
Radhika: Can we take a second and talk about the awesome name for the unicorn? Magellica the Unicorn. OK, moving onto my favorite thing about this new season: Crissss.
Proma: Yes, let's talk about Darren Criss. I mean, Criss.
Radhika: Haha, I see what you did there. I love me some James Marsden.
Proma: As much as I love my girl Liz, she does seem to have a certain masochism about her relationships. He's cute, but he's kind of dumb. And as usual, she is powerless to resist the temptation of food.
Radhika: He's definitely not on her level intelligence wise, but I think he's good for her in that he's bringing goofiness into her life that never used to be there.
Proma: That's true, she does need to loosen up and I think he helps her do that. Also, I am in no place to preach because I would never say no to a hot man who made pancakes.
Radhika: No sir, and hot dogs. The man has the key to my heart.
Proma: Anyway, the fact that Jack is allowing Criss to date Liz is a pretty big milestone. That definitely sets him apart from her other boyfriends.
Radhika: Huzzah! Probationary approval!
Proma: THE BEST KIND, when it comes to Jackie D.
Radhika: I loved the end when Criss kept reinforcing that he didn't need Jack's approval … but when Jack walked away, Criss had a very satisfied look on his face.
Proma: It was so cute! Like, maybe he didn't need it, but that doesn't mean he didn't want it.
Radhika: I think he understands that Liz wants to be with him, but that she also needs Jack's approval. Putting Liz's needs in front: +1 Criss. Again, it sets him apart from other previous boyfriends.
Proma: Definitely. OK, so how great was it to see the reunion of the Best Friends Gang?
Radhika: Loved it. That still shot at the end with them fist pumping — awesome!
Proma: The entire thing was ludicrous, but that's why I love this show.
Radhika: That's basically what it is, right? Everything on steroids.
Proma: Everything on el Bandito Blanco. Also, shout-out to Denise Richards for having secret comedy chops.
Radhika: I loved her "this room is moving!" line about the elevator.
Proma: Her delivery was just so on-point.
Radhika: Yeah, she nailed it. Also, I loved the shout-out to “Entourage”
and it's upcoming movie. I know you don't watch it, but it was hilarious that the crowd was chanting Turtle. He's basically this lazy guy that smokes weed all the time. Essentially, an idiot.
Proma: Haha, oh, and the dig at the Golden Globes! I love how shamelessly “30 Rock” bites the hand that feeds it. NBC jokes are as much of a staple as Jenna over-enunciating the entire English language.
Radhika: It's the best. OK also … how random is Kelsey Grammer? Random in a good way … but still random.
Proma: Haha, he's excellent. I would never have thought he'd make fun of himself so well, but he does, and — here's the thing — he makes fun of himself so well that we can't make fun of him for it.
Radhika: Haha, I don't even have that much knowledge about him, but I was still laughing and I thoroughly enjoyed his one-man-act on Abe Lincoln.
Proma: THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, NO LOGIC. But no problem.
Radhika: I was really excited about a play within a play. "As you know I've been assassinated..."
Proma: He should get a spinoff.
Radhika: Any more thoughts on episode one?
Proma: None I haven't articulated with caps and adverbs. Next?
Radhika: Let's go. First of all, I'd love to go see MLK Day when it hits theaters.
Proma: YES. Entertainment Weekly did this whole piece about that a few weeks ago about how there could be a romantic comedy for every holiday.
Radhika: I won't be surprised when it happens.
Proma: Anyway, that was excellent. The SNL network is put to such good use by “30 Rock.”
Radhika: Agreed. Did you catch the Maulik Pancholy shoutout by Jack? I miss Jonathan.
Proma: My first thought, after I choked on my beverage, was that you can't just do that. Jack can't just talk about Maulik Pancholy, but of course he can — he can do whatever he wants. And I'm pretty sure no one knows that actor by name, except for the intersection of the Venn Diagram of "South Asian college students" and "TV fanatics" … which is us.
Radhika: I actually watched the episode twice, and didn't even catch that joke the first time.
Proma: It was too good, too subtle and brilliant. I loved the cheesy pop song ending, everyone reuniting. Kenneth is my favorite person ever.
Radhika: Kenneth is awesome, but I loved that too … even though I really hated Jenna during this episode. I mean, I kind of hate her every episode but then also secretly love her too. It's something I need to sort out on my own time.
Proma: She crossed a line in this one, from self-absorbed to just plain mean, but I think they did a good job handling it, because it was the first time Liz wanted to just give up on her, which was a fair reaction.
Radhika: Yeah, definitely. And as if I needed any more evidence that I will grow up to be Liz Lemon, she found her new best friend in the bathroom stall of Barnes & Noble. I was sad Criss wasn’t in this episode.
Proma: Which is again an achievement in itself: Liz has a boyfriend but he is not her whole life! Inspiration for womankind!
Radhika: As always, Liz Lemon the role model.
Proma: She is what we should all aspire to be. Or some of us already are.