February 3, 2012 - 3:07pm
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 fifth episode of the celebrated sitcom.
Proma: I actually think this week’s episode was quite a game changer. It was subtle, but the more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that the writers are trying to send us a message — They are trying to say that “30 Rock” will not be a stagnant comedy. Liz is going to start sticking up for herself a la Jack Donaghy, Tracy and Jenna are going to act like adults and — gasp! — Kenneth is leaving the page program … for real this time.
Radhika: I definitely see that. Although, I’m a little bit skeptical about how much Tracy and Jenna are actually going to change. I was definitely shocked (in a good way) when Kenneth decided to stick up for himself and realized that he’s being taken for granted. I think this whole season’s drive towards liberating Kenneth and letting him become a real person instead of always being an underling is really intriguing.
Proma: People love Kenneth (see also: last week’s recap) and as weird as it is to see him out of uniform, I am excited about his new endeavors. As for Tracy and Jenna, they’re certainly not going to become mature, functioning individuals, but I think we can expect a noticeable change in the kind of shenanigans they get into at work.
Radhika: I’m really interested in seeing how the writers play with that, because their entire character development is based on them being idiots As for Liz … it’s about damn time that she starts sticking up for herself to Jack. I love the relationship that they have, but it’s based on her subordination to him, which is technically out of character for the uber-feminist Liz Lemon.
Proma: Definitely. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt since she did beat Jack with … Jack. But it shows that she is learning from him. Likewise, when he agreed to the new terms of her contract, it shows that he’s learning about friendship from her.
Radhika: Yeah, but in the end it was actually Jack beating himself … Liz didn’t have much to do with it, besides providing the opening statement. So there’s still a long road ahead of her if she wants to actually get to his level. But, it’s wholly attainable, so that seems to be Liz’s journey for the rest of the season.
Proma: I agree. And on a similar note, no Criss again this week. Just like last week, though, she didn’t make a big deal out of it. I think it’s safe then to assume that things are still going well offscreen.
Radhika: Exactly. I’d like to check in with him at some point though, because the last time we saw him, Jack had given him probationary approval. And I want to know how his hot dog stand is going! And any other random endeavors he’s pursuing!
Proma: Maybe Kenneth will go to work for him … nope, that’s a step down. Sorry, I just got so excited at the prospect.
Radhika: Haha, I have high hopes for Kenneth … he’s actually the character with the most potential for growth, so I’m excited to see where the writers take him this season. Can we just take a moment to talk about how Tracy and Jenna went to a bar mitzvah … and I fully expected them to break out in Werewolf Bar Mitzvah and was disappointed that it didn’t happen.
Proma: That was the first thing I thought of! I’m pleased with the new bit we got out of it though: “What’s the player’s name who’s on first base?”
Radhika: Haha, true. Although in my eyes, nothing touches that classic. And I suppose Werewolf Bar Mitzvah had no connection whatsoever to this, so it’s probably a good thing they didn’t use it
Proma: They didn’t try to touch the classic though — the hilarity was in how spectacularly they failed.
Proma: Alright, what were your favorite lines this week?
Radhika: “Jack Donaghy playing with himself … it’s a Jack-off!”
Proma: The fact that Tracy Jordan has increased the likelihood of a Godzilla attack and “How is the government allowing this?” when he and Jenna were being told what to do.
Radhika: “Yes, may I please speak to Pizza?”
Proma: "Are you talking about saving squirrels from hawks? Zero."
Radhika: Oh Kenneth, how I love you so.
Proma: Yep. Stay tuned for further installments of “The Kenneth Show!”