February 10, 2012 - 2:20pm
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 “Hey Baby, What's Wrong?”
Radhika: So overall … not the greatest of episodes.
Radhika: Yeah, I was kind of annoyed at Liz reverting back to her old anti-fun ways. I really thought being with Criss would make her loosen up a lot more, but this episode kept her in the same rut she’s been in throughout the entire series. Also Kristin Schaal’s Wuzzername character is really freaking creepy. I don’t know what to make of that whole thing.
Proma: OK, this is interesting. I was interested in the Liz/Criss and Wuzzername plot too, but I interpreted them differently. First of all, Kristin Schaal is just fabulous. The creepiness came out of nowhere and even though it made me cringe a little, it promises hilarity. I didn’t think of Liz being uptight as regression, though. She’s just so used to being single or to having some sort of struggle or obstacle in her life that she couldn’t recognize what a good place she’s in. Wuzzername pointed that out for her, and she finally appreciates it.
Radhika: I see your point … but I guess the way I saw it was more along the lines of her just looking for a reason to be unhappy and looking for something wrong. It’s characteristic of Liz, but I think I just expected her to have matured a little bit throughout the course of the relationship thus far.
Proma: It takes time to get used to something as huge as life satisfaction.
Radhika: True ... I’m glad we got there by the end of the episode.
Proma: I also enjoyed the unlikely use of IKEA as a metaphor for successful relationships. If you survive the fights (IKEA), then you are stable! Again, big steps for LL.
Radhika: Me too! I love IKEA, and I love their swedish meatballs … interesting metaphor that the writers picked, but overall I think it was successful.
Proma: Let’s move on to Jack’s story.
Radhika: I’m ready for Avery to get back. Jack’s kind of stagnant without her because he can’t sleep around now that he’s married, but he’s no longer the sexual fiend he used to be, either. I wasn’t crazy about him almost sleeping with his mother-in-law. I’m really happy that didn’t happen.
Proma: SAME. I sensed the sexual tension early on, so it was kind of predictable, but I’m glad the writers didn’t actually go there. You can’t come back from something like that, even if they just kissed. Just … no.
Radhika: Exactly … again, happy they steered away from that. The golf-orgasm scene was a funny alternative.
Proma: Yes, and they acknowledged that it was situational. Jack isn’t going to keep lusting after his mother-in-law once Avery comes back. Mary Steenburgen was excellent too. Their entire scene with the Transylvanian man at the UN was ridiculous.
Radhika: I loved it! The “Friends” references were awesome, although likening him to a vampire was kind of cliche. But that’s just being nitpicky.
Proma: That’s our Comm classes about minority representation in the media talking. “30 Rock” is not the show to watch if you hate stereotypes.
Radhika: Not at all. I think every single character is stereotyped to the nth degree. But it’s funny, because not ONLY the minority characters are stereotypical — no one is exempt. That’s the reason we all feel OK laughing at it.
Proma: Exactly. Another great thing about this week’s episode was that it put together unlikely characters, which NBC Thursday shows always excel at doing. It was nice for Lutz to have a moment in the sun, even if it was an embarrassing moment. And Pete and Jenna had a surprisingly believable problem that was not Jenna’s ego.
Radhika: I love when they team up Pete and Jenna. For some reason, they just work together. Pete’s semi-normal and Jenna is just wacky, so they kind of balance each other out in a weird way.
Proma: Agreed. They solved Jenna’s “yips” in classically weird “30 Rock” fashion, but I was impressed with the logic behind it. Pete should solve crimes.
Radhika: Kenneth wasn’t given much to do this week, which is sad.
Proma: I hope they’re not phasing him out. My heart would actually physically break in two.
Radhika: Maybe he’s getting his own spin-off show … if only.
Proma: Maybe the writers are reading our blogs about “The Kenneth Parcel Show!”
Radhika: Again, if only. But I was also surprised that Tracy didn’t get much face time for an hour long episode. He seemed to play second-string to Lutz in this episode … interesting switch-up.
Proma: Just goes to show that all the cast members are talented. Favorite lines this week?
Radhika: Not really a line, but I enjoyed Liz’s naming of February 14th: St. Lamentine’s Nay. I think I’ll use that from now on.
Proma: I liked “She’s right. You are a penis.” Kenneth’s joke about the lizard, followed by “Ha, ha, ha ... oh, me.” It was so quiet, I thought I imagined it. “You are like pasta and a mouth”
Radhika: I liked that random receptionist in the waiting room of the UN. Jack: “What country are you from?” The Dude: “New Jersey, but I’m just a weirdo.”
Proma: I also love that Jack called out the “more flies with honey” analogy. “Why would you want flies?” And finally, “Last night, I dreamt a baby ate my hair.” Classic KP. Hopefully this episode is the first step to the character development we want to see. At the very least, I’ll be happy to rewatch it on Valentine’s Day.
Radhika: I got really excited in all of our talks about Kenneth being the star of the season … so hopefully the writers continue with that next episode. And I will join you for St. Lamentine’s Nay.