30 Rock: Governor Dunston Review

30 Rock‘s second episode into the season did not disappoint, with several hilarious guest spots and the sexual awakening of one Elizabeth Lemon.

As mentioned in last week’s review, the first episode made the unfortunate decision of pushing Liz’s attempt at babymaking to the background.  Not to worry, tonight’s show saw the plotline come front and center as Liz decides to tackle her longstanding intimacy issues…with some surprising results.

But first, in a bit of topical humor, Jack tells Liz that Paul Ryan will be stepping down as Mitt Romney’s running mate because it was discovered he was actually born in Kenya.  After skyping with Ann Romney’s prize-winning horse Rafalca, he discerned that the new running mate would be announced shortly.  Sure enough, the announcement came later that day in the form of Governer Dunston, a clumsy, goofy oaf who happens to look exactly like Tracy.  Keeping with their plan of tanking NBC to the ground, Jack asks Liz not to do any political sketches.  But, after seeing Dunston accidentally rip his pants off during a debate, Liz finds it too difficult to resist.

Just as when political sketches air on Saturday Night Live, the Dunston sketch on TGS causes a ratings spike, which in turn makes NBC president Hank Hooper want to air a new episode every night of the week.  Initially this does not bode well for Liz,  as she already has very little time to try for a baby with Criss.  When he surprises her at the office to try and spice things up, she is quickly interrupted by Pete rushing in to talk to her about a new sketch.

Liz has always had problems in bed, ranging from her hookups with Dennis that were “fast and only on Saturdays,” to her the short time when she couldn’t sleep with Carol due to deep psychological scarring related to a Tom Jones poster.  This time, however, she’s able to finally figure out what gets her going once she starts to plan her new five-day-a-week show schedule.  Realizing she’s going to have to re-organize her entire week starts to make her very hot and bothered.  It’s a thrill to watch Tina Fey  act as though she’s in the throes of passion, especially during a hilarious montage at the Staples store where she and Criss go to further “organize” themselves.  Organization: it’s the new foreplay.

Meanwhile, Kenneth’s mother (Catherine O’Hara) and her “friend” Ron (a terrifically silly Brian Cranston) come to visit.  Kenneth has long complained about his mother’s friend Ron, and it’s great to finally put a face to the name.  When he tries to introduce them to Jenna she dismisses them, only to re-introduce herself when she realizes they’re the type of people who still buy CDs.  Sales of Jenna’s summer single “Balls,” haven’t been too strong and she realizes she needs to do some rebranding.  Trying to draw inspiration from the two, she inadvertently brings out the fact that Kenneth’s mother married Ron seven years ago.  Kenneth, at first upset, ultimately decides to accept Ron into the Parcell fold.  After all, family is the only group of people you can talk about behind their backs and not feel bad about it.

The end of the episode saw the return of Matthew Broderick’s lowly politician Cooter Burger.  He arrives at NBC to tell Jack that the sketches parodying Dunston have actually been helping his and Romney’s campaign.  Dunston is actually very mean in person, and the jokes make him more likable.  When Jack relay’s this to Liz, she’s horrified, but decides to continue with the sketches anyway as to not get rid of her new hyper-scheduled sex life.  In a bit of a cliffhanger, Jack eyes Liz suspiciously as he watches her about to give up her morals to get what she wants.  What will come next?  No one can say for sure.  But as long as 30 Rock continues its on this current path, I’m game for anything.  Grade: A-

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