’30 Rock: Today You Are a Man’ Review

Photo Credit: http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/30-rock/photos/281135?As far as comedy is concerned, this episode of 30 Rock was a little flat. However, the plots and subplots were still entertaining and showed promise for future episodes.

Without a doubt, one of 30 Rock’s best attributes is the relationship between Liz and Jack. It’s sweet, intelligent, and funny. Their interactions drive this episode. Unhappy with the new contract offer Jack has sent her, Liz gears up for negotiations. Josh Fadem returns to the show briefly as Liz’s immature agent, Simon. He is quickly fired from the position as Liz seems completely prepared to do it herself.

Jack meanwhile is looking for a new challenge, and he finds it, of course, in Liz, or rather in himself. The situation takes on its hilarity when it is revealed that Liz has been preparing by watching Jack’s business advice tapes in secret. Jack, always the egomaniac, jumps at the chance of negotiating with himself. He ends up taking over the negotiations completely, representing both himself (Jack-Jack as he calls it) and Liz (Liz-Jack). And the winner is: Liz-Jack.

Later it is revealed that Jack-Jack could have won if Liz-Jack didn’t use his emotional connection with Liz as a negotiating weapon. This is a brilliant statement of the friendship, which will undoubtedly go down in television history as one of the greatest. It says that Jack and Liz as a team are better than even the toughest opponent.

Kenneth’s subplot was perhaps the least amusing but the most promising. Kenneth becomes upset when he realizes no one noticed his previous absence. In order to make a point, he switches positions with another page. Kristen Schaal fills the roll of this new page magnificently, and I personally hope she becomes a recurring character. With Suze Orman’s advice, Kenneth teeters in his decision between quitting the page program and staying with TGS. Finally, Tracy convinces him to leave. With the hopeful return of Schaal’s character and Kenneth’s unsure future, 30 Rock fans can’t wait for the next episode.

Jenna and Tracy are never more hilarious than when they are playing off of each other, and this episode gives way to another Tracy-Jenna subplot. The two actors attend a Bar Mitzvah where they are blackmailed into staying and forced to cater to the spoiled Bar Mitzvah boy’s needs. They discover the boy’s bad attitude is due to his lack of confidence, and when they solve his problem, they realize that they need to be more direct in solving their own problems which culminates in a hysterical confession to the 30 Rock crew. The plot, as funny as it is, does not accomplish much, other than inadvertently advising Kenneth to leave the page program.

Compared to the other episodes this season, this one was mediocre at worst, progressive at best. It didn’t generate laughs at its absurdity as much as smiles at its pure entertainment. Above all, it served to set up future episodes for sure success. (7.5/10)

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