’30 Rock:Standards and Practices’ Review

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Today’s episode of 30 Rock seemed like a wandering freshman essay, rather than the brilliantly crafted show audiences have come to love.

The finale of America’s Kids Got Singing is ultimately ruined when the two finalists go on stage utterly hammered. This later turns out to be part of a plot by Hank Hooper’s ambitious teenage daughter, Kaylie. This sets Donaghy on another feud with the crafty teen.

Jenna, disappointed that she wasn’t able to humanize her public image by crying during the finale, decides to try a different tactic – getting back in touch with the 6 (!) children that were spawned from her donated eggs. However, the little clique runs into trouble when one of the group doesn’t quite fit in.

Meanwhile, Kenneth is advancing in his new position at Standards and Practices – so much so that he now has control over what TGS can put on the air. Now that the NBC S&P department is hyper-paranoid following the America’s Kids Got Talent debacle, Kenneth’s new rules become extremly restrictive on the show, and Liz decides to send Tracy off-script.

Does all this sound like too much? That’s because it is. It really seems that the 30 Rock team are overstretching themselves, overcrowding the show with half-formed subplots. They’ve skated by in recent episodes on the talent of the writing, but this is really starting to become too much.

The stories are all weak, and their inclusion comes at the cost of jokes and development. The writing staff would be better-served by narrowing the show down to a single plot instead of cramming them into the episode like sardines. It simply becomes impossible to care about whats going on when the segment is only afforded about seven minutes of screen time.

For now, the show survives by the quality of its writing, but it’s definitely not sustainable. 5/10

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