'30 Rock' - 'Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish': I am a protein
A flawed but funny episode
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
A quick review of tonight's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I share a problem with the mute elevator operator at my men's club...
"Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish" was an episode filled with things I don't usually enjoy about "30 Rock" these days - Liz freaking out about a relationship for no particular reason, Kenneth stories from home (and a lot of Kenneth, period), Tracy's ridiculous "son" Donald, etc. - and yet one where I kept laughing in spite of that.
Every time Donald was about to reveal his latest idiot business idea with a name stolen from a huge conglomerate, I prepared to groan, and every single time, I laughed. I laughed at Kenneth's story about eating his daddy-pig. (Though much of that, even more than the Donald stuff, was funny because of Jack's reaction; as with Donald Glover on "Community," Alec Baldwin crying is never not funny.) Hell, I even laughed once or twice at the Jenna subplot (the homeless guy's "Get a room!... Whatever that is!"), and I've generally found her relationship with Paul to be a weird, not very funny digression.
And yet the weird thing is that with both that story and particularly with Tracy/Donald/Jack, it felt like there was some real emotion in the closing scenes. Not real "Community" or "Parks and Rec" or "Office"-level emotion, because "30 Rock" operates on a different plane of reality from those shows (yes, even "Community"), but I did actually feel for Jack as he recited his "I am a protein" speech, and I did briefly feel sorry for Jenna that she wasn't able to overcome her hang-ups and keep her perfect man in her life.
This wasn't a great episode, by any means. The Liz part of it actually felt the most disposable, and was really only useful in setting stuff up for Jack, for instance. But overall, the episode made me laugh, repeatedly, and many weeks, that's all I need to ask for from "30 Rock."
And no, I did not enjoy this one simply because Liz made a reference to dating the main character from "Just One of the Guys." But that certainly didn't hurt.
What did everybody else think?
Get Instant Alerts - Latest Posts from What's Alan Watching
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Looking for something to watch?
Let Streaming Genie help you.
Let Streaming Genie help you.