November 19th, 2009
This is “Green Week” on NBC, which means that every show has some sort of environmental sustainability storyline in it. And while the shows did similar episodes a few seasons ago (The Office did its “Survivorman” parody and 30 Rock did the great “Greenzo”), it’s a well that has quite a bit of content in it, depending on how the shows wants to go about it.
While The Office (which I won’t be reviewing tonight, although I’ll probably throw some thoughts onto the end of the page) simply used it as a theme for the cold open (as it did with Halloween), 30 Rock takes a more continuous and as a result scattered approach. Giving Kenneth the task of “greening” 30 Rock felt forced, and while the episode wanted to try to make it seem subversive and clever the show has done too many similar things before.
However, continuing last week’s improvement on the season as a whole, this week had a cohesive point of view if we ignore the environmental side of things, presenting two stories that allowed for both some brilliant absurdity and actions which are driven by character rather than plot. And, just when you think that the environmental story is entirely worthless, the show spins off a few random parts of other scenes into the storyline and helps bring everything full circle in a sequence that actually is as clever as it wants it to be.
Plus, Teddy Ruxpin was a frakkin’ lawyer.
“How Did I Get Here”
November 9th, 2007
At some point during tonight’s episode of Friday Night Lights, Jason Street started talking about how it seems no one ever changes in Dylan. Somewhere during the speech, I started to think that Jason Katims and Co. had joined Tim Kring in admitting that the start of their seasons had failed to provide any original character development, ignoring much of what occurred last season. The rest of the episode didn’t really play out that way, as some of the show’s problems still persist, but it did signal a return to these characters regaining a purpose of sorts.
NBC’s Green Week has been largely unsuccessful at actually convincing me they care about the environment, but last night my two favourite NBC shows joined the fray. While neither were entirely overrun by their environmental theming, I would argue that one was largely more successful than the other.
November 8th, 2007
This episode of 30 Rock has officially proven that Tina Fey’s series is perhaps the most versatile on television at this moment. Between the character of Jack Donaghy, the television network construct and a smart use of self-referential humour, the show effortlessly takes a theme and turns it into a sharp and succinct episode of television.
What I love is that, despite being forced to commit to a weekly NBC theming, the episode actually had the largest contribution from the supporting cast thus far this season. Kenneth’s party was a great way for us to get to see that this is actually, you know, a cast and crew of a TV show; it’s surrealistic turn at the end of the episode was just the right conclusion, especially because of Jack’s awesome, awesome hair.
The environmental storyline hit the right spot – David Schwimmer was good as Greenzo, Al Gore’s cameo was well-handled, and the aggressive tone Greenzo took was just the kind of mean streak I like to see from the show sometimes. It felt like just another strong 30 Rock episode that just happened to tell us about the environment.
- “It combines my two favourite things: Boxing and Referees!” – Tracy on Foxy Boxing
- “What do you do with the pop tart?!” – Liz making me dislike Pop Tarts more
- “I don’t understand what’s happening!” – Kenneth
- “Shhh…a whale is in trouble!” – Al Gore selling the line like a champ
- “This earth is ruined, we gotta get a new one” – Liz when the Earth is…set on fire.
November 8th, 2007
I’ve been watching some Survivorman recently, the TV show where a crazy guy goes out into the Amazon or some other dangerous location with only a match, a few things he can MacGyver, and his own crazy self. But, I now imagine a world where said crazy man left behind a dysfunctional group of characters who just weren’t the same without him. Not only was Michael Scott’s foray into the woods largely not that funny (except for Dwight), but Jim’s time alone in the office just wasn’t as sharp as it could be.