Last Night on 30 Rock: Surviving the Shark

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There was some debate at Movieline HQ yesterday about whether the guest star heavy two-part season finale of 30 Rock would mark an official shark jump. But good news, Tina Fey fans! "Emmanuel Goes to Dinosaur Land" -- named after Jenna's Skinemax soft-corn porn film, of course -- failed to rev up Fonzie's motorcycle by being one of the more consistently funny episodes from the entire season. Though considering it featured Jon Hamm and an evisceration of Precious, it's no wonder. After the jump video evidence of the hilarity.

So, quick refresher: Liz Lemon, needing a date for ex-boyfriend Floyd's wedding, decides to take a tour of her past loves -- or as Jenna says, "sexual time travel" -- and it leads, naturally to the doorstep of Jon Hamm's Dr. Drew Baird. And while Hamm's Jamaican accent during the Valentine's Day episode might have been funny, you haven't lived until you've seen the Mad Men star navigate around the set with a pair of clunky, pirate hook hands.

If only Matthew Weiner thought of that first. Maybe in season five. Anyway! With Liz looking for old love -- another encounter with Dean Winters's Dennis Duffy, The Beeper King, spoofed the Ballon Boy hoax in a not-so-timely fashion -- Tracy was stuck with trying to decide on his summer movie project: Garfield 3: Feline Groovy (great title) or Oscar-bait Hard to Watch: Based on the Book Stone Cold by Manipulate. And, cue the Monique mockery!

Three things here: 1.) If this storyline leads to Tracy winning an Oscar during next season, then hooray. 2.) Tracy Morgan does a great Monique impression. 3.) Next time Fey and Monique are in the same room together, maybe sit them as far away from each other as possible.

As for this episode, here's why this run of guest stars was different than the Steve Martin-Jennifer Aniston-Oprah Winfrey-led cabal from season three: They're actually intricate to the plot. Sure that's Julianne Moore, but she's playing Jack's Irish-Catholic first love and it's kinda believable (her ridiculous accent notwithstanding). And while Michael Sheen might be recognizable, he never takes you out of the scene. It really does feel like he's a priggish and snooty Brit with a love of Chums, the confusing BBC-version of Friends. The show seems to have learned from its mistakes. But will Liz? As the title card said, to be continued...

[Hulu]



Comments

  • Ben42 says:

    Can someone explain the shark part to me? What did this episode have to do with sharks? Are you nuts?

  • Krugmanic Depressive says:

    "intricate to the plot" indeed.

  • Ambot says:

    Ben, really? Wow, youth is wasted on the young.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Completely agree. Shark jump avoided and, instead, a puppy committed suicide when he saw my bathroom. Gloriously.

  • she1 says:

    How is one response = a debate? Try harder at being 'edgy' with the 'shark-jump' movement. People were talking about the guest stars issue a year ago and realize that 30 Rock mostly uses their guest stars well. And I don't think it is stunt casting when most of the guest stars are not box office draws (no offence to them) but credible actors.
    'Learn from its mistakes'? Seriously who do you think you are?

  • Claudia says:

    If 30 Rock jumps the shark, it will be due to Avery's stupid, unnecessary pregnancy. What a lame story line that promises to be.
    When will writers learn that introducing a baby is the kiss of death?! Just look at The Office. Or Friends. Or Family Ties. Or Mad About You. Or...

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