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"30 Rock" Respawn (2011)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Season 5: Starts great but falls off into the "silly but not that funny" in the final third of the season

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
5 July 2011

When I watched season 4 of this show I found it hard to shake off the feeling of it operating just below the level of the previous three seasons – it was funny but just not as consistently funny as it had at first. Season 5 returns with a force that mostly made me think that it had turned it round and got back to the former high ground. The Cabletown purchase provides a decent enough frame to the early season and it allows the funny, random lines to come thick and fast and for the characters to all do their things. Despite a few weak episodes here and there, the show generally carries it off for the early season and I enjoyed it as such.

Around the halfway mark things start to stutter and the strain comes back into it. The gas leak in the 100th episode, Tracy pretending to be in Africa, the Korean kidnapping etc etc, all of them are funny but still weaker than they should be. The problem seems to be that the plots are less inspired daftness and more strained silliness. This silliness in the plot infects the comedy and it often seems too silly to be clever or funny. This was how I felt for the final six or seven episodes were a noticeable dip on the rest of the season. They are still funny but at times I was sitting waiting for the laugh – kind of smiling as I did the work for it, waiting for the material to catch up. It is still good enough to drag regular laughs but there is still a dip in quality here and it is noticeable.

The main cast are not responsible in terms of their performances though, because mostly they are as funny as ever. Fey is great as she has great comic timing and no ego when it comes to what she does. She is very well supported by Baldwin who equally has great timing and also sends himself up really well. Morgan may well be being himself, but he does it very well and he is given loads of great lines. Krakowski, McBrayer, Adsit and so on – the supporting cast all do good work and it is to the show's credit that they are all well served – those that are forgotten about for any period of time are turned into a joke as well. The many cameo appearances are not as good – some of them work, some don't but in a show this short, they tend to stand out and not in a good way. OK they have impact but this is mostly to do with who they are rather than what they do on the show (Rice being the best example of this).

Overall the fifth season of 30 Rock starts well, maintains it for half the season before it starts to slip away in a final third that drew laughs but not as consistently, inventively or cleverly as it can so. The quality may dip towards the end but there is still enough life in this show for me to enjoy it and look forward to a sixth season – but perhaps 20+ episodes is just too much for them to be able to deliver on?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not at all wool

9/10
Author: gizmomogwai from Canada
5 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

By which I mean, not at all normal. Giving attention to Jenna's relationship with her Jenna impersonator boyfriend is just one way this episode marks a crazy end for 30 Rock's fifth season. The "sitting" joke was the most hilarious part (apparently it has support in Eastern cultures, and the actor for the sitter was perfect) but the wool song Jenna sings to a sheep deserves mention also. I am very glad Jenna is still in this relationship. Meanwhile, Jack seeks out Kenneth as a replacement for Avery after she is captured by North Korea. I imagine Avery will be back next season, though the 100th episode hinted she has an unusual fate.

The Liz plot line isn't quite so much fun as Jenna's; we see her during the summer still having to put up with Tracy. However, seeing her in court insulting her judge was delightful- and proof Liz can be crazy, too. The lesson one may take from all this is that some people cannot help being weird- and anyway, normal is overrated.

Although last year I leaned more towards Modern Family, this year I think my preference is 30 Rock. It's been a good season.

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Respawn (#5.23)

9/10
Author: ComedyFan2010 from Canada
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And the 5th season is over! Liz goes on vacation but it doesn't go so well because Tracy shows up as well. Jack misses Avery and he gets Kenneth who is there to help him to impersonate her. Jenna is a representative of Wool, but them finding out that she has a cross dressing boyfriend makes her want to show them that she is normal.

Wonderful episode. The best part is Jack and Kenneth. They are both great actors and I loved Kenneth wearing Avery's earrings as well as he made the whole speech to Jack at the end.

Jenna's story is great as well. Was nice to see her stand up to herself and her boyfriend, a nice little story on what is normal and what is moral.

A goo ending scene as well, when all the writers seem to have been in the building all summer playing video games.

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