• 30 Rock recap: “I Heart Connecticut”

    Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock

    Dear God. Two weeks?! The gaps between these episodes are giving me some serious anxiety attacks, you guys!

    This week’s episode began with Liz and Kenneth’s desperate hunt for Tracy Jordan. TGS is circling the drain, and unless they can find their star – everyone’s jobs are kaput. For one of the first times in the show’s history, Liz seems totally uncertain about the future of the show.

    Jenna doesn’t really care about the show, since she has a new film in the works. One of those ever-popular and very “sexy” torture porn flicks, with the homicidal maniac aiming to make a house of boobs. The film is going to get shut down, however, thanks to the State of Connecticut, who feels the film fails to cast their state in a good light. (Buzzkills.)

    With a little brainstorming, Jenna partners up with Jack to tweak the script and make the film not only a blatant advertisement for Connecticut, but a family-friendly branding opportunity and a chance to showcase the acting talents of Phil Rosenthal (creator of Everybody Loves Raymond. I shall reserve judgment regarding his taste.)

    At the end of the episode, we saw that the film even included a weird voting platform, akin to American Idol. I am always bored at 10:30 on Thursdays, so I immediately “voted” … and god damn it – NBC was prepared. I was impressed.


    Since “I Heart Connecticut” seemed to focus on cast members fighting against an inevitable fate, we also see Pete. Adorable Pete. Who wants just one win in life as he realizes that the cast and crew don’t respect him at all – he just wants to prove his manhood. After arm wrestling with the entire staff and doing the “right thing” by empathizing with someone less fortunate than himself, Pete finally feels like a winner. At least for a bit.

    The storyline with Pete was smart and rich and a little bit deeper than what we usually see for him. I realized while watching last night, that I don’t give Scott Adsit enough credit. His timing is fantastic and that receding hairline? I’m into it. I liked watching Jenna and Jack together on a project, and enjoyed seeing them both work as one of the “creatives,” since they usually make sure everyone knows they’re better than the writers.

    I hate to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the storyline with Kenneth & Liz. There were some great parts (Pizzeria? Fantastic.), but there were some funny bits that weren’t tapped and it just didn’t have the same energy that the rest of the scenes did. We did learn a lesson at the end of that story: As a performer, when you realize that people expect you to do well – you simply do bad and can go back to feeling creatively fulfilled. Very important.

    Will the cast make any changes? Will Tracy learn anything? Will the writers finally get some respect? Probably not. But it would be nice if some of the lessons that the characters learn actually stick – especially at the end of the season and right before the 100th episode. Teachable moments, you guys.

    Favorite tidbits:

    · “Kenneth and I had to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to think like Tracy. I ended up eating a swordfish dinner at a strip club and Kenneth grabbed a cop’s gun and shot a blimp.

    · I’m a New York Pizza Academy girl. For the record.

    · “We produce more failed pilots than the French Air Force.”

    · “You think we don’t want him back? Do you know how much our cobra payments are? And he’s the only one who knows the combination to the candy safe.”

    · “That’s what your wife told me in the shower this morning” (Note: Don’t use that with a co-worker who doesn’t watch 30 Rock. Things are not funny.)

    · “You’re Tracy Jordan! Hulk Hogan called you a dirt bag. The NAACP once hired someone to kill you. You wore a penis hat to Princess Diana’s funeral.”

    · “Should Vaginatorium be capitalized?”

    · “Can I work here? I’ll do anything. I’ll get in my bra and you can throw nails at me.”

    Meagan Kate

    Meagan Kate is a Portland, Oregon writer and comic. She has been laughed at by audiences at The Brody Theater, The Someday Lounge, Theatre! Theater! and other venues that provide her with the validation she has yet to receive from a long-term relationship. She says things at http://myfacewasred.tumblr.com and you can follow her @MeaganKate.

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