30 Rock Review: My Name is Steve Austin...
This episode of 30 Rock made it increasingly obvious how much effort the show puts into bringing all of its storylines together.
On this week's "Brooklyn Without Limits," there where three major plots, which all got resolved because of one another. In all three stories, one of our favorite characters was doing something immoral, and by episode's end, decided to cease this action because "sometimes you gotta do the right thing, even when the wrong thing would be a whole lot easier."
The quote from Tracy's movie, and the film itself, was so moving to Jenna that she stopped trying to sabotage his chances of winning awards.
Once Liz found out that Jenna and Tracy were doing the right thing, she stopped wearing the Halliburton-owned jeans that made her butt look so good. And finally once Jack realized that Liz had given up her perfect jeans for shorteralls, he quit backing the nut job of a congress candidate, Steve Austin.
As my knowledge of television only goes back as far as the 90s, I assume that Seinfeld was the first sitcom to take on this technique. As Seinfeld got into its prime, it was fantastic at bringing the storylines of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer together in some strange and fantastic way. 30 Rock, at times, can get into that same zone.
Each of the three plots had its moments, but John Slattery as congress hopeful Steve Austin really made the Jack angle stand out. After watching Slattery as Roger Sterling on Mad Men, it was truly weird to see him play so broad. I had a tough time deciding if the performance was fantastically funny, or oddly uncomfortable. Slattery is the funniest part of that AMC smash, but still only gets a few quips per episode.
To give him ridiculous things to say line after line on 30 Rock was a nice change of pace, and I think the show benefited from it greatly.
Before we get to some of my favorite quotes from the night, I wanted to add a couple of Tracy moments that don't come across as well in quoted fashion. First, there was the fact that he just learned about air quotes, so he used them on almost every single word of a sentence. And then he took Jenna's hand motion that he should have known was bribing, as "be bad at snapping!" Classic Tray.
And now, those promised 30 Rock quotes from the evening:
Tracy: It's like the thing I said in another movie I made, compromises are for lesser souls. Die werewolf zombie. | permalink
Tracy: Sabotage? But I'm the one who does that to me. | permalink
Jack: Those jeans make you look like a Mexican sports reporter.
Liz: Thank you Jack. | permalink
Liz: I trust award shows...they tell me how much to care about different dead people. | permalink
Steve: My name is Steve Austin, and I am a life long resident of Rhode Island, and the manager of a local paint ball facility. I will clean up Washington, like it's the bathroom of a paint ball facility. Vote Steve Austin, and if you're blind, I am the wrestler. | permalink
Jenna: My exercise video is dropping soon. It's called "Jenna gets hard." | permalink
Liz: Trying on jeans is my favorite thing. Maybe later I can get a pap smear from an old male doctor. | permalink
30 Rock: "Brooklyn Without Limits"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.