30 Rock Review: The Liz Lemon Principle

by at . Comments

Dear Kenneth: PLEASE hurry back to the NBC Page Program. Hazel Wassername really has to go.

I enjoy Kristen Schaal during her segments on The Daily Show, but her character here is simply grating. She's practically the antithesis of what makes 30 Rock so funny on a weekly basis: ridiculous characters who take themselves seriously.

Hazel, conversely, is a new employee desperate for attention and, as was the case throughout "The Shower Principle," all of her lines reek of that desperation. She's simply trying too hard in every scene. Contrast that with Liz Lemon, whose best lines of the night were simply casual rundowns from her past three years. To wit:

Be Gone, Curse!

Liz in 2012: “I’ll have you know this has been a year of change, Howard. I joined an over-40 dance team. I started eating the lettuce on my plate under onion rings. And I have taken up meditation thanks to my boyfriend, Criss.”

Liz in 2011: “This has been a year of change, Howard. I’m actually eating the onion part of my onion rings. I’ve started journaling thanks to my exciting relationship with Carol, who is a man. Although, we have done nothing that lesbians could not do.”

Liz in 2010: “I bought a restaurant grade onion ringer. And I’m having a go at cycling thanks to my boyfriend Wesley, whom I hate.”

Liz Lemon isn't trying to be funny or to get attention here. She's just cracking us up by being Liz Lemon, the same woman who can't exit Jack's office in a dignified manner.

The same even goes for an over-the-top Tracy Jordan. He thinks he's a totally normal celebrity. He just happens to sign on for movies such as 5nowDog5. I prefer my 30 Rock lines and references to be subtle, and Hazel Wassername is anything but subtle.

What did I like about "The Shower Principle?" Well...

  • Jack's incredible ability to meditate.
  • Pretty much everything about Hank Hooper, from his memories of Vietnam to his philosophy on water.
  • Frank donning a SPiN New York T-Shirt, which is Susan Sarandon’s NYC ping-pong club.
  • The koncept of komedic "K" sounds, which I'd like to think was a reference to Kim Kardashian just being a total joke.
  • Liz’s list of problems during Jack’s meditation, which included: boyfriend, DVR, feet, Smash Mondays at 10, female mustache, burning casserole

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Who played the Hamburglar in this episode?

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Kristen Schaal is ruining 30 Rock!

Fortyseven

She is funny but she is a female Kenneth. It was a good episode.

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I don't like her either. But I hate that Kenneth is trying to reapply to be a paige. I liked him being a censorer and would have liked to see him move up the corporate ladder through ridiculous and seemingly accidental success. Quitting just to become a paige again is a step backward for his character in every sense.