After what most people, including myself, thought was a disappointing fourth season, the fifth season premiere of 30 Rock, "The Fabian Strategy," was closer in quality to the slightly funnier finale than the rest of last season.
Whether that is mostly due to Matt Damon's appearance in both episodes is up for debate.
We were welcomed back with the usual comedic hi-jinx of the Tracy and Kenneth relationship, and the surprise of a Jenna story line that wasn't completely ridiculous.
To be quite honest, Jack's love life is easier to handle when his partner is away on business (no matter who it i), so his moments were better than what we had to endure last season.
As always, Tracy Jordan highlighted the episode.
The problem continues to be that he takes a back seat to most of the other regulars in terms of screen time. I could watch 22 minutes of straight Tracy one-liners.
The Jack and Liz relationship, where they bounce thoughts and ideas off of each other, was in full effect once again. It's a nice touch, but it never brings that much humor.
Matt Damon though? Killed it for his second straight episode.Like most of Liz's past romantic partners, Damon's Carol was too good to be true. His crying like a little baby in Liz's lap made me laugh, but definitely lost him a bunch of man points.
I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the Jenna and Pete story line this week. Last year Jenna was nothing but nonsense at all times, so seeing her doing something productive around TGS was nice. It didn't bring many laughs, but it didn't make me want to slap her either, so good job.
And finally we learned that Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz of ESPN aren't the only people in the world that are concerned by the fact that Geico has a multitude of spokesmen. Both Liz and Carol hate that they have the Gecko, the Caveman, the Stack of Money, and the Fake Rod Serling guy! I personally like all of them except the cash.
A few things we learned this week:
- Liz dreams about Tom Jones.
- Black bachelorette parties fly from Newark to Atlantic City.
- Both anglophiles and pedophiles love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Tracy enjoys smelling Kenneth's head and thinks the World Cup is a hallucination.
- Carol saw Mr. T at a Pizza Hut and sucked a mechanic into his engine!
- Liz and Carol both love when Muppets present at awards shows. Me too.
Some of last night's best lines appear below. For more, see our 30 Rock quotes library!
Tracy: Why don't you come back home to TGS and pick the peas out of my fried rice... and the rice. I just want carrots. | permalink
Jenna: The writers can't take a car service at night anymore. I've crunched the numbers and it's cheaper for us to just replace anyone who gets murdered. | permalink
Liz: This is one of the three things I like: Ina Garten, sweater weather and...
Carol: When Muppets present at awards shows? | permalink
Toofer: Did you ever see a UFO up there?
Carol: No but once when I was in the Air Force I saw Mr. T in a Pizza Hut. | permalink
Tracy: Kenneth! I knew you'd come back. Let me smell your head. | permalink
Liz: The bathrooms are so much cleaner than at home... I don't know how they do it.
Jack: They clean them. | permalink
Jack: Lemon why do you keep spending so much money on Wigs?
Liz: Tracy's head size keeps changing. | permalink
Jack: The Harry Potter theme park is a huge hit with both anglophiles and pedophiles. | permalink
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.