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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Episode Recap: "The Collection"

Episode Recap: "The Collection"

OK, two for three isn't a bad start to a sophomore season. Whereas the first two episodes underscored 30 Rock 's good name, this one fell a bit flat for me. Jack's "big secret" about the cookie-jar collection/obsession — which I understand was supposed to be incongruous with his tough-guy personality — was simply silly. And the Steve Buscemi visit? Almost meaningless, giving a great character actor so little to do.

The B-story, wherein Jenna is aghast to realize that she is losing weight — and thus could lose her Enorme contract and offer to play Ms. Pac-Man in the Atari film — also was hit-or-miss, but ultimately won a thumbs-up from me for her getting turned on by Kenneth's rudeness. "She's the wrong kind of crazy, and now I think we have to get married."

Then you have Liz trying to co-baby-sit Tracy and manage his wife Angie. It's pretty hard to make the Tracys unfunny, but this bit perhaps showed us that yes, his wife does cramp his style. We like the Tracy who can indulge his need to get booby-slapped by a coked-up Russian.

And an overall observation of the season-to-date: Not enough of the other TGSers, Lonny and Frank. Twofer and director guy. I'm actually trying to line up a 30 Rock Q&A, but the lack of screen time for any of the above makes it hard to pull the trigger. (I may opt for "Cerie," though, for obvious reasons, heh heh.)

Sorry for the so-so take on the episode, gang, but we need to be honest and comment on the lows just as we (more frequently) celebrate the ultra-highs. Besides, it's just my opinion.

The bullets:
• "One day, sir, this whole city will be yours" — and then "Sanjay" getting upset by Liz's interruption.
• Liz picking "an eagle with the head of a bear" as the animal that best represents her boss.
• Jack taking a call from a fake phone to cut short Liz's therapist story.
• Angie's "ghetto-fabulous" ring... from Brooke Astor.
• Early-bird Tracy marveling that "the morning has food, TV... everything!"
• The Enorme tagline: "Make him chase the chunk."
• Jack's 1976 arrest at the Democratic convention, though it was just for "beating up hippies."
• Jack listing his kin's liabilities, including his brother Eddie "who sells faulty sprinkler systems to elementary schools."
• Jenna fretting, "I'm back to the factory-made [belt] notches!"
• Buscemi assessing Jack's cookie-jar obsession: "You wish it was a gay thing. It's worse!"
• Angie sniffing Tracy: "You smell like Enorme and brass polish."
• Angie scoffing at a Tracy-as-Obama sketch, saying, "We support [Ohio congressman Dennis] Kucinich."
• Kenneth's food airplane featuring an Indian passenger shot by an air marshal.
• One of the biggest chuckles: Kenneth struggling to walk and talk once Liz gets him "thinking about it."
• Flashback gag: Despondent Liz making a desperate play for... Jackie Mason?! Ewww.
• Jack dismissing the idea that the cookie-jar thing is about unresolved childhood issues by... well, confirming that it is.
• "I don't think [businesswoman] is a word."
• Liz watching the Jordans go at it: "Oh, no, you guys start with that?!"

PS. Who would you cast as Kenneth's mom's friend Ron? I want flashbacks to that!


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