Tina Fey has anything to say to White Feminine Trump supporters.
Not even a block of evening cheese could make “30 Rock: A 1-Time Special” significantly less groan-worthy.
On Thursday night time, NBC aired an upfront presentation for advertisers and journalists, disguised as a much-touted “30 Rock” reunion distinctive. The hour-extended “episode” highlighted various commercials and NBC talent shilling for the network’s fledgling streaming support, Peacock, which released Wednesday with a combine of outdated and new Tv set and motion pictures, with extra authentic programming nonetheless to occur. (As a result, many NBC stations refused to air the distinctive since they deemed it way too marketing.)
The “episode” was interwoven with a unfastened story about “TGS” head writer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) attempting to reassemble the team behind her sketch exhibit-within just-a-display. Main figures from the Emmy-winning comedy, which ended its 7-period operate in 2013, popped in throughout through Zoom movie phone calls, together with Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer).
As a person who made use of to plan college classes all over NBC’s Thursday night time comedy block and who laugh-cried by the marvelous remaining year of “30 Rock,” I was delighted by the prospect just to see these zany people with each other again, even as social distancing limitations kept them physically aside.
To day, no comedy has topped “30 Rock” when it arrives to fast-hearth, meta showbiz humor: brilliantly skewering actuality Television set, selfish stars and – in a prescient move – now-convicted sexual predators Harvey Weinstein and Monthly bill Cosby. (The show’s repeated use of blackface, in the meantime, is a unusual but unforgivable misstep that has tainted recent viewings.)
If any cast was going to reassemble for the sole objective of plugging other people’s material, you would believe Fey and Co. would be the types to do it with more than just a realizing wink and nudge. But a literal wink was 1 of the only bits of meta NBC commentary in the complete particular: In the closing scene, Jack asks Liz to publish jokes to enable market “Peahen, NBC’s new feminine-centric streaming support,” to advertisers.
“Seriously, Jack? No, I am an artist. I am not a shill for the community. I never do industrials,” Liz says, winking straight into the digicam and hurting her eye.
In any other case, the distinctive felt like a pressured, mainly jokeless video game of “Identify That Superstar,” as Kenneth performed digital charades with about a dozen NBC stars which includes Mary Steenburgen (“Zoe’s Amazing Playlist”) and Andy Samberg (“Brooklyn 9-9”), and Liz had a Zoom meeting with Khloe Kardashian that was reduce short by Jenna barging in and pleading for operate.
As was often the circumstance all through the original operate of “30 Rock,” Krakowski as delightfully deranged diva Jenna was Thursday’s plain highlight. Regardless of whether she was vaguely detailing a created-up feud with “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore or basking in applause reserved for New York’s necessary employees – “Thank you, I am New York powerful!” – Krakowski transcended the frequently hacky substance, and designed comical use of her limited quarantine house. (The numerous Jenna portraits all around her condominium and wind machine during her closing, overwrought song were minor but pitch-perfect specifics.)
If only the rest of the “30 Rock” distinctive was fifty percent as impressed as Krakowski’s fiercely committed and amusing general performance. In its place, it felt just as awkwardly out of touch as Dennis Duffy’s beepers.
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