"30 Rock" Premiere: "Ok Season Five, Here We Go"
The opening scene of the fifth season premiere of “30 Rock” provides a look at Liz Lemon's sleeping face. It's the only moment, and it's a very brief one, in which there is any sort of reprieve from the fast-paced joke spouting for which the comedy has become known.
Liz is woken from her slumber by a phone call from Jack, and immediately, the rapid exchange of wit begins. And they don't let up for the next twenty-two minutes—a good sign for the show as it bounces back from a season that wasn't quite as engaging or as consistently funny as its
This episode revolves mostly around Jack, Liz and their respective romantic entanglements. Liz has a budding relationship with Carol (a pilot played by Matt Damon) and Jack continues his relationship with blonde beauty Avery.
A third relationship is also in the spotlight here: Jack and Liz’s. Their friendship is hilarious and genuine, especially when they're meddling in one another's business (this is how they show affection), which they certainly do in this episode.
Hilarity ensues when Jack, in an effort to force Liz to invite Carol to stay at her apartment while he's in town on business, books all available rooms at Carol's favorite hotel chain. Similarly, Liz encourages Avery to redecorate Jack's apartment, forcing him to wrestle with picking his girlfriend-related battles.
Damon's guest starring role as the male version of Liz Lemon was great again, and he'll be back for more. When his character, Carol, leaves for another plane-flying shift, Liz calls out, "see you on October 14th"— the date of their planned live broadcast show.
In other character news, Tracy is still an entertaining lunatic. Viewers can always count on that. An example of this is when he begins hallucinating visions of Kenneth, who was fired at the end of season four: Kenneth holding a snake, Kenneth making a clay mold of Tracy's face, etc. When he finally sees the real Kenneth working for rival station, CBS, he doesn't believe it's him until Kenneth proves his realness by stepping in front of a passing taxi.
Speaking of Kenneth, it will be interesting to see how many episodes it takes for him to be rehired by NBC. He's too integral a part of the comedic relief inside the office to be excluded for much longer.
And then there's Jenna, as self-absorbed and eccentric as ever. Her contract provides her the benefit of receiving a producer credit during her fifth season on TGS. Jack simply says, “It's just a vanity credit to make someone feel more important. Like 'Executive Producer Ashton Kutcher' or 'Secretary of State Hillary Clinton'." Jenna, however, takes it seriously. While she doesn't last long in her new role, her short span is funny enough to make it worth while.
The entire episode was certainly worth-watching. It's nice to have this smart, clever and hilarious comedy back on the air.
As Liz Lemon said at the beginning of the episode, "Ok season 5, here we go!"
Reach reporter Emily Wislon, here.