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30 Rock s06e01 "Dance Like Nobody's Watching"

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Written by : published Sunday 22nd January 2012

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Reminder: The first one back after the long hiatus.

Recap:

Everyone is back after the winter break, and everyone is confused about how Liz can be so cheerful. Jack thinks he knows everything about her, and spends most of the episode calling her out, but she's still way too happy and not getting involved in all the lunacy that usually bogs her down.

Kenneth is sure that the Rapture is coming, and spends most of the episode doing his dream chores, since it's his last day on earth and he can do whatever he wants. Pete notices that Liz is too nice, and freaks out about how Kenneth hasn't ever fallen in love or seen the ocean or anything else normal people might want to accomplish in their lives. Toofer and Frank keep messing with Kenneth, getting his hopes for the Rapture up, and planning on picking on him when it doesn't happen, but Pete stops them and takes them all to the beach, so Kenneth can at least have that.

Tracy follows Liz and sees her buying drugs, but Jack determines that they're just for join issues, and he puts it all together: she's happy and needs joint pills because she's been dancing. He finds her in the WNBA volunteer dance troupe, and congratulates himself on figuring it out--until he sees Liz kissing a person he doesn't know and realizes she has a secret boyfriend!

Meanwhile, Jenna is the mean host on America's Kids Got Singing, the hit new show where she makes kids cry. Jack tries to get her to tone it down when he realizes that one day Liddy might have to face something like that, but ratings drop dramatically when she's nice, and he has to suck it up. And Liddy's first word is "mommy", but he hears it as "money", and is overjoyed.

Whew, all of that in half an hour!



Review:

This episode is exactly why we all love this show so much, and it was more than worth the wait. Almost everything anyone says is entirely off the wall, a string of really bizarre nonsequiters, and yet it somehow all comes out to a really great return of the show. It's simultaneously a skewering of current culture's love of musical competition shows, and the start of new directions for at least a few of these weird and wonderful characters.

And, as always, it looks like they have a whole lot of fun making this show. How else would it be so impossibly quotable, every line delivered with the exact amount of self-aware lunacy that makes it perfect?

The weirdness of Jack and Liz's friendship comes out really well in this episode. It never quite becomes anything romantic (Tina Fey has said it never will), but Jack is more interested in Liz's life than he really needs to be, and is a little too sure that he knows everything about her. And the fact that having this other life makes Liz happy calls into question just how healthy the crazy world they all inhabit really is. Not to mention that this all sets up a nice arc for the rest of the season to mess with and follow and invert, as we know it can.

Welcome back, 30 Rock. We missed you!

Watch new episodes of 30 Rock right here on TheTVKing.com!

About the author SamanthaHolloway

SamanthaHolloway

Samantha Holloway is a writer, editor, book reviewer and TV reviewer. She's especially fond of the weird, wonderful, clever shows that tend to not last on network channels, and so forms a deep loyalty to them the few times they do. Follow her on twitter at twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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