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30 Rock: Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning

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Written by : published Friday 28th January 2011

30 Rock: Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning main image

Watch the latest episode here, on theTVKing.com!

Reminder: This is the one with the disaster relief video.

Quick Recap: Kabletown has taken over from GE, and Jack is set to storm the airways to prove he's worth keeping around. When he finds out that the highest rated shows ever are disaster relief fundraisers, he hatches the plan to be the first to air the next one, because he'll already have the whole fundraiser already filmed, just waiting for the disaster to be slotted in. Meanwhile, Tracy's wife's reality show is following him around, and since he's trying to be seen as a real star since being nominated for an Oscar, he doesn't want any crazy. It means he's avoiding rehearsals, reading a lot, wearing copyrighted logos and speaking in expensive copyrighted songs-- like Uptown Girl. Liz tries to fight crazy with crazy and it gets her nowhere, so they have it out once and for all, and of course it's caught on camera... then resolved by creative editing and a pair of stand-ins. Meanwhile-meanwhile, Jack wants the writers to come up with as many disasters as possible to pre-film, which gets them thinking they need a disaster plan, which gets them planning for the post-Apocalypse. Lutz is tired of being seen as useless and tells them he has a car, but it will only fit three people, and for a brief moment, everyone is his best friend. Until it comes out that he doesn't have a car, and the brand new one he just bought is stolen away from him.

Good times.

Review: This show is amazingly funny. Without the commercials, you're looking at about 21 minutes of actual content, and all of that stuff listed above is crammed into it, and that's not even mentioning all the weirdness-- Robert DeNiro is secretly from England, and delivers a really perfect straight-faced list of intros to ever more weird disasters; Kenneth's dress uniform involves a sword and he's unsure if he'll show up on camera because when he looks in the mirror, there's nothing but a white haze; Jacks' reaction to who the island actually belongs to and what the disaster was; the flash-sideways to where Liz and Tracy would be without deciding to work together five years ago; anything at all involving Jenna; that one writer-chick; and let's not forget the metafictional staged ending. Beautiful. I laughed through the entire episode, which is amazing considering that this show has been on for five years. 

The secret, I believe, is that so much of the story is left unmentioned, and so there's this really weird parallel world that exists at the same time as the normal one. They're part of our world, putting on a show very much like ones we actually have, but at the same time they're a spoof of such things, and also at the same time, they live in a totally bonkers fantasy land where Kenneth is probably not human and music will solve all problems. The layering of crazy means there's always something entirely outrageous, and there's always something to laugh at. It's amazing. And it's a formula that works better than most on TV.

Bottom Line: Another fantastic episode of 30 Rock!

Watch the latest episode here, on theTVKing.com!

About the author 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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