30 Rock “The Funcooker” Review

For the past few weeks 30 Rock has been making much better use of the extended cast, and while Pete was M.I.A. this episode (his presence would have undermined the whole leadership vaccum premise), “Funcooker” felt like the kind of 30 Rock episode I’ve been craving for at least the last couple of months.  Callbacks to old episodes, a good plot for Jenna that brings us some Dr. Spaceman face time, material with Cerie, Frank, Lutz, Jack with the writers, Jack producing a whacked-out G.E. device, Tracy using plenty of Tracy logic, and an ending that somehow brought everything together to a great button.

Also, as an aside addressing my recent ramblings about 30 Rock‘s kinship with Arrested Development,  the Funcooker made me think of George Bluth’s Cornballer. But that’s really besides the point. The point is that 30 Rock has been consistently hilarious all season, but for a good stretch the hilarity was a result of focusing almost entirely on Liz and Jack, with hit-or-miss Tracy/Jenna C-plots.  Lately, and especially with this episode, the show has regained its balance using the characters who populate the broader 30 Rock universe.  Did you notice that one of Liz’s co-jurors was Moon Vest, the crazy bum who Kenneth pitched “Gold Case” to?  GIMME YOUR FINGERNAILS!

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