Sunday, 27 February 2011

30 Rock - S5 E16 - TGS Hates Women

TGS hires a new writer who draws the ire of Liz and Jenna. Jack plots out his strategy for becoming CEO of Kabletown.

Recap after the jump.

TGS is slammed by a popular feminist website for being sexist, odd since Jenna is doing pretty much all the sketches since Tracy's disappearance. Liz bemoans the loss of the core mission of the show which was meant to be written by women for women. She thus decides to hire a celebrated feminist comedian, Abby Flynn (Cristin Milioti) to do some guest writing for the show. Having seen a picture of her, the other writers are keen to impress her and invent new identities for themselves. Frank pretends to be rich, Toofer pretends to be a dangerous bad boy and Lutz pretends to be British because supposedly chicks dig the accent.

When Abby arrives, she plays up to them, dressing provocatively and talking like a baby which rubs Liz and Jenna the wrong way for different reasons; Jenna is just jealous. Disturbed by Abby's overt sexuality, Liz invites her out to the park to try and talk sense into her, but Abby won't listen. She claims she enjoys the attention she receives from men and admits to having slept with Lutz. Liz later tracks down the real Abby - in old video clips on the Internet talking in a normal voice, no padded bra, no dyed blonde hair, doing smart stand up comedy under the name Abby Grossman. While Jenna makes a racist joke, Liz wonders why she reinvented herself and decides to out her true past on the feminist website.

Well, it turns out the reason she reinvented herself because Abby's crazy ex-boyfriend Troy tried to run her down in his car and she was hiding from him - now that her new identity has been revealed, he will know where to look. The reason she sought male attention was so that if he had found her, she would have someone to protect her. Why does Liz hate women? That's the question Abby is asking as she's peeling off her disguise and making her escape. Good job.

Jack meanwhile has his sights set on succeeding Hank Hooper as CEO of Kabletown, but it's a family owned business and next in line to the throne is Hooper's fourteen-year-old granddaughter Caitlin aka Kaylee - the second generation of the family was lost to trust fund lifestyles, much like the infamous Chet Haze. Jack invites Kaylee to NBC to meet her and she reveals that her true ambition in life is to become a marine biologist. With her out of the way, his path to the top will be clear, so he arranges for a tour for her of the nautical museum with renowned oceanographer Robert Bobert Ballard.

While there however, carried away by her enthusiasm, Jack is reminded of his own love of maritime life and fantasizes about being a sea captain. Back at the office, he starts wondering if business is really the right life for him, but then he notices a certain photo on the thank you collage Kaylee made for him. Confronting her at her high school, he empties the contents of her backpack on the floor and finds a copy of his autobiography - she'd been studying him in an effort to remove him and clear the way to the top for herself. She in fact hates marine biology and this is just the beginning of the war...

I wasn't really sure about parts of this episode but the pay-off was worth it. This show has a tendency to resort to lowest common denominator humor and I was fearing it was another dose of that with the character Abby Flynn but the twist was fantastic. Jack's storyline was sweet and the interaction he had with Kaylee was great before and after her Heel Face Turn. The idea of Jack going up against Blair Waldorf Jr intrigues me and I'm assuming will lead to great comedy. Was it established before that Liz lost her virginity in the makeup room of a clown academy? It sounds familiar.

"30 Rock" airs Thursdays on NBC at 8:30 pm EST.

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