Thursday, November 19, 2009

30 Rock - The Problem Solvers, or A Little Help From the Audience

I wish there was an awesome word for a deep bond between a man and a woman that is in no way sexual. Because that's what this episode is all about.

We start out with the introduction of Jack Baker, the new cast member. After deciding that, not unlike the Highlander, there can only be one Jack, the original Jack renames him. So, his new name is Danny Baker. Turns out Danny is incredibly nice (and Canadian!) and has some acting experience. His one problem is that he refuses to let Kenneth help him with anything. This freaks Kenneth out to no end, causing him to talk backwards. Apparently, Jack/Danny used to be a personal assistant, and hated the way they were harassed and harangued about the actor's every whim. He assumes that Kenneth feels the same. Oh, Jack/Danny, you have so much to learn.

Jack and Liz have an intimate dinner, and Jack reveals that he wants to produce a talk show with Liz after Dealbreakers has risen to prominence. Liz tells Jenna and Tracy the good news, and they advise her to check out her options with other agents and production companies, rather than commit to Jack just because they have a personal relationship. Surprisingly, this is legitimate advice, so Jenna and Tracy decide to take their problem solving on the road, under the guise of...the Problem Solvers!

They find out that Kenneth is upset that Jack/Danny won't let him do any of his errands, so they agree to talk to Jack/Danny for him. Jack/Danny tells them his story about being a personal assistant and they immediately flash back to all the times they mistreated underlings. So now NO ONE will take any help from Kenneth, and he is distraught!

Meanwhile, Liz breaks the news to Jack that she wants to shop around for a TV deal. He's upset, and the two begin a standoff of epic proportions. She threatens to go with a different production company, and he threatens to steal the rights of the show (since it originally aired on NBC, thus making it property of Sheinhart Wig Company). They do nasty things to each other, a 12 year old (not really, but kinda) agent is introduced, and Padma Lakshmi makes a cameo. At the end, they realize that they want to do business together, not with anyone else. There's an iconic shot of them running across Rockefeller Square toward each other, and the camera spins as they profess their undying mutual respect.

To wrap things up, Kenneth confronts Jack/Danny about being too nice, and tricks him into blowing up at Kenneth, revealing his true actorly persuasions and also conveniently getting rid of his Canadian accent. Kenneth implores Jenna and Tracy to do the same, and everything is officially back to normal.

All in all, a good episode. I am super excited about the new cast member, Jack/Danny, and hope he continues to be endearing and a little goofy. I can't wait for the development of the Dealbreakers talk show, and was glad that Liz and Jack got some time to develop their relationship and generally have great chemistry. But I still have a problem: what catchy phrase can we use to describe their relationship? I am at a loss, so I leave it up to you, my readers. Please post your ideas for a deeply platonic male/female friendship. Who knows - the next bromance may be born right here on this blog. Post away!

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