30 Rock "Governor Dunston" Review: Going for It

30 Rock S07E02: "Governor Dunston"

Last week I saw the "tanking it" theme as 30 Rock's promise not to let quality drop just because it's in the home stretch. Based on Governor Dunston, I think it's safe to say that instead of taking it easy, the writers are trying to fit in all of the storylines that are too good not to get made.

One of 30 Rock's biggest strengths has always been Tina Fey's intimate understanding of a late-night sketch comedy show. One of Fey's most memorable moments on Saturday Night Live career (though she wasn't actually a cast member at the time) was her impression of Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential election. It'd never occurred to me that 30 Rock should parody that situation, but now that it has, I can't believe it waited so long. Of course, the timing of this year's election didn't hurt.

The set-up was pretty great: Liz and Pete noticed that Tracy looked extremely similar to Romney's vice presidential nominee, Governor Dunston. Despite Jack's warning in last week's season premiere, Liz couldn't resist such low-hanging fruit—especially since Dunston was a completely ridiculous person. His pants accidentally came off during a debate, and he vomited chili (and loose change) at a fair.

Tracy's impressions became wildly popular, resulting in a demand from Hank Hooper to air new episodes of TGS five nights a week. Liz had already been having intimacy issues with Criss (turns out they WERE trying to make a baby!), and with the extra workload, she had to carefully schedule her life. As it happened, this was was a huge turn-on for Liz—which, naturally, led to a ridiculously sexual scene of Liz and Criss buying office supplies.

Meanwhile, Jack received a visit from Cooter, his White House buddy from his brief stint in the Bush administration. Cooter was eager for Tracy to continue his impressions, because even though Tracy was ridiculing Dunston, he was also making the governor seem silly and likeable instead of mean and evil. Jack was torn: If Tracy did the impressions, NBC would get good ratings and Hank Hooper might not sell it to Paas, but the situation would help the Republican party. Right before Tracy was supposed to go on stage Jack brought his concerns to Liz, who faced her own dilemma: Preventing Tracy from doing the impressions would help the Democratic party, but then TGS wouldn't be on five nights a week, her schedule would be more relaxed, and sex with Criss would awkward again.

The episode ended with Liz sending Tracy to the stage, but what will happen next? Will she stop him? Will Jack? Or will Tracy do something outrageous that ruins everything for everyone?

There was also a plot about Kenneth and his parents, but honestly, it wasn't nearly as good as Liz and Jack's story. However, it was great casting having Catherine O'Hara as Kenneth's mom and Bryan Cranston as her "friend" Ron. It's about time we met these characters! Also, I did thoroughly enjoy knowing that as soon as Kenneth was born he told his mother that he was an immortal being, and that she saw nothing wrong with that. However, I hope the writers don't try to do more with Kenneth's otherworldly-ness. I really enjoy having that as a running gag that none of the other characters take seriously.

My hopes for the rest of the season are pretty high right now. I get the feeling that the writers are going through their old ideas, saying, "That's brilliant! Why haven't we done that yet?" before it's too late. And I do want Liz to get pregnant, because there's a monster of comedy there just waiting to be released.

QUESTIONS:

– Who do you want to see guest-star on 30 Rock while there's still time?

– Republicans: Are you offended by 30 Rock's portrayal of your party?

– Does it bother you when 30 Rock gets political? Or does that make you more turned on than Liz Lemon with four different colored highlighters?

– Do you think Liz will get pregnant by the end of the season?

– Are you also just a little bit curious what red wine, soda water, and olives taste like?

Comments (19)
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I LOVE 30rock!
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it feels like there is some reverse meta irony going on since it's like they are trying to apologize for last season by making the final season better, but with plots like tanking nbc and making tgs be bad then good which is bad. why can't i just enjoy jokes anymore, dammit.



i am liking it more than last season though. witch undertones and ocd orgasms and such
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If not for Bryan Cranston and Catherine O'Hara this show was just not funny.Looks like they already are mailing it in
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Best line of the night: "Let me die in an emergency room from a treatable disease like an American."
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I really enjoyed the season premiere, but this episode fell flat. When the funniest line of the night is about Paul Ryan being born in Kenya, something is off.
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It's a good thing you're wrong or it could be troublesome...
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Oneliner of the night.

"Do you remember that kid in school who bullied you? Well, i ate that goat." had me rolling.

Great show, i will miss it.
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I didn't laugh much at all during this episode. I was really hoping for more from Bryan Cranston and Catherine O'Hara, but those characters weren't particularly fun. Tracy seems a bit off this season -- and by off, I mean he's not as off as he usually is.
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So funny! I'll have to watch the last two episodes again just to catch all the gags. As a Republican, I'm not offended. An actual candidate like Dunston would be very offensive. I'd love to see Liz pregnant. I can see her becoming an "earth mother" at least for one episode. Oh, and how about Jenna's lunch? Is that how stars eat?
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If that's Matthew Broderick in that third picture, I'm actually gonna have to watch the show.
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Liz: "If these sketches are helping Romney we're not doing them."

Honestly, I feel that comedy is at its best when it stays away from politics (the obvious exception being All In The Family, but it was the cast made that show a gem). It seems pretty clear to me that Lorne Michaels and the other Democrats on his staff are much more worried about this year's election than elections in the past - why else would they devote virtually an ENTIRE episode to giving Romney a fake, gaffe-prone running mate? This episode feels very forced and hell-bent on being pro-Democrat, instead of focusing on comedy. I know Lorne Michaels cannot resist getting involved in every election, but this is not Saturday Night Live, where the world has come to expect something political on a weekly basis. Stick to comedy and stay away from politics - the episodes will be much funnier that way.
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Why else? Because it was hilarious, and not because he was a Republican. That was just a vehicle for Tracy Morgan's physical comedy, which has always been his strength.
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It sounds more like you just don't think the Republican Party should be a subject of comedy, which is curious. As Julia said this episode was in part referencing Tina Fey's own political parody so it had that self-aware touch. Apart from that, Liz and Jack have had many heated political discussions throughout the course of the show. That's completely within the purview of their characters and has never detracted from the comedy of the show. This episode was no exception; there was certainly no liberal dogmatism at play.
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This episode felt flat to me, every storyline was written too broad and lacking punch. Kenneth's part really should have been an explosion of comedy but instead it downplayed it. I also don't know why I'm supposed to care whether Liz - doing a pretty terrible job of being a person - gets pregnant.
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I personally have no interest in politics,so all those jokes were boring to me.

but episode was good...Bryan C. was awsome, Liz had awsome scenes with Criss
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Eh, I only laughed once or twice with a couple of chuckles. The sooner this show is over, the better. Then hopefully Community will get its time slot.
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The episode was still funny despite that the writing for Catherine O'Hara's and Bryan Cranston's characters wasn't really that sharp.

But on another comedy front: how about The League?! That season premiere was hilarious!
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*Thumbs up* for your mention of The League's season premiere. Although, I am a little bummed out because I was totally going to name my not-yet-conceived child Chalupa and they made it seem ridiculous :(
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There was a new 30 rock but not a new Parks and Rec or Office, how sad.
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