30 Rock

Season 5 Episode 4

Live Show

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 14, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
175 votes
  • Imagine a 21 minute 30 Rock skit on Saturday Night Live and VOILA!

    This episode could've derailed in SO many ways. When I heard about this episode, I initially thought that while it's an interesting idea, it wasn't something the show should do. However, after watching it, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. It was sort of irritating to watch sometimes, but the show found good ways to work around the live format.

    The episode revolved around Liz's 40th birthday going by unnoticed and Jack quitting drinking to make Avery happy. Meanwhile, Tracy watches a non-porn version of Carol Burnett and starts breaking character in the middle of the TGS show to get laughs. MEANWHILE, Jenna wants to have a wardrobe malfunction. There wasn't much of a plot, and more of the episode was devoted to trying to show the audience how different 30 Rock was in a live format instead of a single camera sitcom format.

    There were some great moments here. Matt Damon and Chris Parnell had some pretty great scenes here, especially Matt Damon, who just about stole the show in his two short scenes ("Is that a surprise party?! Because I was in on it the whole time!") Jon Hamm was not bad, and it was funny to see Rachel Dratch re-appear for a few scenes here. But there were also some jokes that fell flat.. Tracy trying to make people laugh on the TGS show was sort of lackluster, and while there were some funny little jokes sprinkled here and there (Lutz's shirt, the Capital One shout out), it just didn't feel the same in a live format. The show is one of those shows (like Scrubs) that is meant for single camera sitcom format. In fact, I really hope the show doesn't keep trying these themed episodes, because while Scrubs could occasionally pull them off, sometimes, it just didn't work.

    Overall though, it wasn't as bad as I expected. The writing is still superb for the show, and everybody did a good job in switching formats (it also helps to have SNL pros there).
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