30 Rock

Season 5 Episode 1

The Fabian Strategy

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2010 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
148 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Jack decides to help Liz hang onto Carol and clashes with Avery over redecorating his apartment. Meanwhile, Tracy finds it tough to cope without Kenneth, and Jenna becomes a TGS producer.

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  • Good premiere

    So "30 Rock" didn't win Best Comedy. "Mad Men" was able to win Best Drama three years in a row, just like 30 Rock did with the Best Comedy, but it appears four years in a row was not in the cards for 30 Rock. However, that doesn't mean that the 5th season premiere was disappointing. In fact, it was a clear reminder that 30 Rock is still one of the funniest, if not the funniest, shows on television. The premiere had all of the things that make a good episode with only a few flaws.

    The premiere focuses on Liz's relationship with Carol, the pilot played by Matt Damon, and also Jack's new relationship with Avery (played by Elizabeth Banks, even though she's strangely absent). There's a plot about Tracy missing Kenneth and also about Jenna becoming a producer, but those are far less interesting, though they do have their moments.

    For me, the premiere was all about the little moments. Every one of Jack's lines were classics, and the whole "Would you rather?" skit lead to some great lines from Frank and the rest of the group (just hearing the words "pube shirt" and then hearing Matt Damon repeat the phrase was enough to make me burst out laughing). And as for Matt Damon, he continues to do a good job on the show. I've rarely seen him do comedy, so it's always interesting to see him do so.

    As I mentioned before, the side plots this week were.. well, weak. Watching Pete enjoy his free time off lead to some great one-liners and a frankly hilarious image of him bouncing in his seat, listening to some strange Hawaiian music. But Jenna continues to annoy me and Tracy, who is usually hilarious, had some great lines and random moments, but Kenneth's inclusion in the show was strange and reminded me of how little I miss him. I admit.. sometimes, he has good moments, but for the most part, he's boring and strange.

    Overall, though, the premiere was good and the show seems to be making a statement that even though they didn't take home the Emmy, they're still out to show they're one of the best.moreless
  • 501

    After the really funny finale, and the last string of season four episodes with Jack and his two women, and Liz trying to find the right guy or Jenna and her weird cross dresser fetish, this episode wasn't that funny, I didn't laugh as much as I remember I did last season. Not the best premiere at all.

    In this episode we learn Carol's a crier, and him & Liz continue their relationship. Jack has a Fabian Strategy when it comes to dealing with Avery, the only problem, was that she was off screen. Elizabeth Banks was really great last season, and it's a shame we couldn't see her in the premiere.

    Jenna as a producer: entertaining but not that funny. I guess I'm just rating this solely on the comedy part of the show, it's just what I remember I liked so much about this show, and I would go through a whole episode laughing. All I got from this episode was a chuckle or two, but that's it.moreless
  • 501

    A season premiere, a huge movie star in Matt Damon returning, and yet 30 Rock still cannot find an audience. I just do not know why as this is broadcast television's finest comedy, by far. Tonight's episode definitely had a lot of laughs, but it was not as good as some of the classics Tina Fey and company have churned out since 2006.

    I want to see Tracy involved in something different than just hanging out with Kenneth every week. Tracy Morgan is one of the funniest people in the world, but even his biggest fans could not have enjoyed his performance here tonight.

    Not a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination, I know that I'll be laughing at "Executive Producer Ashton Kutcher" for a few days.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Carol: I just have to go St. Louis–Newark, Newark–Atlantic City, Atlantic City to Newark, and then I'll be there.
      Liz: Who flies Newark to Atlantic City?
      Carol: Black bachelorette parties.

    • Liz: Did you know that if you're a pilot that Chili's will seat you right away, even if the pilot's dinner companion has just been yelling at the hostess?
      Jack: You're the Jackie O. of our time.

    • Pete: [Jenna] also gets a producer credit.
      Liz: What?
      Jack: It's just a vanity credit, Lemon, a low cost way to make someone feel more important. Like Executive Producer Ashton Kutcher, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    • Frank: So, Carol, you ever joined the Mile High Club?
      Carol: Try five miles high, and no, I have not.
      Toofer: Did you ever see a UFO up there?
      Carol: No, but once when I was in the Air Force I saw Mr. T in a Pizza Hut.
      Toofer: Was the Air Force like Top Gun?
      Carol: Yeah, but with a lot more volleyball.

    • Tracy: (to Kenneth) Come back home to TGS and pick the peas out of my fried rice... and the rice. I just like the carrots.

    • Pete: This Jenna promotion is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Do you understand how much free time I have now? Yesterday I went to the gym. And this morning I made love to my wife, and she was still asleep, so I didn't have to be gentle.

    • Liz: Those Starwinds are nice. I mean, the bathtubs are so much cleaner than at home. I don't know how they do it.
      Jack: They clean them.

    • Jack: I got to get out of island mode and back into work mode. How was your summer?
      Liz: Get this—my gynecologist committed suicide.
      Jack: And I'm back.

  • NOTES (4)