30 Rock

Season 5 Episode 2

When It Rains, It Pours

2
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 2010 on NBC
AIRED:
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
149 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Liz puts her newfound self-confidence to use by assisting Pete with the issues he's been having with an NBC video editor. Jack feels the best way to teach he and Avery's impending child—whose life he fears he'll miss most of—how to live is to make DVDs of life lessons. Tracy wants to be there for the birth of his next child, and Kenneth keeps sneaking into 30 Rock to perform his old page duties.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • When it Rains, It Pours is the latest example of why 30 Rock just keeps getting better and better.

    9.0
    Liz gains new confidence and confronts the editor so he'll deliver the title sequence in a timely fashion. It is going great until she learns that the editor has been spreading the rumor that they are an item. Jack D. (Alec Baldwin) and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) have a wonderful relationship, not romantic, but a comedy relationship. On Cheers, you had a ground breaking for the time but now considered classic sit com relationship. Two opposites are attracted to each other, and they spar and flirt until the inevitable hook-up. Diane Chambers, the snobby intellectual, versus Sam Malone, the former baseball player, bartender, and womanizer. The problem, seen in retrospect, is that once that story arc is played out, the show has nowhere to go. Seinfeld, a show about nothing, avoided this pit fall and went on and on until finally they had covered all possible aspects of nothing and decided it was time to go out on top. Friends tried to combine the Seinfeld and Cheers approaches, but once every romantic hook up among the six friends except perhaps Ross and Monica had been exhausted, Ross and Rachael settled down as did Chandler and Monica. Joey and Phoebe were always more free spirits, so no surprise there that they would remain single. With 30 Rock, you have an evolving relationship between Jack and Liz but it isn't romantic. Sure, it could go that way, but that would be a signal of desperation--jumping the shark--and about as believable as on The Parkers when Professor Ogilvey suddenly decided he was in love with Nikki Parker and they got married.



    Alec Baldwin has created a great character that uses his movie star leading man qualities to lampoon that kind of a corporate clown. He goes to all those Executive Seminars and does have some wisdom, but also plenty of blind spots. He is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Liz Lemon is a more disorganized, creative type, but one who also must manage a group of even more disorganized creative types, the writers--not to mention the totally bonkers divas like Tracy and Jen. She is kind of a buffer zone between the crazies who create a comedy show and the corporate types upstairs who keep the structure intact. It was really funny when Jack was making a tape for his future son, trying to impart all his acquired wisdom, since he was having children so late in life, and might die or become senile before he would have the chance. He advised his son to find a woman named Liz Lemon, ask her what to do, and then do the opposite. However, when he later learned that he was going to have a girl, he made a new tape with Liz giving the advice, not his wife. His wife was a newscaster and they were treating their marriage almost like a business acquistion. It was telling that he had Liz, not his wife, giving the womanly advice, though he shut her down mid tape, disgusted with the calibre of advice Lemon dispensed. This comedic relationship could go on as long as they can keep the rest of the comedic juggling balls in the air. If 30 Rock ends, it won't be because the Jack and Liz relationship has run its course. On the show, Jack sees himself as being Liz's mentor--but sometimes his advice is terrible. In real life, I see Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin mentoring each other about comedy and acting. Baldwin has a real flair for comedy, as he has shown in the past on his frequent hosting of SNL, most memorably, in the Schwetty Balls send up of NPR, or the classic Canteen Boy skit with Adam Sandler. Still, Tina Fey has much that she can teach him about comedy. One other thing that I am noticing about Tina Fey's writing is that she is very good at taking psycho babble and deconstructing it, or using it as the basis for comedy. For instance, she wrote the script for Mean Girls based on a psychology book. It described different personality types who would group together under a Queen Bee mean girl, and how the syndrome operated, but it was Tina Fey who took the ideas and made them flesh, creating real live characters. On the latest episode of 30 Rock she discovers new found confidence and confronts the editor about getting their title sequence finished. Paul Giamatti plays the editor, an aging nerd whose hobbies are going to Hockey Fantasy Camp and Civil War Re-enactments. He responds to her confident charm and delivers the edits without a fuss--but then he spreads a rumor that he and Liz are an item. This leads to school yard teasing by Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell in cameos. Liz learns that the editor only did it because he was in love with his assistant editor, but she never even seemed to notice him. It was all very funny, but also an astute observation of human psychology.



    30 Rock has great little things, very subtle nuances, that you might or might not even notice, but if you do, it makes you feel clever like knowing the questions to the answers on Jeopardy. In this episode, When It Rains It Pours, Liz tells Jack that she loved having an old daddy because she could get away with anything. Cut to a scene of young Liz raiding the old man's liquor cabinet. She is taking a bottle of Scotch--but why? Not to drink, but to house her rock collection. Later on there is a scene where Jack is making a phone call from Liz's office, and he cradles that same bottle--now filled with rocks. Fey is not hitting you over the head with it, but if you notice, it is a very clever little joke. The return of Kenneth, the antics of Tracy and Jenna, and all the rest, made this a great episode. There were a lot of big names making appearances, but it didn't just feel like stunt casting. Paul Giamatti created a great character, even if it is only for one show, and Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell seemed glad to get away from all the dreary news for some comic relief.moreless
  • Celebrity-fest, and an incredible episode to boot!

    8.8
    Man, how many celebrities were there on tonight's episode? And not just that, they were actually good! Between Ben from Cash Cab, Brian Williams and his co-anchor, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks, there was plenty to love tonight. And the celebrities didn't feel like stunt casting at all. Instead, we got a hilarious episode of 30 Rock with some great lines from everybody.



    Nothing against last week's premiere, but tonight's episode was filled with a little bit of everything that makes 30 Rock great. It's nice to see that things like babies, marriages and other usual sitcom cliches don't trip 30 Rock up. Jack and Avery treat their incoming child like a business expense, or a small soldier to train to be just as successful as them. It's entertaining to watch Jack show his future son how to throw a punch and do a backflip while explaining how he was voted "Most" in his Harvard graduating class. Liz was also hilarious (she usually is anyways) and watching Tracy on Cash Cab and getting hard questions right for the most ridiculous reasons was great. And Chris Parnell was back as Leo Spaceman, the worst doctor of all time ("Just a warning: my speciality is putting babies inside of women").



    If I had one complaint, it would be Kenneth. Kenneth has the rare moment of being funny, but most of the time, he's just creepy and weird. If there could've been more scenes of Pete or Frank or someone and less of Kenneth trying to do his old page job, I might've liked this episode even more.



    However, it was still great, and there were more than enough funny lines to make me forget any weaker parts.moreless
  • One of the best

    10
    Probably one of the best episodes of this show so far. I was almost literally rofl-ing. When the Cash Cab bit came on, I was laughing so hard that my mom came into my room to ask if I was okay. All the celebrity cameos were great, and it really could've been the season premiere. Maybe they should've switched last week's episode with this one. Also, this episode had quotable phrases galore. "Wait a minute, there's no baby in here! Good God!!"

    Anyway, so that I have to use a hundred words for this review, and I ran out of things to say so... okay that was a 100.moreless
Brian Williams (II)

Brian Williams (II)

Himself

Guest Star

Ben Bailey

Ben Bailey

Himself

Guest Star

Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti

Richie

Guest Star

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks

Avery Jessup

Recurring Role

Sherri Shepherd

Sherri Shepherd

Angie Jordan

Recurring Role

Chris Parnell

Chris Parnell

Dr. Leo Spaceman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Jack is doing the video for his future son-to-be, the camera shows one bar on the battery indicator. However, after the scene with Kenneth hiding behind a curtain, Jack goes back to recording and the battery indicator is back to almost full bars.

    • Frank's trucker hat reads, "Long and Twisted".

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Jack: (making lessons DVD) In the unlikely event that you encounter something that is not covered here, find a woman named Elizabeth Lemon, get her advice, and then do the opposite.

    • Jack: (making lessons DVD) Son, I may not be there for your wedding. It breaks my heart to realize that, but I want to offer you one piece of fatherly advice: do not hire Sting to play the reception. He'll insist on doing jazz versions of Police songs, and it's just... demoralizing.

    • Dr. Spaceman: Now, Mrs. Jordan, I've already administered the epidural. So, would you like one as well?

    • Tracy: I'm embarrassed to say I've missed the birth of both of my sons, for very legitimate reasons.
      Dotcom: 'Cooking a French bread pizza' and 'forgot'.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Jack introduces the first video to his son by saying, "My son, you may not remember me, I am your father," very close to the words spoken by Jor-El in Superman: The Movie to his son, Kal-El/Superman, in the Fortress of Solitude.

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