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Deal Breaker!: Liz Finally Gets Hers on the Season Finale of "30 Rock"

Last night's season finale of 30 Rock ("Kidney Now") featured a host of celebrity cameos, including Sheryl Crow, the Beastie Boys, Mary J Blige, Elvis Costello, Clay Aiken, Adam Levine, Cindi Lauper, Michael Stipe, and a ton of others.

But, if I'm being honest, the real joy of the episode, written by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, wasn't seeing an impressive batch of musical talent performing a hilarious benefit song for Kidney Now but seeing Jack Donaghy playing catch with his father Milton (played with relish by Alan Alda).

And while Jack wasn't ultimately a match for the kidney that Milton desperately needs to survive, partially so he can finish that three-volume biography of Jimmy Carter, I do hope that Alda's Milton returns next season. I love seeing Jack alternately child-like and suspicious around his biological father and it would be fantastic to see Alda on a more regular basis.

Meanwhile, I loved how Liz's story--with her new found fame for the "Deal Breaker" lady sketches skewering the trajectory of the phrase "he's just not that into you"--propelled her to superstardom, landing her a spot on a raucous daily talk show and a book deal. That Liz is completely unqualified to give out relationship advice (and only screws up both Pete and Tracy's relationships with their wives) is precisely the point. She's a writer and her own romantic relationships have been disasters on par with the Hindenburg.

What else did I love about last night's gleeful season finale? Liz's biology-related song about kidneys, brains, and colons; Jenna's murderous half-sister Courtney; Leo Spaceman's insistence that he would remember to do the opposite of what was on those medical forms; "You have sexually transmitted crazy mouth!"; Liz's insistence that bisexuality was something "invented in the 90s to sell hair products"; Tracy's crying montage; the aforementioned game of catch; Steven Killer; Jack telling Liz that TGS has maybe two more years left and invoking Wings; Tracy's promise to the graduating class of his alma mater that they would all become president of the United States one day; Sheryl Crow and Adam Levine's European alter egos; Rainstorm Katrina. (Really, the list goes on and on.)

Best line of the evening: "A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show." - Milton (Go, MASH series finale shout-out!)

All in all, "Kidney Now" was a fantastic ender to another wonderful season of 30 Rock, television's best comedy. Or as Liz might say, "We sure had quite a year." Yes, Liz, we did.

30 Rock returns for a fourth season this fall on NBC.


The "We Are the World" type song at the end was funny but, as you said, the truly sparkling bits of comedy were between Alec Baldwin and the fabulous Alan Alda (who I also hope is back next season). That scene in the Dr. Spaceman's office was priceless!
tony libido said…
I've lost most of my love for the show over this past season. Mostly, I think, because of how thoroughly selfish and unsympathetic a character Fey and the writers have made Liz. The show sings in those warm moments amidst the chaos. But Liz has generally become a George Costanza-esque monster. Stealing babies, lying, manipulating. . . I still laugh but I'm not in love the way I was those 1st 2 seasons.
Unknown said…
Even though MJBlige couldn't give a decent line read to save her life, I adored her roling her eyes when jack mentioned he got her out of her Sea World contract.

Also, Kenneth's (cousin of Clay Aiken!) favorite part of science being the Old Teastament.

Ahhh 30 Rock, see you next fall!
Ban Johnson said…
30 Rock seems to be in its prime -- it knows what it is, and is just coasting ahead at top speed. A witty, dense, smart, consistent show. Reminds me quite a bit of Arrested Development in its sharpness, fleetness, and lightness.

However, for my money, the Office, for all its faults, is still the best comedy on TV. It's just more soulfully grounded in human suffering than 30 Rock -- which makes the laughs there heartier, if not quite as frequent, for me at least.
Anonymous said…
Wow, what a hilarious song. Kidney Now has got to be one of the most genius things that 30 Rock has done this season, and that’s saying a lot. I like how they are able to satirize the whole celebrity song for a cause thing while also truly spreading the word about this cause.

Great celebrity cast, good idea to include Cyndi ‘We are the World” Lauper and I was also way happy to see Rhett Miller lending his vocals to the cause, too. I’ve been anxiously waiting for his new album to come out next month, but for now I’m happy just to see him on 30 Rock.

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