Thursday Comedy Roundup: 30 Rock 7.07 & Parks and Rec 5.08

- Advertisement -

30 Rock, Season 7, Episode 7, “Mazel Tov, Dummies!”
Written by Tracey Wigfield
Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller
Airs Thursdays at 8pm ET on NBC

“Mazel Tov, Dummies!” is an episode that forces several characters—and perhaps the show itself, on a metaphorical level—to face their mortality (or in Tracy’s typically bizarro case, his perceived immortality). It hits on these themes early on with mentions of Ted Bundy and O.J. Simpson. These also create tension when John Hodgman’s Surge enthusiast appears; perhaps he has ulterior motives that extend beyond his desire to own Jenna? It is when Jack attempts to buy Jenna back that she becomes concerned about her perceived worthlessness. This reflects back on to Jack, who also realizes his life is likely peaking. Meanwhile, Tracy is experiencing this in the inverse, a lack of health problems requiring him to behave as if he has a future.

The antidote to this is Liz’s wedding. This itself is provoked by a sense of creeping mortality, seeing her ex-boyfriend raising children. However, in Liz it inspires a positive change rather than an existential dilemma. The spontaneous and tossed off nature of Liz’s wedding really makes it succeed. No weeks of planning, meeting families, picking out dresses, just a hilariously fun ceremony, complete with Leia dress and a ring salvaged from the police impound. It’s not overly sentimentalized like the typical TV wedding, and the perfectly 30 Rock nature of the proceedings actually makes them more moving.

Ending an episode about mortality with a wedding could come off as a cruel joke, but really it is the show’s impending death that has given the writers the freedom to deliver wonderful episodes like this, that have made the final season of 30 Rock one of its best.


Parks & Recreation, Season 5, Episode 8, “Pawnee Commons”
Written by Alexandra Rushfield
Directed by Morgan Sackett
Airs Thursdays at 9:30pm ET on NBC

This season of Parks finally seems to have found its footing. “Pawnee Commons” further examines the rift between Pawnee and Eagleton, follows Tom’s Rent-a-Swag dreams to fruition, and finally finds something worthwhile to do with the character of Andy. This all follows the much-welcomed return of Dan Castellaneta’s return as Pawnee’s NPR anchor. Parks excels at media satire and, as a devoted listener of public radio, this has always been one of the best.

Leslie’s struggle with hiring someone from Eagleton to design her new park actually seems to parallel media coverage of the Petraeus scandal. The idea that, the best man for the job isn’t always the person you like the most or the most ethical person. Granted, Wreston St. James seems like a lovely person, but Leslie has to reconcile this with her innate abhorrence for all things Eagleton.

Andy’s quest to accepting his role as City Hall’s new security guard hits a lot of good beats: his initial boredom, his escape into fantasy, and his return to a more rewarding reality. Aubrey Plaza also shines here. The chemistry between the two actors makes their character’s relationship tangible in a very heartwarming way. An emotion Parks has always excelled at educing, but has been absent in much of Season Five.

Tom’s quest to develop the retail space he’s obtained for Rent-A-Swag keeps the rest of the cast busy and allows for some fun banter between Chris and Ron. Everyone seems to be moving forward, and between this episode and the last, the show seems to have gotten back on the right track.

Justin Wier

10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
20 Different Types of Balloons
12 Different Types of Tubas (Plus Interesting Facts)
Minivan loaded with beach stuff for day at the beach
The Ultimate Beach Checklist When Taking Young Kids to the Beach
Boy playing a trombone
10 Different Types of Trombones (Plus Fun Facts)
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
Table with a variety of nuts in bowls
20 Most Popular Types of Nuts (with Nutrition Fact Charts)
Bowl of cooked broccoli with walnuts
20 Types of Broccoli
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
Mechanic working on car in garage
10 Gift Ideas for Mechanics (Under $20, $50, $100 and $200)
A mechanic is repairing a car brake.
5 Different Types of Brake Pads and 6 Different Types of Brakes
9 Cool Minivan Alternatives
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Basketball player slam dunking
29 Great Gift Ideas for Basketball Players (Under $20, $50, $100 and $200)
Inside a beautiful spa business
6 Capabilities the Best Spa Scheduling and Business Software Should Have
Ballet dancers in a dance studio
7 Features of the Best Dance Studio Business Software (Checklist)
Massage therapy clinic
7 Types of Massage Therapist Software for Growing the Business
10 Features the Best Hair Salon Scheduling Business Software Offer (Checklist)
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores