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30 Rock – Nothing Left to Lose

It’s evaluation time! The TGS crew are reflecting on their hard work, their dreams for the future and their plans to better themselves. 30 Rock delivers an episode that felt like old times. No worries, no over-the-top stories, not even a big guest star returning, just good old fun. 

“Nothing Left to Lose” did what every show should do once in a while—it put the characters front and center. All major characters had something going and were involved in storylines with each other. This builds on the team spirit and loyalty with the fans. Plus, if you credit Scott Adsit and Judah Friedlander as main cast, you have to give them a story once in a while. In that regard, this episode delivered, and, not even in the forced, shallow kind of way. The stories in this episode did great on character building and exploration, while also delivering enough witty dialogue. Like Kenneth said, “It’s like grandma’s house at Christmas, that’s when we found her dead on the toilet.”

Pete wrote in his evaluation that he would be right where he was in five years. For any boss, this would be a sign that he has a grateful and happy employee on his hands, but for Jack, its an unacceptable declaration that Pete has no will to live. Rightfully, Jack explains that everyone needs ambition in their lives, and he takes it upon himself to teach Pete a thing or two about giving it all. This results in a hilarious scene in which Pete ends up making out with a dummy because he surrenders to its strengths. 

Jenna is on her own road of self-exploration as she does cartwheels on Times Square dressed as Smurfin so she can play a part in the next Christopher Nolan movie. Things take a turn for the worst when she finds out it was a prank by Frank, Lutz and Toofer. Because she finds Lutz unimportant, Jenna takes her revenge on Frank and Toofer. Things get serious when they confess that Lutz hates himself for always being excluded, which forces Jenna to spend a night digging through trash looking for something in which to blackmail Lutz. But, even that turns out to be a prank by the guys. Normally, Jenna’s head would’ve exploded, but not this week. In some inspirational side interviews, the employees reveal their evaluation in video form (Liz wants to work for NBC even when it becomes a t-shirt company). Jenna reveals that she actually hates herself and is never nice. She realizes that going through all that trouble for Lutz was actually a nice thing, and so she builds on herself. 

And, if that huge moment of character wasn’t enough, Tracy actually goes through his best time ever. After Liz forces him to go see a doctor for his lack of scent, he actually retains his ability to smell. Unsurprisingly, Liz smells like Tracy’s dad who abandoned him when he was a kid. In a nice twist, Tracy begins doing everything in order to earn Liz’s approval, including his job. Not only for Liz, but also for every viewer who has been annoyed with Tracy’s antics since day one, this was a glorious storyline. Tracy does everything right and Liz takes great advantage of the situation. Of course, Tracy’s loyalty becomes a problem when he moves his california king bed to work and leaves his own children. Though his kids might be better off without him, it’s still for the best that Tracy loses his sent again. And so, the story of Tracy being good ends. 

There were beautiful moments, there were sad moments, but most of all, it was entertaining. This is the way I prefer 30 Rock. The dialogue was subtle, there were no particular major roles this week and everybody got to be funny in their own way. Can’t it be like this every week?



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