Friday, April 25, 2008

30 Rock Me Amadeus

The strike was tough on us, I have to admit it, so perhaps that makes the return of all these new episodes look rosier to me than they should, but I think when all is said and done this 30 Rock will go down as one of their finest. The second half homage to Amadeus alone was (forgive the term) genius, but on top of that they gave perhaps the best explanation of the Uncanny Valley theory of human facsimile (Tom Hanks in The Polar Express is indeed creepy).

Tracy as Mozart is a leap to be sure, but as a genius trying to bridge the Uncanny Valley in merging video games with porn it worked great. It's a quest that's been tried before, namely by Frank (and "history's greatest perverts -- Walt Disney, Larry Flynt, the Japanese.") Pitting Tracy's Amadeus against Frank's Salieri wouldn't have worked if it weren't for the use of Mozart's "Requiem: Lacrimosa," which you hear throughout the episode's latter half. The piece was of course his final work that a jealous Salieri helped coax out of him, which the scene of Frank dictating to Tracy parodies so well ("duo becomes a trio ... and a trio becomes a quartet ..."). Even Kenneth takes on the role of Constanze, Mozart's wife and protector.

And, if the music and theme is the only reason for Dr. Spaceman to be running through the studio in a cape, it's worth it, don't you think?

Favorite lines:
"I've got to do something important so my kids respect me -- like be a senator, or a wizard." - Tracy
"My genius has come alive, like toys when your back is turned." - Tracy
"I want my mother to know before she dies so she goes to the grave a defeated woman." - Jack on his promotion to head of GE
"Suck it monkeys, I'm going corporate!" - Liz to the writers
"It's like rich drunk, either way, it's legal to drive." - Jack explaining "business drunk" to Liz
"You've got the charm and spark of a young Leona Helmsley." - Don to Liz

Did anyone else see Liz' turn as an executive was a metaphor for living with the apes, a la Diann Fossey? Perhaps it was just a joke they set up that they couldn't deliver on effectively and decided to let it go?

Song: "Requiem: Lacrimosa" - Mozart

1 comment:

bumpershine said...

It was a good ep, indeed. Do you know if Rip Torn had a stroke in real life? He seemed really shaky in that episode, moreso than just a man acting sick.