Episode 210

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Episode 210
30 Rock episode
Episode 210.png
Liz arguing with the co-op board while drinking wine and running on a treadmill
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 10
Directed by Richard Shepard
Written by Robert Carlock
Donald Glover
Featured music "Midnight Train to Georgia" performed by the cast of 30 Rock.
Production code 210
Original air date January 10, 2008 (2008-01-10)
Guest actors

Kevin Brown as Dot Com Slattery
Grizz Chapman as Grizz Griswold
Edie Falco as C.C. Cunningham
Edward Herrmann as Walter
Toby Huss as Deutsche Stimme
Gladys Knight as Herself

Episode chronology
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"Ludachristmas"
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"MILF Island"
30 Rock (season 2)
List of 30 Rock episodes

The untitled tenth episode of the second season of the television series 30 Rock was first broadcast in the United States on January 10, 2008, on the NBC network. The episode was written by show runner Robert Carlock and Donald Glover, and was directed by Richard Shepard.[1] Guest stars include James Arden, Julia Barnett, Kevin Brown, James Cavanagh Burke, Grizz Chapman, Edie Falco, Toby Huss and Gladys Knight, who appeared as herself. The episode focuses on Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and her decision to invest in real-estate, Jack Donaghy's (Alec Baldwin) choice between his job and his girlfriend, and Kenneth Parcell's (Jack McBrayer) addiction to coffee.[1]

The production and broadcasting of this episode was heavily affected by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[2] Despite never being officially named by NBC, "Episode 210" has been unofficially titled "Liz the Business Woman"[3] and "Coffee & TV".[4] Although not unanimously praised by critics, the episode attracted generally positive reviews and was particularly appreciated for its cast rendition of the 1973 Gladys Knight & the Pips hit "Midnight Train to Georgia". Liz also sings a snippet of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" when leaving a message for the co-op board.

Plot[edit]

Tracy Jordan buys a coffee machine and puts it on Kenneth Parcell's desk, causing him to develop a caffeine addiction. Comparing New York to Sodom, Kenneth claims that he has been "sodomized," and feels guilty that he has let New York change him, contrary to a promise he made to his mother. He therefore decides to return to Georgia on the midnight train; however, he gets confused with the departure time and stays. Meanwhile, Liz takes Jack's advice to invest in real estate, and Jenna Maroney tells Liz that her business manager is selling his apartment. The sale is subject to the approval of the building's cooperative board, but Liz makes a bad impression and her purchase offer is rejected. Liz gets herself drunk and makes numerous phone calls to the board.

Jack is involved in negotiations to acquire a German cable television network, but is struggling to juggle his job and his relationship with C.C., whose work has taken her to Washington DC. Unable to see each other when they want to, the couple decide to "meet in the middle" (in a betting parlor in Pennsylvania), but this arrangement proves unsuitable and they later decide to break up. Jack, in conversation with Liz, compares his relationship to Liz's previous relationship with Floyd, and Liz declares in song that she has to go.[1]

Production[edit]

The Writers Guild of America was on strike for 100 days.[5]

Parts of this episode were filmed during the week of November 5, 2007,[2] which coincided with the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The strike, which began at 00:01 EST on November 5, 2007,[6] did not affect the episode as it had been written earlier and filming was finished on November 9.[7] Members of Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America, West voted to end the writers' strike on February 12, 2008,[8] and although writers were allowed to return to work on the same day,[9] Robert Carlock returned to work on February 11. The remaining writers resumed work on February 13,[9][10] which began the production of the next episode, "MILF Island".[9][11] During the filming, actor and executive producer Tina Fey had to balance her duties in order not to breach WGA strike rules.[12] Fey also took to the picket lines along with co-star Jack McBrayer.[13] Alec Baldwin wrote blogs on The Huffington Post website in order to demonstrate his support for the WGA writers.[14]

"Episode 210" was broadcast on January 10, 2008 and was the final episode, including repeats,[15] of 30 Rock to be broadcast until the episode "MILF Island" in April.[11][16] This episode is also notable for being officially unnamed; NBC billed this episode on its press releases as "Episode 210."[17][18] This led some critics to give it the unofficial title of "Liz the Business Woman",[3] while others named it "Coffee & TV".[4]

Reception[edit]

On its original broadcast in the United States, "Episode 210" was viewed by 6.0 million viewers and earned a 2.8/7 in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic. This means that it was seen by 2.8% of all 18- to 49-year-olds, and 7% of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast.[19]

Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Labrecque wrote "the episode really finished strong with a fabulous Gladys Knight musical number".[3] Matt Webb Mitovich of TV Guide also praised the musical number, saying "that 'Midnight Train to Georgia' number at the end of tonight's episode... Wow. So out of nowhere and so fun."[20] Bob Sassone of AOL's TV Squad said that the episode "was a good episode to go into the hiatus with, if that makes things better". He criticized the fact that the fictional TGS writing staff was not present in this episode, even though they could have been effectively used.[21] Michael Neal of Television Without Pity awarded the episode a grading of A+.[4] The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss reviewed the episode positively, saying "[the episode] concluded with a musical interlude that was both hilarious and wistful".[22]

Despite the good reviews, there was no universal acclaim from critics as a whole. Robert Canning of IGN said that "[this episode] wasn't the most spectacular half-hour from this truncated season" and "unfortunately, there wasn't all that much that was funny about it. Sure, there were a couple of decent one-liners, but overall [Kenneth's storyline] offered up nothing new." Despite these criticisms, Canning added further praise to the "Midnight Train to Georgia" performance. Canning gave this episode a rating of 8.4 out of 10.[23]

Edie Falco was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for this episode.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Writer(s): Robert Carlock & Donald Glover; Director: Richard Shepard (2008-01-10). "Episode 210". 30 Rock. Season 2. Episode 10. NBC Universal. NBC.
  2. ^ a b Times Staff Writers (November 2007). "The TV Grid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  3. ^ a b c Labrecque, Jeff (2008-01-10). "30 Rock: Midnight Train Wrecks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  4. ^ a b c Neal, Michael (2008-01-10). "Coffee & TV". Television Without Pity. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  5. ^ The New York Times Staff (2008-02-12). "The 100-Day Writers' Strike: A Timeline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (2007-11-04). "WGA goes on strike". Variety. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  7. ^ Baldwin, Alec (2007-11-11). "What the Strike is Costing Us". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Writers Guild Members Vote to End Strike" (Press release). Writers Guild of America, West. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  9. ^ a b c Littleton, Cynthia; McNary, Dave (2008-02-12). "It's official: WGA strike is over". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  10. ^ Littleton, Cynthia; McNary, Dave (2008-02-10). "Showrunners back to work Monday". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  11. ^ a b "NBC Announces Broadcast Return of Several Scripted Series with Original Episodes in April" (Press release). NBC; The Futon Critic. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  12. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (2007-11-06). "High-profile writers Rock picket line in N.Y". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  13. ^ Waldo, Patrick; Sklar, Rachel (2007-11-27). "Solidarity! Tina Fey, Tim Robbins, Kristin Davis, John Edwards, And The Creepy Guy From "Lost" Rally For Striking Writers". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  14. ^ Baldwin, Alec. "Alec Baldwin". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  15. ^ National Broadcasting Company. "30 ROCK Storylines". Press Release. NBC Media Village. Retrieved 2008-01-19. [dead link]
  16. ^ The Futon Critic Staff (2007-12-20). "ABC, NBC Shuffle January Premieres". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  17. ^ "01-10-2008 08:30 PM 30 ROCK — EPISODE 210 (30 min)" (Press release). National Broadcasting Company; NBC Media Village. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-18. [dead link]
  18. ^ "30 ROCK; Air Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008; Time Slot: 8:30 PM-9:00 PM EST on NBC; Episode Title: (#210) "EPISODE 210"" (Press release). The Futon Critic. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2008-01-12). "Last Thursday of new episodes lackluster". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-01-19. [dead link]
  20. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (2008-01-10). "Episode Recap: "Episode 210"". TV Guide. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  21. ^ Sassone, Bob (2008-01-10). "30 Rock: Episode 210". TV Squad. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  22. ^ Weiss, Joanna (2008-01-12). ""30 Rock:" They're leaving". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  23. ^ Canning, Robert (2008-01-11). "30 Rock: "Episode 210" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  24. ^ "The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominees are...". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 

External links[edit]