Kenneth Parcell is probably one of the most recognizable characters on 30 Rock, and also one of its most important. Well, at least definitely up there. I think he is one of the characters people feel the most affection for, since how can you not hear his stories about hill people and eating your own pig-father and not smile? Last night’s episode of 30 Rock offered a big twist to the tired tread of Kenneth-feeling-used plotlines, and represents a potential turning point for the show, as Kenneth has pretty much remained the same throughout the history of the series.
The episodes three plotlines were 1) Liz attempting to out-Jack Jack in her contract renegotiation by adopting the female equivalent of his immovable hair 2) Tracy and Jenna realizing that they are on the same level as themed bar mitzvahs in terms of obnoxiousness at a themed bar mitzvah and 3) Kenneth realizing the staff views him as an inanimate object, which is apparently his breaking point. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about it. It was decent and funny in places. Nothing great, but nothing awful.
The big shock of the evening, of course, was Kenneth’s decision to quit the page program and take a job elsewhere at NBC. Is it really possible to imagine him anywhere else? Thinking back on it, the end of last week’s episode did feel a bit-tribute-y, so I wonder if Jack McBrayer is moving on to bigger and more eager things. I hope he doesn’t, though, because every character in the 30 Rock ensemble so perfectly fits their place that it really doesn’t work well for them to be removed. But I’m sure he’ll have success even if he does leave. After all, in the words of Jack, he is a white man with hair. The sky’s the limit.
Some various interesting side notes:
That Liz Lemon still uses Hotmail.
“How Jewish is everyone here? Because I may need to change my act.”
The fact that they got through an entire bar mitzvah-related episode without mentioning this: