30 Rock: Cutbacks

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

The crew from TGS has barely begun celebrating successfully finishing their 50th show when Jack pulls Liz aside and tells her that NBC's parent company (Shinehart Wigs) is suffering hard economic times and that cutbacks to the entertainment division are coming. He tells her that an outside firm has been hired to trim the fat and that Liz will have to be prepared to present and justify the budget for TGS. Amongst many others, Jack has to fire his personal assistant Jonathon. He enlists Kenneth to become his new personal assistant as well as continuing to perform his regular NBC Page tasks.

Liz prepares an elaborate presentation to wow Brad Holster, the leader of the team hired by Shinehart to do the cutbacks. She tries to sell him on the show (coyly sliding in the stat that TGS is the number one show among men ages 9-13, not to mention the morbidly obese) in hopes that it will convince him to leave everything as is, but he is not influenced whatsoever and continues with the process. He wants Liz to cut 25% of the operating budget, but all she can come up with is to eliminate drinking straws from the catering table (until she sees a rat using the top of a soda can as a bathroom, that is). Brad starts making cuts on his own and soon the entire food table is gone and people are starting to get fired. The crew look desperately to Liz to save them from these hardships, and she does the only thing she can think of-makes a date with Brad to trade sexual favours in exchange for TGS getting a free pass on the cutbacks.

Kenneth has a hard time juggling between his two jobs and asks Tracy to help him by going to his house and feeding his bird (Sonny Crockett). He also tells him to NOT go into his bedroom. Tracy takes Kenneth's keys and goes to his place to feed his bird. He is drawn to the forbidden bedroom but as he gets near to it, the bird repeatedly tells him "don't go in the bedroom". Tracy gets freaked out by the talking bird and runs out of the house. He then goes to Jenna for advice and the 2 of them come to the conclusion that Kenneth is most likely a serial killer. They both go back to his apartment to find out what horrors Kenneth has lurking in his bedroom. After steeling their nerves, they open his bedroom door, only to discover a can of raid in the middle of the floor. Kenneth told Tracy not to go into his room because he was fumigating, and now Jenna and Tracy flee as the poisonous gas fills the rest of his apartment and kills Sonny Crockett.

Liz's "date" with Brad goes well and as the night draws to an end, Liz goes for broke. She invites him up to her place and starts negotiating with him as to what it will take to get TGS off the chopping block. They come to an agreement and she believes that she has accomplished her mission, until she comes in to work the next morning. Not only are the cuts still in place, but there are more cuts! (The writers room has been transformed into a Spanish-language soccer studio for telemundo). Liz confronts brad and asks him why he is still messing with the show after their arrangement the night before. He is hurt that she thought their date was all about TGS, and tells her that he hadn't been intimate with a woman since his wife died so it wasn't something he took lightly.

Liz gets reported for sexual harassment and gets a 2 week suspension from work. She is actually quite alright with that, mainly because Brad gets re-assigned also and the budget cutting for TGS is now under Jack's control and so will not be nearly as severe.

Jenna and Tracy blame each other for the screw-up that killed Kenneth's bird, but do cooperate long enough to apologize to him and to make it up to him-they fill his apartment with dozens of exotic birds. It is a gesture that is very much appreciated by Kenneth, especially after he gets fired as Jack's personal assistant for gross incompetence.

Tags: 30 rock, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, tracy morgan

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