There are a few subjects that don't lend themselves to comedy, and genocide is definitely one of them. But somehow both Community
and 30 Rock
managed to turn ethnic cleansing into comedy gold.
Ironically, genocide was the only funny thing about both episodes this week, which were uncharacteristically subpar. Community
suffered from the utter conventionality of it's A-story, B-story formula (plus a complete lack of Annie), while 30 Rock
tried, unsuccessfully, something completely different (an entire
episode filmed in the style of Tracy Jordan's wife's reality show, Queen of Jordan
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star Enver Gjokaj (a man who needs to be on a LOT more television shows) guest starred as Luka, an Eastern European friend of Troy and Abed who loves playing violent video games where he blows up villagers. Why is he so good at this? Probably because he's actually a genocidal war criminal who loved setting babies on fire in his homeland. To Britta's credit, her lust for the hunky foreigner died when she learned about his past, leading to a rather hilarious debate about whether she should "ruin" another guy for Troy and Abed.
Overall, 30 Rock
's Queen of Jordan
episode was a failed experiment. While Liz and Jack had some story, the entire focus of the episode was Tracy's wife Angie, and while Sherri Shepherd is entertaining in small doses, she shouldn't take the lead on 30 Rock
. Similarly, the show completely wasted Susan Sarandon in a pointless cameo as Frank's former teacher who went to jail for sleeping with him. It's cool that 30 Rock
can get movie stars to show up, but would it kill them to do something with them?
The only funny part was a clever word gag about Jenna's new website, jennas-side.com
. While others saw the humor, even after pronouncing it, Jenna didn't get the joke. So while the rest of the episode was relatively dull, it was a joke about genocide that made me laugh.
So kudos to these two NBC comedies (both returning next season) for making a joke about genocide. Thanks to 30 Rock
, it's never been more clever and thanks to Community
, it's never been hotter. I just hope that next week the shows bring more than mass murder jokes to the table.(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)