The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 5A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, January19, 2011 - 5A
ABC's 'Off the Map'
is lost in the jungle
COuRTESY OF NBC
"God bless us, every one!"
'30 Rock' steady
By PROMA KHOSLA
Daily TV/New Media Editor
You know what prime time tele-
vision needs? A medical drama!
Wait ...it already has those? Damn.
to the pile:
ABC's "Off the Off lVa
follows a team Pilot
of three young Wednesdays at 10 pm
residents who W eB p
move to a
practice at a
South American emergency clin-
ic to escape the demons of their
Let's be clear: The show is set in
South America, but characters only
refer to it as "the jungle" during the
pilot episode. Worse yet, they don't
speak Spanish (nor do they seem
interested in learning it) and one
Fey and friends keep
the laughs coming
during fifth season
By CAROLYN KLARECKI
Not many shows last five sea-
sons. Even more rarely do shows
have original stories and main-
tain a consistent
level of humor
for so long. "30
Rock" has done 30 Rock
all that and more
with a fifth sea- Season Five
son that has been Midseason
just as engaging
as its first four. Thursdays
Liz Lemon at10 p.m.
(Tina Fey) still NBC
makes up for
the deficiencies in her social
life by kicking ass at work. Jack
Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is still
the conservative business mogul.
Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski)
and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Mor-
gan) are still self-absorbed stars
who make Liz's life as difficult
as possible. But after five years of
hijinks, chaos and last-minute tri-
umphs, the writers of "30 Rock"
had to let their characters grow
The fifth season marks the lon-
gest relationships Liz, Jack and
Jenna have had during the series.
Liz has seemingly found a match
for her neuroses in her pilot boy-
friend Carol (Matt Damon, "True
Grit"), who she has been seeing
since the fourth season finale.
Jenna's relationship with the
transvestite Jenna impersonator
Paul (Will Forte, "SNL") reached
the coveted' six-month mark
before seemingly dissolving. And
in almost a year of infrequent
appearances and mentions, Jack's
fiancee Avery (Elizabeth Banks,
"Zack and Miri Make a Porno")
has evolved into more of a billed
character and has started inter-
acting with the rest of the "TGS"
staff where she belongs. While
past seasons indicate guest star
spots generally don't last long,
Carol, Paul and Avery indicate
Though the characters are get-
ting more mature, that doesn't
mean "30 Rock" has stopped tak-
ing risks. In fact, the show did
the unthinkable this season with
a live episode filmed in "SNL" 's
Studio 8H. The feat was executed
perfectly, with Julia Louis-Drey-
fus playing flashback-Liz and fake
commercials that featured Dr.
Spaceman (Chris Parnell, "SNL")
and Drew Baird (Jon Hamm,
"Mad Men"). Separate tapings for
the East and West Coasts tailored
the show to different audiences
and offered an alternative view-
ing experience. The episode was
a gimmick and an experiment,
but overall it was a tribute to the
thrills of live television.
Still, "30 Rock" is somewhat
reliant on its guest characters.
The live episode alone utilized
the talents of Matt Damon, Rachel
Dratch, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm,
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Chris
Parnell. In other episodes, Queen
Latifah ("The Dilemma") will
surely reappear before the end of
the season. Paul Giamatti ("John
Adams") gave a non-noteworthy
performance as a "TGS" edi-
tor and Alan Alda ("M*A*S*H")
returned as Jack's father. While
guest stars can improve the show,
too often the joke of the episode
See ROCK, Page 6A
Bet McSteamy never had to do this
n insultingly compares his The location itself is stunning;
the show is filmed in Hawaii - yes,
if you've spent the last six years on
re and bore a mysterious island, it's shockingly
familiar. Being in "the jungle" illus-
loin forces. trates that exotic locations make
for equally exotic medical cases.
The show has the advantage over
comparatively tame hospital dra-
me to the United States. "It's mas in that it can show the truly
civilization," he says snoot- nitty-gritty injuries and diseases.
u should try it sometime." As one character puts it, "They say
kind of cultural tone-deaf- that when you hear hoof beats you
've come to expect of NBC's gotta think horses, not zebras."
urced." Oh please, please, Think flu, not Lupus. Her compan-
t it catch on. ion's blank reply a few minutes later
pretty much sums up their situa-
tion: "Sometimes, it's zebras."
The characters are flat at best,
with the kind of problems we've
come to expect from our TV doc-
tors - lost .loved ones, misdiag-
nosed patients or, in one case,
laziness that impairs medical
practice. It's hard not to be skepti-
cal, if not outright scornful, when
Tommy (Zach Gilford; "Friday
Night Lights"), one of the new doc-
tors, tells his sob story to a patient
refusing treatment. whose family
is dying of tuberculosis. In short,
See MAP, Page 6A
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What will you do?
Anything you want.
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voillam JeferrsonC inton, rresident or
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Monday, January 24, 2011 * 5:00-6:00pm
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Pierpont Commons, East Room
How to Write a Rhodes, Marshall, or Mitchell Essay
Monday, March 14, 2011 e 5:00-7:30pm
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