THE PERFORMER | Jane Krakowski
THE SHOW | 30 Rock
THE EPISODE | “Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”
THE AIRDATE | Jan. 31, 2013
THE PERFORMANCE | A self-centered broad who bares her balcony seats to Broadway’s best and gets us weepy while dressed like Hitler? Sounds like the kind of off-kilter film role 30 Rock‘s Jenna would poison someone to nab. But in the NBC comedy’s final hour, those were just two beats in Krakowski’s hilariously touching swan song as TGS‘ resident blonde.
The fearless actress played her narcissistic alter ego to the hilt, maintaining Jenna’s astronomically elevated sense of self even when Law & Order: SVU relegated her to corpse o’ the week and Los Angeles considered her a crone. (They were only three words, but her “Shut it down!” and dog hand-off at the airport still has us giggling.) Even when the normally stoic Jack fell to pieces (!) in her presence, Krakowski played Jenna as completely unaffected (and, true to her nature, a little bored).
But it was Kenneth’s removal of her dressing room mirror that somehow pierced Ms. Maroney’s animal-tranquilizer haze to make her realize something special was ending; that’s when Krakowski made the TGS diva really come alive. We’re still not sure exactly how she managed it. The (real) actress conveyed the (fake) actress’ wild vacillations – from coming clean about her Mickey Rourke days to having a fitting, soggy, jackbooted good-bye with Tracy – in a way that made us care about a character who for seven years cared only for herself.
Even before Krakowski finished a tearful rendition of the Rural Juror theme (we’ve got the lyrics here), we were already missing having Jenna and her agile portrayer in our flurms.
What performance knocked your socks off this week?