TVLine's Performer of the Week: Jane Krakowski

30 Rock - Season 7A new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Jane Krakowski

THE SHOW | 30 Rock

THE EPISODE | “Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”

THE AIRDATE | Jan. 31, 2013

RELATED | 30 Rock Video: Did Tina Fey Ever Go to There? Your Burning Qs Answered!

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?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rhythm Nation says:

    I’m also glad she was able to say “camuhrah!” one final time.

  2. Kristen says:

    As soon as she mentioned “Rural Juror” I knew the finale was going to be stellar. That was probably her best storyline ever.

  3. Elly says:

    Her comments to the writers every time she left the room were priceless. ‘later, you rejects from the dildo factory!’

  4. goldfish says:

    Jane is awesome! Her performance in 30 Rock is very underrated, so thanks for this TV line.

    Jenna Maroney = legend.

  5. ABC says:

    Please give Jane Krakowski an Emmy!

  6. Mel says:

    Yes! I can definitely get behind this nod. Love her and she deserves kudos.

  7. Srm says:

    Completely agree! Her performance was perfection! She has been amazing all of these years, but that was a whopper of a send off. Please, Emmy gods, give her the gold!!!

  8. TMW says:

    I didn’t see the point of Jenna until around the fourth season when she started behaving like the over the top, self-absorbed monster that she is. Viva Jenna!

    • Philipp says:

      I have loved Jenna from the start. When she bursts into song on that boat in the show’s 2nd episode and Cerie goes: “Is that even a real song?” Priceless! Or Muffin Top!!!

  9. Andrea says:

    Jane has always committed to the character of Jenna with perfection! From ever song bit to rage stroke and dealing with her mom in town, Jenna showed us that there was always a crazier way to deal with life than we as humans have managed.
    Jane killed it in the Finale!!! No Emmy for Jane will be a huge let down!!!

  10. marge says:

    YES! give this woman an Emmy now, please. (30 rock is still eligible, correct?) If she get’s passed over for Modern Family and the like one more time….
    Jane was solid as Jenna all the way through. :)

  11. Sean D says:

    She was so fantastic for the whole series, wonderful actress.

  12. Line says:

    she was sooo good, as soon as she cried I cried even more than before.
    She deserves that damn Emmy soo much, they cannot longer ignore how talented that woman is!

  13. Nick says:

    Lies! Did you not see what the cast of Downton Abbey did this week? The whole cast was deserving!

  14. Matt says:

    I really was hoping to see Paul and Jenna together one last time :(

  15. Fabe says:

    Jane Krakowski is brilliant. I hope she wins an Emmy for portraying this crazy character! She delivered each and every week! I hope she and Tina work together again soon!

  16. J. Norman says:

    I have no idea about how likable Jane Krakowski is in real life, but it is very hard not to like Jenna Maroney and her audaciousness.
    I hope that she returns in some kind of sequel show as either Jenna or as “Alexis Goodlooking”

  17. canadian ninja says:

    “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).”

    Uh, except at the end where Jenna started crying and weepily said “stop crying daddy” or something like that.

  18. Ruba says:

    I like to add Jake Johnson for that kiss on New Girl

  19. Love Jenna, she was cooky and funny. Her stupidity will be missed!! Nice finale also

  20. Justin says:

    any episode that was a little flat or the jokes were missing their mark, Jane would walk in and hit every punch line with perfect timing and elevate the episode. Every weird stare and self-absorbed head-toss was perfect. I don’t think the show would be the success it is now if Rachel Dratch had played the character as originally intended. For me 30 Rock is Jenna Time – with supporting cast