Ah, shades of the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine episode. It's funny, I bet if years ago you asked either
Alec Baldwin or
Tracy Morgan, neither would have predicted they'd be a killer 1-2 punch on a hot sitcom. And yet here they are on
all the story line pairings in this episode, actually. Jack and Tracy? Say no more. (OK, I will.) Seeing Jack fervently try to suck up to guest star
Rip Torn, only to have Tracy waylay his plan by referring to the only other black guy at the la-de-da golf course function as "Carlton" - prompting Jack to offer a detailed refresher on
Fresh Prince - was a blast.
Loved Tracy's argyle, by the way. And then later, when Tracy broke hearts with the sad tale of how he realized his daughter had diabetes.... Well, you may have guessed it was a sham to save Jack's bacon, but that didn't make Tracy's eventual admission to his boss any less funny. Now I want to see the "casting session"!
Liz' story with Lutz and the writing staff at large may have been better had
How I Met Your Mother not gone there with the C-word - clever bleeping and all - earlier this TV season. One problem I have with making light of that word is that no matter what the "funny" context, you're still evoking a
very nasty slur, and not even one that has been appropriated by those it refers to as a term of endearment/solidarity. That said, Liz's story had a fitting message - that she is held to a different standard, yet shouldn't be, as a female head writer. Plus, her story gave us that winning flurry of flashbacks to times when she was a... not very nice lady. My favorite was her quip about Sherlock Holmes and "the case of the gay sweater." Poor Two-fer.
Last but not least, we had (not nearly enough of)
Kenneth and his tortured coexistence alongside ex-love Grace Park (a nod to NBC publicists Grace Niu and Joanna Park, I wonder?). [
I have since been advised it was an apparent Sci Fi Channel reference.] From "Doggoneit, Grace, I just don't know myself around you" to their mangled quoting of
Jerry Maguire, the kids were sweet to watch.
" Liz updating Jack on Tracy, the redheaded intern and... we can only imagine: "False alarm. She
asked him to take it out."
" Tracy trying to place Rip Torn's NBC-GE mucky-muck: "Is that the gay guy from
" Judah (whom I will be Q&Aing soon for Interviews & Features) recalling the
Designing Women marathon that had him enthralled: "I liked it, and then I hated it, and then I liked it... and then I got horny and fell asleep."
" "Oh, Kenneth. If you're worried about disgracing the National Broadcasting Company, you're too late."
" Tracy making clear to the GE's helicopter-division exec his need for a whirlybird: "I wanna blow it up and run away from the flames in slow motion."
" Tracy: "Damn straight, I'm delightful!"
" Tracy (again), playing up the stereotype he thinks Jack wants him to be in front of the GE brass: "I studied fried chicken at the school of hard knocks!"
" Exasperated Jack: "It's like dating Katie Couric all over again." (Someone on
30 Rock has a Katie issue, methinks....)
" Lastly, the moral of this week's story: "You do
not cross a Sugarbaker woman!"
Two postscripts: Zero Jenna this week. (This must have been when Jane Krakowski was busy selling Broadway investors on her roller-skating adaptation of
Xanadu.) And it just hit me that
30 Rock isn't a serialized comedy, meaning the episodes are strictly independent of each other/very rarely reference previous events. All sitcoms used to be that way back in the day, but in the past 15 years or so it's been trending in the other direction. Interesting call.
Ah shades of the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine episode Its funny I bet if years ago you asked either Alec Baldwin or Tracy Morgan neither would have predicted theyd be a killer 1-2 punch on a hot sitcom And yet here they are on 30 RockI enjoyed all the story line pairings in this episode actually Jack and Tracy Say no more OK I will Seeing Jack fervently try to suck up to guest star Rip Torn only to have Tracy waylay his plan by referring to the only other black guy at the la-de-da golf course function as Carlton prompting Jack to offer a detailed refresher on Fresh Prince was a blast Loved Tracys argyle by the way And then later when Tracy broke hearts with the sad tale of how he realized his daughter had diabetes Well you may have guessed it was a sham to save Jacks bacon but that didnt make Tracys eventual admission to his boss any less funny Now I want to see the casting sessionLiz story with Lutz and the writing staff at large ma