Thank Geiss, 30 Rock is back! In the third season premiere, Liz tried to start a family, Jack did whatever he needed to do to reclaim his throne, and the success of Tracy's porn videogame created a rift between him and Jenna. Read on for the details!
I almost wrote this recap in the form of a love letter to Cathy Geiss, because let's face it, that dame is one of a kind. Almost regardless of what she does, she makes me smile.
And the same goes for 30 Rock.
"Jack! You're back!" It was if Liz was speaking on behalf of the 30 Rock faithful. Yes, Jack weaseled out of his Washington gig - when last seen, he had uncorked a weaponized gas that makes men gay - but not before learning that Dick Cheney is "mostly metal," and thus, in one way or another, will be with us a long time.
Jack was immediately briefed on Devin and wife Cathy's reign as the heads of G. Citing one of Devin's shortcomings, Liz lamented, "It's like he doesn't even care when we should have cake for the people whose birthdays are on the weekend." Jack, of course, knows the answer: "The Friday before. At lunch."
Determined to set things right, Jack resigns himself to starting over, in the mailroom. Though his previous ascent to power took 22 years, this time he thinks he can do it in nine. (The forecast soon gets clipped to five, after a series of quick promotions.)
On the personal front, Liz had bigger fish to fry - namely, her bid to be deemed adopted child-worthy by guest-star Megan Mullally's evaluator. "I got rid of all my Colin Firth movies," Liz tells us, "in case they consider them erotica." But of course, everything Liz does, everything her friends and coworkers say (despite intense coaching), and everything about her world (crashing spotlights and flying epithets) screams Not Worthy. And this is even though she has never run a web cam ring out of her apartment! And only has men stay over maybe once a year!
Elsewhere, the C-story - which is taken to a fun new level in next week's episode - has Jenna and Tracy squabbling over what she is due for her voice work on his X-rated videogame, which turned out to be "more profitable than the war on terror." Along the way, we learn that Jenna has/had a stalker named Yolanda, who sent her headless dolls, and that she once dated O.J. Simpson, "a total gentleman."
Two things made me LOL with a particular zeal during this episode. One, as hinted above, was Jack's no-holds-barred bid to reclaim control of the company, even if it calls for donning strawberry lip gloss to be Cathy's "fancy boy." That story also revealed to us that Cathy wears "Dora the Explorer panties that clearly were made for an obese child," signs legal documents with a series of decorative ink stamps, and that "Seriously, she will bite you" if you interrupt her soaps.
That brings us to my second-favorite moment of the night, where Jack and Liz made like a tormented soap opera supercouple in front of Cathy. "I'm sorry, my darling," an overdramatic Liz said to Jack. "I've just been paranoid ever since that incident with the weather machine." Love. It! And so did Cathy, who I believe vocalized for the first time ever on-screen by cheering, "Kiss-kiss-kiss!" Comedy heaven.
My most favorite moment of the premiere? That's coming, after the bullets:
• "The only thing Cathy and I need assistance with is deciding which John Mayer song to do it to."
• "Keep your friends close and your enemies so close... that you're almost kissing."
• "I thought it was a topless beach; it was a shipyard."
• "I brought in my tape of circus accidents.... A lion eats a sad clown."
• Cathy touching Jack in his "swimsuit area."
• Adoptive mom-to-be Liz: "Is it so wrong that I want to have one of these to grow up and resent me?"
• "It's just G now. I sold the E, to Samsung. They're Samesung now."
• "I'm Fred; Nick is the other black guy." And Liz of course getting the vice-versa wrong later.
• Tracy telling Pete how much tail he's going to get with the chinchilla coat - right in front of the adoption lady.
• "We're not the best people, but we're not the worst. Graduate students are the worst."
• Tracy claiming "Double indemnity!" when Devin threatens to sue him.
But really, all the laughs pale in comparison to 30 Rock's heart, which - and look at me, getting misty again as I type this - was so wonderfully demonstrated with this end-of-episode exchange:
"Did you need something else, Lemon?"
"No. I just like seeing you in there."
P.S. Viewers apparently liked what they saw, too. show less
Thank Geiss, 30 Rock
is back! In the third season premiere, Liz tried to start a family, Jack did whatever he needed to do to reclaim his throne, and the success of Tracy's porn videogame created a rift between him and Jenna. Read on for the details!