This week on NBC's 30 Rock, baby-crazy Liz pursued a pregnant girl's Dunkin' munchkin, things got Harry as Jack took Frank under his wing, and Jenna struggled to share the birthday spotlight with Tracy. Ready, set, recap!
OK, this was a better show than last week's, thanks in large part to two things. One, when the show latches onto something obscure-ish yet vaguely memorable — e.g. Harry and the Hendersons —that's always fun, especially when it helps drive home a message. (And a drop-by from the film's star never hurts!) Secondly, I personally am a big fan of the B-stories that play off of Jenna's selfishness or insecurity, and ideally both. The Juno-esque plot with Liz? Mere icing on the cake.
Actually, it was icing on the cruller, as Liz got the idea to befriend a donut shop employee who was A) pregnant, B) mad at her frightened babydaddy and C), skimming adoption literature. After some bonding and a bit of Neo singing, Liz creates a job for Becca, as TGS' "youth consultant." (After all, "The CW has them.") Working together, Liz picks up on some slang while trying to steer Becca toward her dream of being a recording artist. Thing is, girlfriend would not even make it to Idol's Hollywood round. Liz tries to gloss over that shortcoming, but ultimately, once babydaddy Tim shows up at 30 Rock — as does John Lithgow (!) — she sets aside her own agenda and prompts the kids to make this situation work.
Elsewhere, Jack is trying to keep busy while Elisa is away, so he decides to hang with the writers. It's Movie Night for the boys — as in the aforementioned Harry and the Hendersons — so they head to Jack's (versus Lutz's place, lest Jack feel sorry for the guy during contract talks). There, Jack and Frank realize they both are the products of deadbeat dads, so Jack decides to do right by Frank and pave the way for Mr. Message Hat to finish law school. Heck, Frank even cleans up and gets a suit from Jack's tailor ("the same cut worn by Reagan the day he was shot").
It's all a great idea, right? Not at all, actually, as Jack learns from Mama Rossitano (guest star Patti Lupone). Turns out that all the Rossitano men have been lawyers ... for the mob. In fact, Frank's dad never ran off, but is in hiding in Phoenix. Jack is given the charge of torpedoing Frank's law career, which — thanks to some guidance from Harry — he begrudgingly does. Goodbye, my friend.
Lastly, it's Jenna's birthday — but Kenneth decides to make it Tracy's big day as well, seeing as how the poor guy never got a birth certificate (born inside Yankee Stadium and all). Jenna can barely contain her vehement distaste for the idea, but decides to play along, confident she will steal the show. Little does she know she will have any leftover thunder completely consumed by Frank's law school announcement as well as Cerie's gifting of New Yankee Stadium opening day tickets for the gang. Jenna tries to grab some crumbs of attention with a fake back brace, but no such luck.
As it would turn out — and I totally called this, FWIW — Jenna did catch someone's attention: Tracy's, and as he made his birthday wish. So when she later springs out of her wheelchair, fed up with the world, he declares it a birthday miracle!
The episode closes with Jack and Liz sharing a drink in his office, while a hapless John Lithgow struggles to find his way out of 30 Rock. "It's like a maze! I keep walking past the same Sbarro's!"
* "How could you cut Diaper Chicken?!"
* "Donuts and then bed? What are you depressed about or celebrating?"
* Becca to Tim: "I hope you lose your indoor soccer game!"
* "You want a dozen to stay?" "And a skim milk."
* "He went out to get candles for my 4th birthday lasagna and never came back."
* "His MySpace page still says 'Status: Horny.'"
* "... and then you just watch Falcon Crest and cry yourself to sleep."
* "Maybe that's why we're drawn to movies where the father pushes away the child-slash-legendary North American forest ape?"
* "I saw one on Oz. It was... interesting."
* "This morning it hit me why the Hendersons named their guest Harry. That film has layers."
* Jack urging Frank's law school dream: "Make your father hate any new children he might have!"
* Frank's desk vomit: "Right. Fake."
* Jenna: "My heart goes out to all inner city kids — especially those too fat to dance their way out."
* Liz consulting the online slang dictionary.
* "I'm gonna post a reply to juno32 and tell her she's a giant asswipe!"
* "... you already dress like a mom...."
* Becca singing, "Mothers and fathers and jugglers and judges...." Damn song has been stuck in my head all morning!
* "I'm Mr. Don Rickles, and [Tracy] is just me."
* Touched birthday boy Tracy: "To think I was just calling you all a bunch of racists!"
* "Who knows when February 24 will come again?"
* Tracy's possible birthday wishes, as surmised by Kenneth and DotCom: "Own a robocop, hunt that elephant that paints, or breakfast in bed."
* "But who would I celebrate with if you all were in a car accident?"
* Lithgow off Liz's reaction, "I guess someone's been watching The World According to Garp."
* "Nut up right now, get a job and raise that kid!" And with that one, I get to use TVGuide.com's "Nut Up" content tag!
P.S. It just hit me. Lithgow. Third Rock. 30 Rock.
This week on NBC's 30 Rock
, baby-crazy Liz pursued a pregnant girl's Dunkin' munchkin, things got Harry as Jack took Frank under his wing, and Jenna struggled to share the birthday spotlight with Tracy. Ready, set, recap!
OK, this was a better show than last week's, thanks in large part to two things. One, when the show latches onto something obscure-ish yet vaguely memorable — e.g. Harry and the Hendersons —that's always fun, especially when it helps drive home a message. (And a drop-by from the film's star never hurts!) Secondly, I personally am a big fan of the B-stories that play off of Jenna's selfishness ...