30 Rock Episodes

2006, TV Show

30 Rock Episode: "Jackie Jormp-Jomp"

Season 3, Episode 18
Episode Synopsis: Saddled with a suspension from work, a lost Liz misses all the "TGS" chaos and seeks a way to bide her time. Meanwhile, film bigwigs mull over pulling the plug on Jenna's Janis Joplin movie, so Jack and Jenna try (just a little bit harder) to stir up buzz.
Original Air Date: Apr 16, 2009

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Season 3, Episode 18
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Aired: 4/16/2009
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30 Rock Episode Recap: "Jackie Jormp-Jomp" Season 3, Episode 18

On Thursday's 30 Rock, Liz explores the world outside of TGS and finds a group of ladies who lunch —and punch. Meanwhile, Jack fakes Jenna's death to promote her struggling Janis Joplin biopic (she's now called Jackie Jormp-Jomp), and Tracy mediates a lover's quarrel among Dotcom, Kenneth and a TGS dancer named Daphne.

LIZ
Liz is on paid leave (or, as Kenneth calls it, "S-E-X probation") and has to attend sexual-harassment workshops (or, as Jack calls them, "pervert seminars") with HR dude Jeffrey Weinerslav (or, as he pronounces it, "weener slave"), and she's itching to get back to work.

Jack tells her that she cannot be in the office, and since work is her life, she has to improvise. This leads to her spending much of her day chatting up her building's doormen, where she learns some Polish: "Please shut up, lady!" But it's not a total loss. She learns that her building has vending machines and a fitness center, thanks to Emily, a suave former investment banker who sees her old self in the burnt-out, workaholic Liz.

Emily invites her to meet her friends, all of whom used to be high-powered working women who are now ladies of leisure. Their advice for Liz, based on their own experiences: short the housing market; write a cookbook specifically for the children of mixed-race couples; marry a rich old dude who dies; or have mild lupus and great insurance. Liz is seduced by the women, so much so that she hardly realizes that she has spent the entire day with them (shopping, getting Botox, eating dinner at "Jewelbacca" and a lot of imbibing), which is conveyed hilariously in a stage-y flash-forward sequence.

At her reinstatement hearing with Jeffrey, Liz realizes that she actually doesn't want to go back to TGS. So she does what any normal sitcom character would do: She puts her fingers in Jeffrey's mouth, thus extending her leave, except now it's called "humanity leave." "What Indigo Girls song is that from?" Jack asks. "'Syllabus of Us: Soft Vagabonds, Martyrs and Quilts,'" Liz replies in a flash.

"Is anybody else BM-ing like a rock star?" Liz asks her new girlfriends as they drink smoothies.

Yes, yes they are, but... they need other stimulation to keep their brains active while they're not working, says the one who was a neurosurgeon before she wrote her cookbook with Jasmine Guy. What kind of stimulation? "Punch me in the face, Liz!" insists Emily. Ha! It turns out that they're a lady-fight club. "The pain proves we're alive," says another. It's then that Liz has to "fight her way out" to get back to work.

JENNA
"I didn't hit that Asian page; I was just swinging my arm and she walked into it... twice," Jenna insists in a signature overshare to Jack. No, Jenna, it seems that Sheinhardt Wigs was unable to secure the rights to Janis Joplin's name or music — or even the name "Janie Jimplin." Her character will now be known as Jackie Jormp-Jomp. Sing Dem Blues, White Girl: The Jackie Jormp-Jomp Story scored poorly with focus groups, despite the thrilling scene where Jackie duets with Jimmy Hendrickson at Woodstocks ("some day there'll be a black president"). Jenna needs to drum up some press, so she hits the red carpet at... the Kids' Choice Awards.

"Fine," Jenna sighs. "I suppose I can set aside my feud with Raven-Symone for one day... but she knows what she did." That's so Jenna! "Whose mom are you?" asks one of the kid reporters, just before she's upstaged by an animated character named Backpack. Helen Mirren gets slimed on stage in her introduction to the death montage, which, through some misunderstanding with the show's kid producer, includes various animated characters, some old dude and Jenna.

Jack sees the mistake as a PR boon, and wants to fake Jenna's death to drum up buzz for the movie. "Oh, I can play dead," Jenna reports. "I watched my whole church group get eaten by a bear." Conveniently, Pete tells Jack that he already has an obituary reel ready for her, from when she cheated on that mobster. It includes a Cling-Free commercial (that is presumably actually an example of Jane Krakowski's early work) and it "makes gay guys cry," according to Jenna, who couldn't be happier that she's fake-dead.

That is, until Itzhak Bindelman and the Tracy Jordan Dancers take the stage to perform what I think was a violin-soaked version of "Muffin Top." Behind them is a poster that reveals Jenna's real age: 40. "Still alive, almost 32," Jenna corrects as she crashes the performance and blows Jack's plan.

KENNETH and TRACY
My favorite tossed-off detail of tonight: Someone named "Ms. Vieira" from the Today show is sexually harassing "pretty boy" Kenneth, making him eat unripe bananas and such. Let's hope they revisit that storyline.

When Kenneth learns he's required to report in-office relationships to his superior, he tell Jack (he doesn't trust Pete, since he "has a ridge on the section of the skull associated with deviousness") that he is going to some day marry Daphne, one of the TGS dancers, to whom he's never spoken. But Daphne is dating Dotcom, which starts a feud. With no Lemon on the scene, Tracy assumes the mantle of power and fires Daphne. "Friendship and trust in the entourage is the most important thing, like in that HBO show: John Adams," he tells Kenneth.

Problem solved! Except the other dancers go on strike in solidarity. But no worries! Because, as Tracy puts it: "Heavy is the head that eats the crayons." Loosely translated, this means that Tracy hired a motley assortment of hookers, strippers, and trannies to fill in during Jenna's tribute show.

Which is when Liz shows up, mid-live television disaster. After the show, she dresses down her two out-of-control stars. "I am so mad," she says, but her Joker smile and black eye betray her joy to again be running the TGS asylum. "I'm back, nerds!" she shouts to nobody in particular. O'Connor out!

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On Thursday's 30 Rock, Liz explores the world outside of TGS and finds a group of ladies who lunch —and punch. Meanwhile, Jack fakes Jenna's death to promote her struggling Janis Joplin biopic (she's now called Jackie Jormp-Jomp), and Tracy mediates a lover's quarrel among Dotcom, Kenneth and a TGS dancer named Daphne.

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Premiered: October 11, 2006, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: A female TV writer tries to control the behind-the-scenes antics of a live, prime-time variety show and deals with interference from a network bigwig.

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