This week on 30 Rock, Liz "accidentally" started dating a little person (guest star Peter Dinklage), a health scare taught Jack a life (and love) lesson, and Jenna's biopic dream was dashed by a pretty woman. Here now, the full recap!
I see a limb, and I'm going out on it — best episode of the season.
I think what we saw this week was the perfect blend of guest stars in well-modulated roles and regular players (though Pete, Frank et al still seem to be getting sidelined; see Mega Buzz for more on that trend), all working off a script that developed characters, moved story, was teeming with heart and, yes, delivered smart laughs.
Let's start with baby-crazy Liz and how she stumbled into a date with Peter Dinklage's U.N. Commissioner in charge of "Water Temperature and Food Taint." Sure, they had precious little in common — and certainly not the important things like Sex and the City — but I wanted to see much more of them together! I loved how he pegged her straight away as an "aggressive woman with a nerdy vibe." (At least he was half right.) But at the end of the day, there on the Brooklyn Bridge, we saw that what Liz in fact truly seeks is a different kind of little fella to call her own.
Speaking of wants, Jack thought he wanted — and was prepared, McFlurry machine and all — to die alone one day. But thanks to the sage words of his mother's nurse (Salma Hayek), the inspirational "passion" of Tracy and Angie, and a health scare, he revisited his end game. Hayek's character may be one of Jack's best matches yet — in a "power to reform him" kind of way — so while I'm curious to see how it all eventually goes south, I'd rather it didn't.
Lastly, the B-stories packed plenty of amusement. Tracy's money-spending problem was funny for the sight gags alone (the jacket and hat made of currency, the heavy gold shoes), and the aforementioned workplace sexytime with his wife was simply outrageous. Jenna's determination to play Janis Joplin was riotous, especially as "Janis" clumsily made her case to Jack, then later when it became clear how little Jenna knows about the late singer. (To Liz: "Take a lesson from Janis and show some self control.")
Going back to my "best episode of the season" stance.... Listen, I love wall-to-wall jokes for the sake of making jokes as much as the next sitcom viewer. But "Senor Macho Solo" kept all of the comedy rooted in the actual storylines, versus splattering absurdist non sequiturs here and there. And the two romances were fun to watch develop. Superfamous guest stars who pose naked for GQ are nifty and all, but this episode should serve as an example of how underplayed performances can deliver just as big a bang.
And now, the bullets:
• "You keep going baby crazy and I'm still turned on by car accidents."
• "It isn't stealing if it fell on the ground!" Cue handbag filled with baby shoes.
• Jack about his mom: "When she's in a foul mood it can be horribly unpleasant, but at other times she's... asleep."
• Did you know that closed-captioning labels the 30 Rock theme as "[exciting jazz music]"?
• Tracy buying three hours of prime-time for a salute to Benny Hill. And us knowing that NBC would probably gladly take that action in real life (provided it doesn't pre-empt Leno).
• "I like aggressive women with a nerdy vibe. How about we grab some coffee and explore this?"
• Jack on Jenna's jumbled Joplin pitch: "Ongoing train wreck aside, I love this idea."
• "They had airplanes in the '60s, Jenna."
• This week's Star Wars shout-out: "It must be like working in the galactic senate."
• What if I talk about my Nintendo Wii?" Meaning, single adult Liz owns a Wii. (I know, I know - y'all buy it for the "Wii Fit.")
• "... or any female of equivalent thickness."
• Angie (lovingly) assuring Tracy, "I'm gonna watch you die" - and him then telling Jack, "She's done it before!"
• Jordan hook-up No. 1: "You can stay or you can leave, but it's going to take a while!"
• Jack to Liz: "Are you going to dinner? Don't forget your book."
• Kenneth asking Dinklage about living under a bridge - and Liz's horror.
• "Cat sound" (which TVGuide.com Mickey already co-opted as a Facebook update, damn him!)
• Jordan hook-up No. 2: "This is real, people, this is not a drill!" (Hey, at least he warns folks)
• "Here's Moroney on a windy day."
• "I find that authoritative rapid Spanish subdues white people." I knew it!
• Hayek's nurse reacting to Jack's gold shoes.
• "Na-[click-click]-ah told me to wait three days before I called you."
• "I didn't know Michael Buble had so many albums."
• Alec Baldwin, er, Jacksaying, "Thank you for telling me what I already know. You should work for the Huffington Post."
• "Senor macho solo ... is what we call a McRib sandwich."
• I brought a '65 Moet and some pizza-blasted Pringles."
• "Why are they smiling so much? Who's being ostracized?"
• "A Blaffair to Rememblack"
• The little dance step Jack did with Liz, mid-conversation.
• Tracy giving Jack his "positive" news.
• "Can two people fall in love over a benign gonad cyst?" Yes, the age-old question....
• "Shut it down!"
• Janet Jopler crooning, "Take a big ol' chunk of my lung now, baby...." Damn music rights.
This week on 30 Rock
, Liz "accidentally" started dating a little person (guest star Peter Dinklage), a health scare taught Jack a life (and love) lesson, and Jenna's biopic dream was dashed by a pretty woman. Read on for the full recap!