Archives for posts with tag: television

Stop eating people’s old french fries, pigeon. Have some self respect! Don’t you know you can fly?

The opening scenes of this episode flawlessly set us up for the plot to follow. Liz, Jack and Tracy all smell maple syrup. Jack’s afraid it might be Northrax, a chemical weapons we sold to Saudi Arabia that smells like maple syrup, but it kills you after ten seconds. Jack and Liz wait on the line for ten seconds before hanging up.

You should know that this is a real thing that has happened and that I have experienced. Jack posited it was coming from the factories in Staten Island, but it really came from Jersey. Staten Island probably would have been my top guess too, though.

Anyway, so many funny things happen that it’s really difficult to pick what to highlight. But here’s my best shot.

This was another heavy Jack episode. After attending a party thrown by “John McCain and Jack Bauer,” he meets and falls in love with a Democratic congresswoman, Celeste Cunningham (better known as C.C.), played by Edie Falco. C.C. is actively lobbying against NBC’s ownder, Sheinhardt Wig Company, which may or may not have dyed some kids orange. Oops

At first it almost doesn’t work out, since Jack orders a really girly drink, the Nancy Drew (he asserts it’s called a Hardy Boy when a man drinks it). It sounds like a summertime dark and stormy, though, so I kind of almost want one?

The Nancy Drew:

White Rum

Ginger ale (Jacks gets diet)

A splash of lime juice

Anyway it seems that political differences will ruin their relationship:

C.C.: I’m helping Hilary retool her universal healthcare plan.

Jack: God I want to kiss you on the mouth to stop you from saying such ridiculous things.

Until! C.C. reveals that she got into politics because a dog shot her in the face and she sued the gun company. And that Lifetime made a movie about it:

Subtitle: A dog took my face and gave me a better face to change the world. Bonus Kristen Wiig!

Subtitle: A dog took my face and gave me a better face to change the world.
Bonus Kristen Wiig!

Jack watches the movie and is moved by the plot, in which Celeste falls in love with the dog that shot her in the face, overcoming the odds for them to be together. He’s the dog, and he races to Celeste to declare his feelings and pursue and clandestine relationship. “We’ll ignore our differences until our sex goes bad and then we’ll walk away bitter and angry.”

Meanwhile, Liz thinks her neighbor, Raheem, played by Fred Armisen, is a terrorist because he’s mean to her, won’t shake her hand, filmed a weird video in the park, and has a lot of maps. Pete points out that she has a map, and she responds, “That’s different, that’s an antique and I’m a white lady.” Awkward.

But Liz’s terrified racism is sort of understandable given the episode’s cold open (the biological warfare that almost was) and the fact that New York is covered in signs that say, “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING,” “IF YOU SUSPECT ANYTHING, DO EVERYTHING,” and, “WE DON’T POISON THE WORLD. TERRORISTS DO. -SHEINHARDT WIG COMPANY.” I mean, obviously Liz is wrong for calling the NSA on her neighbor, and she doesn’t have the best track record for not being racist, but in post-9/11 New York, people do dumb, dumb things.

Kenneth’s plot involves him trying to get enough money to replace the pants he lost, Jack’s $2,500 pants. The writers make him eat expired ketchup and scare Lutz. It’s funny.

Oh one more thing! Mid-episode Jack and Liz raves about Verizon phones. Liz then looks at the camera and asks, “Can we have our money now?” Another hilarious product-placement meta-moment of awesome.

Bits & Pieces

So starting from last episode, we’re seeing the episodes aired during the Writers’ Guild of America strike of 2007-2008. In this episode, the new crawl on MSNBC made some good jokes at the strike’s expense. It read: “Mysterious visitor from future wins lottery again. Wolf blitzer injured in wolf blitz. News crawl affected by writers strike – using repeat text from previous season.”

Most Jack thing Jack says: There were a lot of good candidates this episode, but I’m picking, “Your hair is your head suit.”

When Grizz and Dotcom bring Tracy a selection of pants, they bring him a pair of Sean John jeans. Do those still exist?

Jack plays “What The World Needs Now Is Love” on a piano at the party while singing and this attracts C.C.? It’s weird.

Tracy has some amazing ideas for pick-up lines:

Tell her that you want her privates and your privates to do a high five.

Tell her you want her to donate her body to science and you science.

And this amazing monologue about forbidden love:

Oh, I get it. Romeo and Juliet? Capulets and Romulans? Mmm hmm, I’ve been there. I’m black, she’s white. I’m black, she’s light-skinned black. I’m black, she’s seventeen.

A ranking of Jack’s love interests from best to worst: C.C., Condaleeza Rice, Bianca, Maureen Dowd, Phoebe. Phoebe is always last.

Best Frank hat: Karate Prom

Tracy lives in Jersey? What? Why? What?

Jack uses a photo of Ronald Reagan as a reference photo for his haircut.

Character I related to most: Maybe Pete yelling at Liz to stop being racist?

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: He ate a whole bottle of expired ketchup and suffered no adverse health effects.

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Did you know, scientifically speaking, that humans want food but don’t need it?

Alright, let’s just talk about the greatest thing to come out of this episode:

In the episode, we only hear the chorus, but it is a great song and I make all my friends listen to it on Halloween.

Who’s the second voice in that song? Donald Glover, who was a writer on “30 Rock” at this point. His parts really just elevate the whole thing, his sort of “Tracy, what are you doing why does this song exist” thing.

So. Good.

This episode gave everyone a lot to do.

1. Jack finds out Devon is engaged to Kathy Geiss (who doesn’t do interesting this episode but I am SO EXCITED) and fights him for Don Geiss’ favor.

2. Jenna deals with her weight gain. Dr. Spaceman is heavily involved.

3. Tracy continues his fight with Angie. Kenneth tries to save his marriage.

4. Liz tries to put her life together and to deal with the Jenna thing.

This episode was particularly notable for the number of references it had to things from season one. All the ones I caught:

  • Devon claims he isn’t gay anymore because he joined the Church of Practicology. Tracy tried to join that church in “The Fighting Irish.”
  • When Jack is talking about secrets people at G.E. have: “Alan Garkel in legal? I don’t think he really needs his wheelchair.” Alan Garkel is the black guy in a wheelchair who gets the job Floyd was gunning for, which inspires him to move back to Cleveland.
  • When Tracy wants to talk to Kenneth, he tells him, “I’ve got something on my mind grapes.”  Jack coined the term “mind grapes” in episode 7 while trying to come up with a speech about Don Geiss. Tracy uses it in that episode as well.
  • When Liz tries to assemble her Ikea office furniture — named blërg — the song from the pilot plays. This is amazing.

So that was pretty cool.

 

Anyway, Devon tries to use Jack’s heart attack against him. He tells him, “I’m gonna make your heart explode,” and I was struck by how, in another context, that could be sort of romantic? Jack tries to use Devon’s homosexuality against him. This includes having someone named Winthrop tackle Devon shirtless:

Screenshot 2014-07-16 23.39.46

You might have noticed that Winthrop is Luke Cafferty from “Friday Night Lights!” I freaked out when I realized this. If you’ve never watched “Friday Night Lights” you should do that right now. Wow. What are you doing with your life.

Don Geiss is in this episode too, which always strikes me as odd because I think I thought that we never saw Don Geiss and he was this sort of ethereal being that was only mentioned and never seen. This is false, obviously. I have no idea why I thought this. Anyway, Don tells Jack he’s on his list and Jack is pleased, even though he still can’t eat red meat.

Meanwhile, the Jenna plot was weird. A lot of funny things happened, like Dr. Spaceman suggesting “crazy surgical options” and meth as weight loss tools:

Meth puns are always funny.

Meth puns are always funny.

Liz is trying to get Jenna to embrace her fatness and not make it the joke, but it doesn’t work out so well. “Me want food” becomes Jenna’s catchphrase and finally gets her noticed. Liz is insightful as always: “You just can’t be a real woman in this country. It’s like those Dove commercials never happened.” I snorted.

Anyway, Jack encouraged Jenna to do this to begin with, and Liz asks him, “How come men can be heavy and respected like James Gandolfini or Fat Albert?” OR ALEC BALDWIN. I mean, Alec is sort of heavy and gets to play this rich sex god, and I feel like this plot, or at least this moment, could have let them be a little self-aware about that, but they missed it.

Overall, I didn’t know what the point of this storyline was. On the one hand Liz, the voice of reason, is mocked for being idealistic, but on the other Jenna doesn’t come out looking so great either. I suppose they’re not championing anything and just exploring a funny situation, but I’m still sort of uncomfortable and don’t know why.

The best part of Tracy’s storyline is when Kenneth tries to seduce Angie and says, “I like your top. I’m a real good sex person. I do it all the different ways.” And he’s visibly shaking as she walks away. Poor Kenneth.

Bits & Pieces

Don Geiss technically died twice.

Kenneth eats grilled cheese with mayo at Tracy’s house. I want to try this now? Will report back.

As the above video shows, Tracy has a key to the city of Gary, Indiana. Another of my favorite NBC sitcom character has a key to an Indiana city.

Best Tracy one-liner: Angie is in the past, like Dracula and broadcast television.

Character I related to most: Liz, during the entire episode. At work she’s great, but in her personal life she’s messy, unorganized, plans stuff that she never gets around to, single… Wooooo.

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: None.

1) It’s my favorite show, but the first time I watched it in high school, I went through the episodes quickly, so there are some things I don’t remember well. When I do rewatch episodes, I have no order about it, just randomly picking ones I like. I wanted to do it in order.

2) Since I want to work in TV and I think this sitcom is the gold standard, I want to record any of the good insights I have about the episodes.

3) At the same time, I know myself well enough to not make the rules too structured by limiting what I can talk about. So, umm, things might not always be so insightful.

4) More people need to love “30 Rock” so they can get my references.

5) Because Meat Cat told me to.

6) Every white girl thinks she’s Liz Lemon

This project was partially inspired by:

99 Days at Tombs – wherein I and about 100 other Georgetown seniors went to one bar every day for the last 99 days of our college careers. The tradition began with the class of 1999.

40 Days of Dating – wherein these two people dated for 40 days as a social experiment

Lawrence and Julie and Julia – wherein Lawrence watched “Julie and Julia” every day for a year

Tomorrow, it begins.

 

Watch one episode of “30 Rock” every day for 138 days in a row. Write a blog post every day* about the episode. The posts can be about anything related to the episode, including but not limited to:

1) Why this show is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time

2) What I ate while watching the episode

3) Bizarre anecdotes I remembered while watching

4) The best Jenna-isms

5) An in-depth analysis of specific jokes

6) The ways in which I imagine myself EGOT-ing

7) Scientific rankings of Liz’s love interests by attractiveness

If a day is skipped, some sort of punishment will be decided. Methodology TBD.

Thanks for following along.

*A day is defined as the time between when I wake up and when I go to sleep, approximately 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST. For example, a post at 3 a.m. on July 12th would count for July 11th.