30 Rock

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Michael Neal: B | Grade It Now!
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Not So Fast, Shark

It felt like forever for the new season of 30 Rock to start, but here it is and there you are looking all good. Before I start let me assure you that even at the tail end of this tense season of Presidential politics I won't be advocating for one candidate over the other. I will only allow, well within the context of this recap, that Tina Fey absolutely nailed her Saturday Night Live impersonation of Sarah Palin. The way Palin waves at rallies like it's a Macy's day parade, her ability to not answer questions from a moderator AT ALL and if she must answer them to answer them confusingly. Even that folksy down home charm she has that I thought only existed between the pages of poorly written Annie Oakley fan fiction. Finally, the inspired way she talks to regular Americans giving us all the feeling that only some of us actually belong in this country. But don't ask me. Ask Joe the Plumber. On with our show!

Lemon the maleless TV writer parades down the boulevard like Lou Reed in a deodorant commercial. She's looking good, feeling good. So good in fact a man in a limo accosts her with a wooing catcall. It's Jack! He steps out of the car and the two greet awkwardly, settling on a pal punch to the shoulder. Jack's back from DC and wants to get his old job back. In case you forgot, Jack lost his job at the end of last season to his business nemesis Devon Banks. Also, in case you forgot, Lemon decided that she wanted to adopt a baby and today the adoption agency will conduct their home evaluation test with her. "There is no chance I'm blowing this," she declares.

Jack the unemployed rich white man (indeed times are that tough) stands in his old office in front of Devon the Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming. He offers job assistance to Devon and Kathy Geiss, Devon's possibly invalid stage wife, but is rudely turned down. After a few choice reminders about how Devon is underperforming in his new business role, Devon offers Jack a job in the mailroom. He'll take it.

Meanwhile Jenna the desperate actress has some great news for the crew. She has a residual check for her work in a commercial being slapped while drinking Japanese cola for Tokyo University and now she plans to "buy us all some new boots for me." Tracy the dong slayer walks in flanked by Grizz and Dot Com. He's got exciting financial news. His pornography video game, a reference harkening back to last season's superb episode Uncanny Valley, is a smash success: "through the riz-noof," he says. "Well how far through the riz-noof?" asks Jenna. "Whoa that's not slang," corrects Dot Com the entourage member. "He has a speech impediment." The title of Tracy's new video game is "Dong Slayer," at least according to the cover that is in Tracy's hand. I see a picture on the cover too of a cartoon version of him standing between two half-naked white women. Yes we can. "Dong Slayer" has sold 61 million copies at $60 each. Jenna points out mildly that she wants some of those points given the fact that she provided voices for the game, but Tracy holds his royalty check up to her face as "priz-noof" to the contrary. "Now that one he was just being obnoxious," says Dot Com to Jenna.

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30 Rock

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