30 Rock

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Race to the Finish

D.C. Jack wows the politicians with a bunch of numbers and terms like "synchronized flexibility." Congressman Rob Reiner steps up to the plate to discuss his experience with "Hollyweird." He says he has some experience with vertical integration, or what Jack dubs "the dreaded V-I." Jack cuts off Rep. Reiner to paint a colorful picture of the American farmer, and his use of vertical integration to keep his business going. He tells the politicos it's 1:32 p.m. "Mark the time, ladies and gentleman, that Congress put a bullet in the head of the American farmer." Satisfied that he has bamboozled the committee, Jack moves to a make a swift exit, but he's stopped by a Congresswoman (Queen Latifah) who wants him to answer just one question: "Why is NBC so racist?"

30 Rock. Jenna evaluates Kenneth's talents (tap dancing, singing inflammatory songs about Jesus) and thinks they're not good enough. "I'm going to have to reinvent you," she tells him, "break you down completely and build you up from scratch. Just like Mickey Rourke did to me sexually." That's two weeks in a row with a Mickey Rourke joke. Tina Fey is going to have a pack of rabid Chihuahuas on her ass if she doesn't watch it. Kenneth tells Jenna he only wants to be himself, but she won't be deterred from her mission. She asks him to lose his "goon-y accent." Of course it gets much, much worse the minute he starts to think about it.

D.C. Congresswoman Regina Bookman tells Jack that she represents the racially diverse 1st Congressional District of Rhode Island, "from the hard working moms and dads of Smithfield, to the spoiled jags at Brown, to the thriving, flourishing Italian criminal community in Providence." Compared to her district, NBC "looks about as diverse as a Wilco concert." Jack has to reach to come up with some examples of diversity on NBC. What does he settle on? Sunday Night Football and Anthony Anderson of the now defunct Law & Order. Jonathan interrupts to tell him the show has been cancelled, and Jack is flummoxed. That aside, Rep. Bookman superciliously tells Jack she feels a responsibility to her constituents and future generations, then threatens that, without serious changes, she'll make sure the Kabletown deal doesn't go through. As we go to break, Rob Reiner leads the Representatives in a chorus of muttering: "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. Peas and carrots, peas and carrots..." Almost as good as South Park's "Rabble-rabble-rabble-rabble..."

Jack's office. Jack asks Tracy and Dot Com to create an African-American-themed sitcom under the guise of their production company, Dot Com Productions. They leave, and Jack updates Lemon on Regina Bookman's crusade. He takes it as a personal affront. He appreciates diversity because it has fueled this great nation: "The Chinese built the railroads. The Irish built and then filled the jails." Jack says he firmly believes that diversity is the wellspring of innovation -- he just didn't get a chance to say that to Rep. Bookman because he was "too busy trying to think of the name of the black kid on Community" (Donald Glover, FYI.) Jack dismisses the possibility that his words would have broken through. He thinks the entire hearing was political theater, and shudders at Rep. Bookman's grandstanding. Cut to a shot of her rhapsodizing like Al Sharpton: "The future! And America! Now I may have lost my train of thought several minutes ago! But if I continue to talk! Like! This! No one will notice, and when I stop! You will applaud my energy! Thank you." Wild applause.

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30 Rock

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