New year. I don't find there's that big a difference between one year and another, but I have been using the word "fizzle" a lot all of a sudden. It's caused some major headaches where I work, over at the Alka Seltzer factory, but so what? My new year's resolution is "do you." Not like the song mind you; I put a question mark at the end of it, kind of like "Got Milk?" but more slutty. When did that ad campaign become part of the porn industry by the way? Eh, topic for another day.
You guys, I'm sorry. I'm, like, so off topic. Like, we gathered here for some 30 Rock, right? Okay, cool. It's just that I was slightly let down by tonight's episode. It had laughs, don't get me wrong, but 30 Rock always has laughs. They are to laughs what the show Reba is to shadows of regret. There were chuckles tonight but not any showstoppers, and it was all the more disappointing given the episode came after the long Christmas break. I won't even go with the easiest, and most popular criticism of the show. That it has too many special guest stars. It does, but as I've said here in a previous recap, I can't fault the effort to entertain. Tonight just had fewer laughs. It happens. So what did happen?
Jack and Lemon had the two main stories. Jack hires nurse Elisa (Salma Hayek) to take care of his bed-ridden mother. If you'll recall, Jack broke both her hips last episode. Now with Elisa in the fold, Jack is free to work and manage personnel, like Tracy and his exorbitant spending habits. Jack asks Tracy to exercise financial discipline, which doesn't work, but in the process he finds out that Tracy and his wife Angie don't have a pre-nup.
Jack and Jenna also get involved when she finds out that Sheinhardt Universal is set to produce a Janis Joplin biopic. Jenna convinces him to cast her in the role of Joplin, even though Universal hasn't even gotten the rights from the Joplin estate. Can we, for a moment, pause to consider what the Janis Joplin estate would look like? I have two guesses: attic apartment in the Castro, in San Francisco, rented by a woman who owns enough cats to die from their feces, or, a large farm in rural Mississippi with zero livestock and one meth lab. Jack puts Tracy and Angie in a room together, first mistake. He tries to get her to sign a post-nup agreement. Really, there was just one mistake, and that was putting these two in a room together. At the last possible second, Tracy stops his wife from signing and declares his newfound love for her. Then they do it, hard, and on Jack's desk. At the same time, Jenna's ambitious Joplin makeover gets sunk because Access Hollywood reports that Julia Roberts and Martin Scorsese will also be making a Janis Joplin biopic. Never mind how awful that movie would be. I pause the television and add the movie Infamous to my Netflix queue. Jack returns home frustrated about the irrationality of love. He tells Elisa he doesn't require that amount of emotional dependability from a mate. Then he leaves to eat and have sex with a Fox News anchor. At the restaurant, standing before the bathroom urinal, Jack finds a lump on his balls. Keep in mind they don't show it, so don't get mad at your TiVo ladies. Lumps on balls give men the yips by the way, and that's putting it mildly. What do you think causes a golf slump? Jack is so worried he tells Elisa. She puts her hand down his pants to check. Keep in mind she's a nurse. She grabs his… (laughing sorry) … she grabs his, uh… (laughing) okay… she grabs his balls (BALLS!) and tells him to see a doctor, but he refuses. Jack will handle this alone. He eventually does see the doctor for a biopsy and, as he waits on the test results, he spends some off time with Elisa at a family picnic in Brooklyn. That scene goes like this:
I have no idea what happens in that scene. I am just staring at Salma Hayek's breasts the whole way through. She is the cat's 'high-register orgasmic' meow. Jack gets a call from his doctor about his test results but refuses to answer. He can't handle the news. Tracy grabs his phone and finds out for him. "It's positive." Jack breaks down. "No. I mean positive like it's good. The test results were negative." Then Tracy laughs at the confusion. Did I mention he's wearing a knight's uniform and has that Battlefield Earth hair? Later, Jenna performs an opening number for The Girlie Show but, because Sheinhardt Universal failed to secure rights from the Joplin estate, she is introduced to the stage as Janis Jopler and has to sing "Piece of My Heart" using lyrics Jack wrote backstage. She sings "Take another little chunk of my lung, now baby!" and "Life makes you sweet food." Then, in a following scene, Jack attempts to do just that, to Elisa, by grabbing her and planting an animal man kiss. Jack is always lucky (enough) in love. Liz? Not so much.
Lemon sees a baby in the very first scene, reminding us "oh yeah, she wants to adopt a baby." The infant gives her a contact high and soon Lemon's outside waving hello to complete strangers -- probably tourist strangers at that. She pats a boy on the head in front of her who is waiting for the walk sign. The boy turns around and scares the shit out of me. I thought I was watching The Unborn for a second. It's a midget! Just kidding, but yeah it's a midget. At this point I am really doing Peter Dinklage a huge disservice, and I know it. I went for a cheap, and probably ineffective, laugh. Dinklage is a fine actor and if you haven't seen The Station Agent do so soon. Lemon quickly hides that she's mistaken a midget for a small child by agreeing to have coffee with him. Turns out that small man is on the ball. Funny image. Stuart is United Nations High Commissioner on water temperature and food taint. They probably wrote that joke months ago but we hear it on a week when the word taint has been used more than on Rush Week at a state college. Hats off Blago. Lemon agrees to see Stuart again but on the next date she hugs him away from a stove fire. "Are you trying to pick me up to keep me from catching fire?" he asks. "Kiss me," says Lemon, but Stuart doesn't bite. He calls it off and walks home. "Be careful crossing the road!" Lemon can't help herself from telling him. The mom force is strong in this one. The name Stuart has to be a quiet nod to Stuart Little by the way. I just thought of that. So Lemon expresses guilt and frustration to Jack about messing it up with the little guy. She calls Stuart at his office and asks that, if he's still willing to give it a try, meet her at the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday at 2pm, like in the Sex in the City movie. Steve and Miranda did the same thing! Stuart has no idea what she's talking about but he agrees. The time comes and Lemon walks up to a small man standing with his back to her on the bridge. "Waiting for someone?" A shocked mother turns around and pulls her son away. It's a child. They leave and in their stead is a very frustrated Stuart holding a bouquet of roses. "Shut it down!" he announces to no one in particular, a lot like Liz actually. He walks away, in the direction of Brooklyn. Lemon goes the other way. That's so Carrie. She should be wearing a tutu.
Jenna stops Lemon in the hallway at 30 Rock. "Did you hear?" she asks Liz. "Oh yeah, your brother. Is he going to be okay?" Jenna blows if off. "Not that," she says. Sheinhardt Universal is producing a new biopic about Janis Joplin. Jenna has every intention of convincing Jack to give her the part. While Jenna tells her the news, Lemon sees a baby in a stroller coming down the hallway. Jenna doesn't notice. "I'm going to storm into his (Jack's) office, in character," she tells Lemon. "Somebody's sleepy." "I am sleepy, but I'm also so excited," retorts Jenna, still not in on the miscommunication. Lemon steps past her to get a closer look at the baby. She's not exactly baby crazy but the adoption process has gone on longer than anticipated and, if she steals an occasional baby shoe from a baby once in awhile, can you blame her? She puts the shoe in her handbag, already full of mismatched baby shoes. It's kind of terrifying. At Jack's place, he shows around the new nurse assigned to take care of his mother. If you'll recall, Jack broke both her hips last episode. Jack explains to nurse Elisa that taking care of his mother can be a mixed bag. She's either in a foul mood or asleep. Moody, I guess we can call her. Elisa sympathizes with his predicament by recounting her own Puerto Rican mother's penchant for wearing no clothes around the house. Jack's mother yells from the other room. "Jack! Someone's got to dry me off." Elisa covers for him immediately, and tells Mrs. Donaghy that Jack just left the house. Jack quickly has stars in his eyes.
Tracy, Grizz, and DotCom all sit in Jack's office. Jack tells Tracy that his spending has gotten out of control. "Give me an example," demands Tracy, while wearing a shirt that is literally made from money. It's a fairly fuck-tastic design. I can't tell if the bills are twenties or one hundreds, but they've been layered onto an already existing shirt, with a collar that emerges from the amass of dolla dolla bills (y'all). Tracy tells Jack the real reason he spends so much money. It's because of his wife Angie. He's afraid Angie might divorce him if he ever had enough money for her to live off of half. It's why he spends money on worthless things "like gold shoes and Grizz and DotCom." Ouch! My heart leaps out to Grizz and DotCom for a moment. Jack is confused. He asks Tracy about the terms of his pre-nup agreement. Tracy has none. So Jack recommends bringing Angie in and hammering out a "post-nup" agreement to give them some financial peace of mind. Tracy is visibly skeptical but he agrees, and then he laboriously walks out of Jack's office in his gold shoes. Grizz and DotCom offer to help. "Don't help me! I'm too proud."