30 Rock

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Rosemary's Baby

So this episode opens with Liz getting a $10,000 check for the "Follow-ship Of The Year" award, presumably for displaying outstanding qualities in how she takes her cues from other leaders. Jack comments on how proud he is of Liz's professional growth in this area, but Liz denies it; after all, she works in comedy, and we all know what happens to followers in that field. (Yes -- they get CBS sitcoms. Your point?) So Liz, still smarting over the implication that she's not so much the irreverent outside observer that good comics happen to be, is at a bookstore signing for her idol, 1970s-era comedy writer Rosemary Howard. (Rosemary's played by Carrie Fisher, which is a stroke of casting genius on many, many levels.) Liz offers Rosemary a spot as a guest writer on TGS. This does not go swimmingly. Rosemary's sensibility became frozen in Lucite back in 1978, and Jack wants her fired. Liz protests that if Rosemary goes, she goes, so Jack fires the two of them. Rosemary proposes a writing partnership, and as Liz follows Rosemary back to her apartment in crime-ridden "Little Chechnya," she realizes in horror that she'll end up like Rosemary if she doesn't balance her funny side with actual adult things like learning how to please the boss or putting money in a 401(k).

Liz isn't the only wayward kid on TGS this week. After Jack tells Tracy that all he has to do is avoid dogfighting, Tracy's overcome with the irresistible compulsion to engage in that barbarism. Grizz and Dotcom attempt to neuter the activity by bringing him combat Pomeranians. However, Jack disrupts the whole thing and engineers a way to get Tracy into therapy to find out why he's compelled to go out and do whatever someone doesn't want him to do. The therapy session goes horribly until Jack stands in for both Tracy's father and his mother in a scene that mere words can not describe. It includes Alec Baldwin imitating nearly everyone in Good Times while Tracy blubbers emotionally, it is hilarious, and if you didn't see it live, just go to iTunes already and download the episode while you still can. Anyway, Tracy declares Jack the only family he needs. Those of us who are prone to overthinking sitcoms can reflect on how Jack's biological family is marvelously screwed up, but he's become a really effective father figure to two people at work.

Meanwhile, in the C-plot: Jenna burns a huge hole in Kenneth's page jacket, and the head page is thrilled to use this as a way to get Kenneth transferred to CNBC in Paramus, NJ. The only way out? Something called a page-off, which requires a mano-a-mano bout of wrestling and NBC trivia. All the pages are salivating at the prospect, but then most of NBC's operations grind to a halt. Pete stops the madness by sending everyone back to work and getting a new jacket for Kenneth. The side effect: a newly-thin Jenna now has a new nemesis in head page Donnie.

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30 Rock

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