30 Rock

Episode Report Card
Michael Neal: B+ | Grade It Now!
The Uncanny Valley

In Tracy's room he and Kenneth are brainstorming ideas that might impress his son. He takes a break to clear his head but can't decide whether to relax to a video game or pornography. "That's it! Make a porn video game."

Banks corners Lemon in the elevator and starts to grill her about whether or not Jack accidently sold the company to a German television station. If you recall, that whole fiasco was Lemon's doing because she subbed for Jack while he and Celeste went away for the weekend. She blurts all of that out to Banks who thanks her for giving him ammunition to bring to his future father-in-law. Lemon has to think quick or Jack loses his job so she grabs Banks, starts making out with him in front of the elevator's security camera, and threatens to blackmail him if he says a word of what happened with the Germans to Geiss.

Frank is attempting to explain to Tracy why his porn video game idea won't work. It's because of something called "the uncanny valley." As artificial representations of humans become more and more realistic they reach a point where they stop being endearing and become creepy. Frank whips out a chart to prove his theory exists and when Tracy asks him to break it down in Star Wars he does just that: On one side of the scale are R2D2 and C3P0. "Nice," remarks Tracy. On the other side is a real human like Han Solo. "He acts like he doesn't care but he does," again says Tracy stating the obvious to usual comedic perfection. But the lowest point on the scale is "a CGI storm trooper or Tom Hanks in Polar Express." Paying careful attention I notice that only slightly above that low point is "wax figure of Nicole Kidman." Tracy is convinced though that he won't fall subject to the valley. He was born to invent a game where "characters get weird with each other for golden points. I'm like Mozart. You're like that guy that was always jealous of Mozart."

Lemon shows Jack the elevator tape of her faux make-out session with Banks. "Don't worry Jack. I've always got your back." Jack has heard enough. He offers her his position as head of East Coast television and microwave oven programming. Lemon protests taking such a corporate gig while Jack writes a number down on a piece of paper and hands it to her. "This is the starting salary." Lemon's mouth drops and she slaps the bejesus out of him ... hmm, slap? I think I like that. Lemon runs into the writer's room. "Suck it monkeys I'm going corporate!"

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30 Rock




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