30 Rock

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Monty Ashley: B- | Grade It Now!
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So's Your Mom
ack isn't moved. The answer is that he's listening to the words, which are about the two singers having sex with each other. Kids, ask your parents!

Jack arrives at his office, where Verna is sprawled. She wants to thank Jack for coming to the party ... because now he knows what "the show" would be like. She wants a reality show, since she's so good at pushing Jenna's buttons. "This show will have laughter. Tears. Topless arguments. Infections caused by Jacuzzi water!" Sounds like someone on the 30 Rock staff has been watching Jersey Shore! Jack is delighted to know that Verna has been plotting this all along. She tries to bribe him with a crumpled dollar bill and talk of underpanties. I should probably mention that Verna looks old and weird.

Jack bursts into Jenna's dressing room (note to self: sitcoms have a lot of people bursting into places) to tell her the news, but he's stopped short by her diseased-bird earrings. Jenna assures him that pigeon mites can't "affect affect humans humans". She's very happy with her mother. He leaves.

Liz enters the writers' room with an enthusiastic "Good morning, dummies!" and they respond with a half hearted moan. She holds up Frank's old cigarette pack, which are three cigarettes lighter than they were the previous night. "If only some genius had secretly videotaped her living room last night. Oh wait. It did!" I love the "it" there. Anyway, Liz has a camcorder and a huge tangle of cables she doesn't understand. Pete yanks it all away from her and makes it work. "You didn't believe in me, but I believed in myself. Just like the last scene of all movies," gloats Liz, somewhat irrelevantly.

So now it's time to watch the green-tinted footage. It's like Paranormal Activity, but funny. Also, something happens in it. Liz is seen wandering around wearing "night Spanx" and sleepwalking. Tracy explains that it's "a little-understood parosomnial disorder". That's Tracy's third last line. Guess he was too busy shooting a terrible movie with Bruce Willis. Actually, Liz is sleep-eating. Do you ever wonder how Tina Fey sees herself? I mean, her character is described as constantly gobbling junk food, but she looks perfectly normal. It's like Strangers With Candy, where there were a lot of fat jokes about Amy Sedaris. Even with the fatty suit, she's still basically a tiny person.

Sorry, got distracted. Liz eats with a blank look on her face. Then she orders a pizza in her sleep. Tracy says "I don't mean to be the black guy at the movies, but you better move, girl!" Then she has the cigarettes. But she doesn't smoke them. She eats them. The writers are appalled, except for Frank, who's delighted. He tries to shut off the tape, but one of the plus-size ladies from the mailroom shows up and tells him to call her "momma". She starts singing Liz's "frown" song, and she walks past, sleep-singing and sleep-eating. Pete tells Liz and Frank that "We all need our release." Everyone else flees.

Jack welcomes Verna to his office to tell her that they're in business. He says people don't want drama. They want redemption. He doesn't even want a television show; he wants to pay her to visit Jenna four times a year: Christmas, Mother's Day, Jenna's birthday, and Thanksgiving. If Verna acts like a good mother, she'll get a check. She threatens him that he'll have to pay big, but her idea of big payments is "three grand a trip and a rain tarp for my washer and dryer." It is a deal.

Pete time. Kenneth is telling Pete about the episode of Diff'rent Strokes with the smoking. Liz walks up and asks what Pete's release is. Apparently it's Shirtless Hobo Fight Club, but he claims to be biting his nails. Jenna tells Liz that Verna will come back for Mother's Day so they can do a duet of "I'll Make Love to You" at a children's hospital. Liz tells Jack the news and he smiles to himself. Then he gets in an elevator with a cartoon cat. That cat is totally in my face!

After the credits, Kenneth reels off a series of incredibly mundane stories, which appear to be improvised by Jack McBrayer. I mean, I don't think Pete's supposed to look like he's about to start laughing. My favorite is "Some of those people on the Match Game were drunk. With power".

You can email Monty at montykins@gmail.com if that's your idea of a good time.

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30 Rock

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