After three months of strike-enforced exile, tonight’s 30 Rock generated the expectations and excitement normally reserved for a season premiere. During my sad, solo Thursday night Liz Lemon parties, only habitual rewatching of the glorious ”Midnight Train to Georgia” musical number maintained my spirits. The fact that Tina Fey hosted SNL and seemed to grace every magazine cover during the break seemed designed to intentionally taunt my cravings, so tonight was huge. Game on.
Leave it to Fey & Co. to cherry-pick a throwaway joke — MILF Island — from last fall’s premiere (the Jerry Seinfeld episode) and build an entire show around it. Twenty MILFs, 50 eighth-grade boys, ”Erection Cove,” bursting implants. What’s not to like? As the show’s executive producer Jack Donaghy says, ”It has sex, lies, puberty, betrayal, relay races. MILF Island reflects the drama of the human experience. And isn’t that the essence of art?” Don’t forget the shower confessionals, Jack.
The show is a huge hit, go figure (especially in the most profitable demographics: soccer moms, NASCAR dads, white collar pervs, and the obese), but Jack’s shining moment of corporate glory is eclipsed by a disparaging Page Six gossip item that quotes an anonymous employee calling him a ”Class-A moron” who ”can eat my poo.” With his hopes of succeeding CEO Don Geiss in the balance, Jack turns up the heat on his staff… while simultaneously plotting his next network move: a MILF spinoff featuring the regal Deborah (pronounced de-BORE-uh).
Panic ensues. Dirtbag Alliances are formed. Fingers are pointed. Meanwhile, ”apple-faced goon” Kenneth reminds Liz Lemon that he witnessed her making the insulting comments in a fit of rage (that unfortunately took place right in front of a Page Six reporter) in the elevator the day before. Not unlike Deborah, Lemon displays a surprising ruthlessness in playing the blame game. She manipulates. She lies. She avoids a staph infection. She admits that she literally ate her twin in utero. Kenneth, sickened by Lemon’s dishonesty, falsely admits to Jack that he’s the disgruntled employee. You’d think Jack would actually be impressed by Liz Lemon’s survival tactics, and maybe he secretly is, but since he knew the truth all along, he used his upper-hand to build an elaborate ruse to force her into writing his MILF spinoff.
NEXT: Pete Hornberger fans, rejoice!