30 Rock recap: Porn to Run
Tracy finds a way to sex up videogames, as Jack and Liz get into heavy corporate petting
Holy free holy! Last night’s episode of 30 Rockwas a doozy, was it not, TV Watchers? There were themes of greed, double-crossing, and innovation — not to mention references to Oprah, Antonio Salieri, and Star Wars — and a killer crop of guest stars. In fact, the second I saw the ever-hilarious Will Arnett appear on the screen as Devon Banks, I think I officially blue myself. Well, not really, but I did feel some unknown feeling that wasn’t even envy or hunger. But enough with all the Arrested Developmentreferences — this is 30 Rock, after all — I haven’t felt this excited about television since Shark Week (that better?)! (By the way, your regular TV Watcher, Jeff Labrecque, was locked into anothe commitment. He’ll be returning next week.)
Thanks to appearances from Banks, Don Geiss, and, of course, Dr. Spaceman, 30 Rockdelivered a fine episode last night that managed to showcase all its players in their top form. Heck, even Pete was funny. I’ll go as far as to say the episode was genius — as genius as both Mozart and Tracy Jordan, in fact. Yup, as part of the episode’s giant Amadeus parody, our resident funnyman/crazyman/idea man decided to take his IQ up a few notches and deliver something more than malapropisms and robot jokes for the sake of his poor, poor children. How, you ask? By developing porn videogames. (On a side note, I have to ask why videogame developers haven’t already offered such a product — I don’t count the headline-grabbing sex scene that popped up three years ago in Grand Theft Auto. Sure, it might be as creepy as Tom Hanks in Polar Express, but companies are sitting on a gold mine!)
Anyway, back to the show. Though Frank insisted that developing a porn videogame was impossible, explaining with the help of his ”uncanny valley” chart — the more realistic-looking the character, the more unsettling the sex is — Tracy proved him wrong by staying awake a whole six hours to hatch the perfect formula for the game. Perhaps we’ll see some Salieri-Mozart — sorry, Frank-Tracy — troubles in the future? I’m sure there’s some trucker hat out there that can express both envy and love (for porn and cheese doodles).
Meanwhile, Liz was off climbing the corporate ladder and showing more and more why I want to be her best friend. Seriously, forget Carrie Bradshaw. Who doesn’t want to kick back with a sandwich and hang out with the gorillas like our Liz Lemon? Even the suits love her bad jokes and mild drinking problem. (Thank goodness it’s still legal to drive while ”business drunk,” right Jack?) And that was a good thing, because once Geiss told Jack that he would take Geiss’ place as chairman of GE, Jack decided to turn to his most trustworthy TGS minion for his replacement. (Guess he forgot about that whole ”Grade A moron” thing.)
NEXT: Sexual kryptonite
But Geiss had yet to make any official announcement and get his motley crew of a board to rubber-stamp Jack’s promotion. (Seriously, didn’t Geiss’ board members look like attendees at a 35-year Village People reunion? Or the crowd at my Jersey-shore block party?) So in comes Jack’s foil and Geiss’ future, sexually disoriented son-in-law Devon Banks. As we’ve learned in the past, Banks will let nothing come between him and Geiss’ job, save perhaps a fling with Kenneth. (Seems Liz’s attempted sexual-harassment extortion didn’t quite do the trick.) Thankfully for Banks, his sexual kryptonite was nowhere in sight — Kenneth was far too busy caring for a sleep-deprived Tracy — and the fake-tanned sycophant was able to seize the position from Jack and award it to his fiancée, Kathy Geiss, after daddy Don fell into a diabetic coma at Banks’ ”sham bachelor party.”
Though we have yet to discover how exactly this move will affect Jack, TGS, and Button Classic, it’s obvious this hurt Jack like a Liz Lemon slap on the face, especially after he unexpectedly expressed sympathy and affection toward Banks at the party. (Perhaps those feelings had been kept stored in his cookie jars all this time?) I am, however, just as excited at the prospect of more Will Arnett cameos as I am about the fact that Dr. Spaceman now wears a cape, so I more than welcome Banks’ power play. Just as long as Jack’s newfound boss doesn’t make him go the way of that poor stress-ball division head, I’ll be more than giddy as the Jack-Banks drama unfolds.
And before I close my computer and turn to my bed to dream of gorillas and candy from one of those guys who give out treats in gay clubs, I leave you with some classic sound bites from the episode that I simply could not work into my TV Watch:
· Jack, after Geiss tells him of his future promotion: ”When will this be made public, sir? I want my mother to know before she dies so she goes to her grave a defeated woman.”
· Liz, to Frank: ”You look like Gene Simmons had sex with a basset hound.”
· Frank, explaining why he accidentally downloaded a virus: ”First of all, the subject of the e-mail was ‘Check this out.’ You expect me not to open that?”
· Kenneth: ”Everyone knows the only thing we should be ashamed of is our bodies.”
· Tracy: ”I’ve got to do something important so that my children will respect me. Like be a senator, or a wizard.”
· Jack, after a moment of affection with Liz: ”Hugging. So ethnic.”
· Jack: ”Geiss has stacked the board of directors with the most reliable collection of sycophantic yes men this side of an Al Franken book signing.”
· Jack, to Banks: ”Once they cast Clay Aiken in Spamalot, I knew it was only a matter of time before you showed up here.”
· And my personal favorite: Dr. Spaceman, calling for help: ”Is it 411 or 911? New York? Diabetes repair, I guess.”
What did you think, TV Watchers? Are you happy to know that we’ll be seeing more of Devon Banks, and thus more of the genius Will Arnett? Do you prefer corporate Lemon or TGS Lemon? And do you think all of NBC’s Baby Mama pimping might be reaching Bee Movie proportions?
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.