No one can escape the horror of Christmas as Jack invites his estranged parents and Lemon to dinner

By Annie Barrett
December 10, 2010 at 05:06 AM EST
S5 E10
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On this week’s 30 Rock, “Christmas Attack Zone,” Jack dared to invite his hippie pacifist father Milton (Alan Alda) and his “bare-legged cripple” mother Colleen (Elaine Stritch) to Christmas dinner at his home with the weird stairs. It was high time he and Avery announced their pregnancy, seven months in. Jackie knocked up a Protestant? Oh, the horror! What would Colleen’s chums at the Death Shore Retirement Community say?!

Lemon inexplicably hung out for more than five minutes in Colleen’s Christmas Attack Zone, eventually accompanying those buncha jagwagons to the hospital after Colleen faked a heart attack. False alarm! It was a Druid Solstice Miracle! As Jack basked in the glory of his bickering parents, I loved the way Lemon mouthed “Merry Christmas” on the way out of the hospital room — it mirrored some of their cutest work-based moments as she’s walked out of his office. But Stritch and Alda really made this episode great. Caller ID arrived in Vermont just in time.

Meanwhile, Tracy, a serious ac-tor, had to plan his own holiday attack. Russell Crowe was having an auction to benefit the victims of his own mood swings, so the least Tracy could do was host a screening of his new, very sad movie Hard to Watch at a local shelter. Quiet, battered women! A man is talking. Luckily, Kenneth a.k.a. KLMNOP was able to snap Tracy out of his Sean Penn phase and convince him that laughter is the best medicine (that isn’t already prescribed to him). Time to roll The Chunks 2: A Very Chunky Christmas!

Best visual of the night (besides Tracy’s blinged-out POVERTY necklace): Jenna and Paul in their Two Black Swans costumes at Elton John and Tom Ford’s annual New Queers Eve party. I’m so glad Lynne Swann and Natalie Portman could work it out. Everyone should get to eat shrimp off an old gay dressed as Baby New Year during the holidays. “O Holy Night,” indeed.

Just remember, everyone….

Happy whatever-you-believe in, too.

NEXT: My top 10 quotes, even though every 30 Rock episode is like one big quote

My 10 Favorite Lines/Moments from 30 Rock‘s “Christmas Attack Zone”

10. “Yeah. Or other things.” –Jack after Milton lamented how many father-son Habitat for Humanity builds or road trips in his VW they’d missed

9. “In the Darfur region, the dead may be the lucky ones.” –Tracy ruining Ludacrismas in a flashback

8. “Can I get you a cup of coffee or an absinthe enema?” –one Black Swan to the other

7. “I see you brought the bag that my bastard grandchild will come in.” –Colleen to Avery, who gifted granny with a two-second feeling of superiority

6. “Obesity is killing the African-American community. WITH LAUGHTER!” –Kenneth

5. “As an actor, it is my job to tell the truth, hold the mirror to humanity, and sell Proactiv.” –Tracy

4. “We all make mistakes. I once French-kissed a dog at a party to impress what turned out to be a very tall 12-year-old boy.” –Lemon

3. “If someone wanted to know if the ’60s were awesome or not?” –Jack’s only guess to how Milton, doctor of history, could possibly be necessary in an emergency

2. “I am The MentaLiz!” –Lemon (Don’t call her Rick)

1. “Happy Holidays….is what terrorists say. Merry Christmas.” –Jack and Avery’s ’tis-the-season card

“I Want To Go To There” of the Week: “Don’t worry, I sent her to the East Wing — it’s very confusing. It was designed by M.C. Escher.” –Jack

Honorable mention: Lemon’s candelabra!

Discuss this week’s 30 Rock below!

Previous ’30 Rock’ recap: Drag Therapy

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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