Lemon tries to be really awesome, but she'll always be the resident advisor

By Annie Barrett
Updated November 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM EST
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S5 E8
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Jack spent his Princeton years hard at work, speaking every word of the English language so that the perfect American accent could be preserved in case of nuclear war. The writers discovered Jack’s voice on pronuncify.com (“Those bastards!”) after hearing just a few words. The voice was almost as distinct as Twofer’s overdramatic pronunciation of charade. “America. Whiskey. Liberal. Lemon, Lesbian Frankenstein wants her shoes back.” Yep. Definitely Donaghy.

Much to my delight, Jack’s voice was also used for Thomas the Tank Engine! (Yay, Alec Baldwin’s strange career.) But much to Jack’s horror, it was also the voice of the new TK-421 microwave model — the most successful GE product of its kind in five years. Jack, who had been removed from microwave detail, did everything in his power short of killing Kenneth to find a flaw in the machine. (According to the episode’s brilliant Animal House-esque tag, “Kenneth died briefly on Jack’s balcony. He came back with a message from God, that he has forgotten.”) Ultimately, Jack’s own voice cut him off during his presentation to the microwave tech guys. “My legacy here is….” “Stop. Over. Done. End. Stop.” He couldn’t revive the past. And neither, as it turned out, could Lemon.

It’s always a disaster when Lemon dabbles in befriending the crew, especially if she attempts to call them by their names. Participating in their little card game lottery gave her the temporary illusion that she fit in. She felt like Hitler…in Germany! It was just like in college: In the fall of 1988, the University of Maryland registrar “accidentally” gave her a handicapped room. (DREAM.) For those two weeks, she was popular. A blonde girl high-fived her! But as present-day blonde girl Jenna and Tracy reminded Lemon, people can never change from who they were in college. Tragically, Tracy wouldn’t even let Lemon be the “nerd who takes off his glasses and everyone realizes he’s handsome,” even though that’s pretty much what Tina Fey is in real life. Nope, Lemon will always be the R.A. (Not “really awesome.”)

Of course, grown-up Lemon’s reign as the Queen of Spades, or “Blizzard,” as she would have it, couldn’t last. She offended the alcoholics by using her prize money to open up a lunch tab in a bar, then offended lactose intolerant alcoholic Tony even further with her decidedly not ‘zing ice cream social. Gifting Tony her pickpocket grandfather Adolf Lemon’s watch was the last straw. The crew hated her again. So the R.A. got up and made a speech to those dirty little rule-breakers. And then to twist the knife/spade even further, she used the word purview. Just like in college, when she made the crucial error of using fortnight. Some words are better left in print…or on pronuncify.com.

Rolling with my homey

Me and Jackie D

Our bitches get ready

For a sex party. —Poncho Pete, who had an awesome episode

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 “College”

10. “My God.” / “Which one?” and “You’re gonna wish you’d never been born.” / “Which time?” –Jack and the Indian microwave scientists. (What is this, Outsourced?)

9. Alec Baldwin’s reappearance as a delivery guy. “Are we racist, or do they all look the same?”

8. “Just out of frame is a wheelbarrow full of cocaine.” –Jack, admiring a photo of himself from 1985

7. “It wasn’t the feces, Lemon. It was the crudely scrawled notes of ‘HELP ME.'” –Jack on the worst part of working at Princeton’s monkey lab

6. “Visitors stare over here.” –Jack. So much Jack!

5. Lemon picking a wedgie in front of Jack

4. “There should be more TV shows about cake.” –the smartest thing Liz ever said, three years ago

3. “Too small.” –Tracy re: Lemon, after Jenna said she would experiment with that girl in the college photo from 1988. (Nice throwback to last week’s episode, when Tracy said the same thing about Lemon’s ass.)

2. “If I see that filthy dog again, I will put it down. I will put it down with a smile.” –R.A. Lemon, who shotgunned PIZZA

1. “Oh, really? That’s how much time is left? PIZZA?” –Jack, frustrated with the microwave and, by association, himself

Somewhat-hidden gems: The way “ICE CREAM” was written in a slightly different, wackier font than the rest of the sign: “for the crew courtesy of the lizard (Liz Lemon)”….and Tracy and Jenna holding up mirrors in front of each other.

Do you wish your college major had been Television Studies with a minor in Bible Sexuality? Discuss this week’s 30 Rock below, nerds!

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

WHEN YOU’RE OUT TO DINNER WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, DOES THE CONVERSATION INEVITABLY TURN TO TELEVISION? Then our TV Insiders podcast is tailor-made for you! In this week’s edition, Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, and Michael Slezak discuss the shocking final three on Dancing With the Stars (and interview brutally candid eliminated pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy), dish the season’s best episode of Survivor (and interview master strategist Brenda Lowe), and sit down with EW’s resident Grey’s Anatomy recapper Jennifer Armstrong to discuss the medical drama’s creative resurgence. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

Episode Recaps

30 Rock

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.

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