'30 Rock': 'The Cosby Show' was a lie!
Family values were front and center on this week's episode of "30 Rock," though probably not in a way that would please Newt Gingrich. This week, Jack and Tracy were brought together by their mutual desire for vasectomies. Warms your heart, doesn’t it? Though their goal was similar, their motivations were different. Jack was freaked out by Don Geiss’ family struggles and decided he didn’t want to risk the same heartache. Plus he’s got everything he wants -- including a walk-in humidor -- so why would he possibly want kids?
Meanwhile, Tracy was frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t share a filthy strip-club-related story with Jack, because Tracy Jr., at the TGS studio as part of Take Your Black Kid to Work Day, was in earshot. “ 'The Cosby Show' was a lie!” he yells in protest. Tracy consults with Dr. Spaceman and almost goes through with the procedure, but under anesthesia he has a hallucination. He’s Bll Cosby and Tracy Jr. is Theo, but their beautiful Brooklyn brownstone is an utter pigsty. Why? There’s no Rudy or Vanessa around. No, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but seeing Tracy Morgan in a Coogi sweater was all that mattered to this viewer. That, and hearing him say, “I need a baby girl. Don’t snip my vas deferens!" It also reminded me a little bit of this episode, which will remain burned in my brain forever.
Has NBC produced a page-a-day calendar of Jack Donaghy quotes yet? Because if there isn’t one, there should be. (Jeff Zucker, you can thank me later.) Case in point: Elsewhere in this episode, Liz was in a quandary about her apartment. With her building being converted to condos, she has to either buy her place or face huge rent increases. Jack, as he always does, provided some sage advice: “With Manhattan real estate, there are no rules. It’s like check-in at an Italian airport.” Too true, Jack, too true.
Liz takes the advice to heart, employing increasingly drastic measures to try to score the apartment of her dreams -- that of her upstairs neighbor, gay hipster cop Brian. First she decides to move in with him, then plots to drive him out of the apartment by acting crazy. The only problem? Brian is unbelievably tolerant. He even has a “This is what a feminist looks like" T-shirt, and what’s more tolerant than that? So Liz’s antics leave him totally unfazed; in fact, he seems to thrive on them. As Jenna says, “Drama is like gay man Gatorade, it replenishes their electrolytes.” I am not a gay man (that I know of), but I for one did enjoy her smeared-mascara look. Liz eventually resorts to the lowest trick of all in order to run her roommate outta town. Following Frank’s lead, she pees in a vase (more on this later). She might not have her dignity, but Liz will have her duplex after all.
While Liz was plotting real estate, Kenneth had his own mission to accomplish. Since it was Green Week and all, he was given the responsibility of lowering the TGS carbon footprint by 5%. Not surprisingly, almost no one is cooperative. Liz doesn’t want to give up her mini-fridge, and Jenna won’t give up her erotic massager. Turns out the greenest of the TGS gang is Frank, who doesn’t wash his clothes, eats out of the garbage and urinates in jars. Who knew living in squalor could have such positive side effects?
This week, between the Cosby fantasy sequence, the appearance of the beloved Dr. Spaceman, all those jars of sun tea and — oh, yeah — former Vice President Al Gore, was even more of a comedy drag race than usual. It should silence the many critics saying this season isn’t delivering the goods … at least until next week, anyway. What did you think? And did anyone notice who’s in the new framed picture in Jack’s office? That couldn’t have been a coincidence.
Best Joke: I liked Jenna’s line about taking a low-volume shower with Ed Begley Jr. (ew) but the honors this week go to Tracy. “Having a family can be the worst. For example, I have this strip club story from this weekend I need to tell you, Jackie D. It is disgusting. But I can’t, because I got this little d-bag here.” He says, while pointing to Tracy Jr.
Nerdiest Reference: Does the New York Post headline “Memoirs of a Geiss-Ha!” count? If not, then it was definitely Twofer’s use of a Yale sweatshirt as a “designated fart dampener.”
Most Meta Moment: Liz, talking about NBC’s “Green Week,” says “Are they actually going to do something this week or are they just going to put that stupid green peacock in the corner?”
Meanest Thing Said to Liz: This week, it wasn't Jack, but new roomie Brian, who says, "I can't afford this place. Judging by your shoes and teeth, you can't either."
Quintessential Kenneth: “Global warming. That’s just a buncha scientist talk. The same people that say my great-grandfather was a monkey. If he was a monkey, then why was he killed by a monkey?”
Proof that Jenna Can Be Funny (Sometimes): When Kenneth barges into her dressing room, she blurted out “I’m doing my Kegels. What is it?” Though it might be that only women, especially those of us who’ve read and rolled our eyes at too many issues of Cosmo, find this funny. She also had the brilliant “Drama is like gay man Gatorade, it replenishes their electrolytes.” I might have to revise my Jenna stance.
Jack’s Republican Talking Points: “I love the Earth. I have these rare blossoms flown in every morning from Sri Lanka on a private jet. It doesn’t get any greener than that.”
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: Tracy Jr./Theo (Bobb'e J. Thompson) and Tracy Jordan/Cliff Huxtable (Tracy Morgan) fail to take out the trash on this week's "30 Rock."
Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC