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'30 Rock': We interrupt this episode to bring you ... 'Queen of Jordan'

March 18, 2011 | 12:25 pm

NBC's "30 Rock" returned from hiatus Thursday night with a vengeance, and paid homage to "Real Housewives" in all its table-flipping, hair-pulling glory.

Fans have had hints about show-within-a-show "Queen of Jordan" before, but never the fully realized vision that emerged this week. The faux reality series, starring Tracy Jordan's outspoken wife, Angie (played by Sherri Shepherd) now has catch phrases, cartoonish characters and manufactured tension. (And so much wine tossing that even a dog gets hit in the face with a cocktail.)

Not surprisingly, it's a success, according to Jack Donaghy/Alec Baldwin, beating "all the music choice channels except, of course, Latin Beats."

Since "30 Rock" is about the daily happenings at fictional sketch series "The Girlie Show," "Queen" is really a show-within-a-show-within-a-show, in which star Angie says things like, "I will not wear anything in my size or appropriate for my age," and promises to yank out at least eight more hair weaves by the end of the season.

"Queen of Jordan" follows in the footsteps of other fake reality shows that have had their meta moments on "30 Rock." Can any fan ever forget "MILF Island" or "America's Next Top Pirate"? But this was the first time a faux show had more than a brief tease, with "Queen of Jordan" taking up as much space as the secondary story, a Mary Kay Letourneau-esque tale involving guest star Susan Sarandon and her forbidden teenage lover, Frank, who's now grown up (but not) and writing for "The Girlie Show."

The blogosphere is alive Friday with demands for "Queen of Jordan" as a stand-alone series. No word yet from NBC about bringing that to life. Kenneth already has his own little online series. Would you watch a spin-off about Angie?


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-- T.L. Stanley