'30 Rock' recap: 'We’re on a show within a show'
March 23rd, 2012
09:24 PM ET

'30 Rock' recap: 'We’re on a show within a show'

Thursday night’s back-to-back episodes of “30 Rock” advanced Jack’s plan to get Avery back from still-alive-in-the-30-Rock-universe Kim Jong Il.  He was so determined he even went to see Matt Lauer’s band Rhythm and News play.  For 4 hours.

Jenna offered a solution:  a Lifetime movie with her starring as Avery.  “Her story has everything.  Blondness, kidnapping, a villain with an accent.  It’s the perfect TV movie.”

Jack asked Liz to write the screenplay for the greatest love story ever told (Liz: “You mean Lois Lane’s love affair with journalism?  I said it.”) as a favor for 6 years of listening to her “complain about how there are so few women on death row.”  Liz:  “Is it a coincidence?  Or is the system sexist?”
In order to win the role, Jenna showed up at Jack’s office pretending to be his wife.  The cruel trick proved to him that she had Avery’s beautiful black heart.

Meanwhile, Hazel was sick of Kenneth interfering in her job as Tracy’s babysitter.  So she played dirty.  "Tracy do you want to be bossed around by this trailer park Hitler?  Or do you want to do whatever you want with a sexy, fun bitch who just bought you a piñata?”

Hazel turned to her new mentor Liz .  “You’re a modern DTF type women whose whole vibe says, yeah, I dig sex and I’m not going to apologize for it.”

So emotionally mature Liz advised Hazel to break up with her cheating boyfriend.  And gave her a bonus tip for the bedroom:  “put a bag of popcorn in the microwave beforehand.  That way when you’re done, you have a treat.”  Though she was impressed by the latter bit of advice, the former enraged Hazel.

Jack told Liz to let her new mentee fail, just like the time he encouraged her to rap in cornrows and an orange jumpsuit at the Apollo Theater.

Jack proved he was the ultimate grand-mentor when Hazel returned to tell Liz she finally heard everything she said to her.  Including, “what are you doing this weekend Hazel?  Are there still bathhouses?  Let’s go to one.”

The second episode picked up with “Kidnapped By Danger: The Avery Jessup Story, Brought To You With Limited Commercial Interruptions by Pride Bladder Control Pants.  Pride:  Make Every Room a Bathroom” heading into production.  Jack told Liz “if you get this right, gay men will be dressing up like Avery for the next 20 years."

Jenna was harangued into writing a song for the movie that Weird Al Yankovic immediately parodied.

She was angry, so Tracy offered to help her write an un-parodyable song.  “I’m sorry, did you just say baloney thighs?  Because that’s the name of the boat Weird Al is going to buy with the money he makes off you, dumb b*tch.”

Jenna performed her song about pizza on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” but Weird Al Normal Al’ed the track, turning the chorus “farts so loud” into “hearts so proud.”

In a genius bit of stunt casting, Lance Drake Mandrell, played by Billy Baldwin, got the role of Jack Donaghy in the Lifetime movie.

Lance decided to go method, but Jack had some critiques:  “I would never use that much math in complimenting a woman.  Their brains can’t handle it.”  Still, he had to admit there were similarities. “By God.  You do have amazing eyes.”

Almost as inspired was Cynthia Nixon’s casting as Nancy Donovan.  She lampooned Julianne Moore’s much maligned Boston accent, and even asked, “Liz, am I going too big on the accent?”  Liz responded, “no, that’s how people from Boston sound to me.”

Not everyone was excited about the movie.  Mary Steenburgen returned as hot slut Diana Jessup to stop production.

The heat between Jack and his mother-in-law was palpable.  So Liz did what she does best:  she played “the blocker.”  She convinced Diana to pursue Lance instead of Jack with sexy talk.

With the TV movie within a show within a show plot, “30 Rock” broke the fourth wall.  Literally.  Jack gazed out the window in his office on the set of “Kidnapped by Danger,” and the camera panned back to reveal that said window was in the middle of the set.

The moment made sense in an episode that included Alec and his doppelganger brother playing Jack side-by-side.

The double dose of Baldwin made for magical TV, and I for one demand more Baldwins.  Daniel could play Jack in an Oxygen network propaganda film in which the NBC honcho spent his life trying to drink himself to death on the streets of Southie.  Or Stephen could play an alternate reality Jack who became a born-again Christian and sued Kevin Costner for stealing his gulf oil spill clean up technology (sometimes, you just can't improve on reality).

Do you have any Baldwin casting ideas? Share in the comments.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. MarkR

    I absolutely LOVED the William Baldwin addition. I would love more of the Baldwin brothers on the show!

    March 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |

    Lifetime movie with her starring
    as Avery.

    March 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. internetspy


    March 25, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    What do you think about the ultra cheap special effects. That wormhole is totally unbelievable. Plus it only let’s you travel in 1 direction. Every teleportation type device created in the last hundred years allows for 2 way travel. I mean, come on. This is the 21st century. Surely they can do better than just 1 way teleportation.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Justin

    Note to author - Kim Jong-il is not still alive in the 30 Rock universe. Avery was forced into marrying his son, Kim Jong-un, after his father's death.

    March 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Warren

    Just to keep in perspective, not even 3.5 million viewers watched this pathetic show.

    March 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |

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