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The 30 Rock recap: The Bubble


People don’t really appreciate what it’s like for guys like me and Jon Hamm.

Being exceptionally good looking and charming has its drawbacks. Aside from the free desserts when we dine out, the cops who always let us off with a warning rather than a ticket and the endless lines at movies, clubs and concerts that we never have to wait in, it can be pretty tough inside The Bubble.

No one just tells you what they really think. They’re too busy complimenting you. It ain’t easy, believe me.

In other news, the moon is made of ribs, as Will Ferrel-as-Harry-Caray used to say.

It’s been a while since I really enjoyed two straight episodes of 30 Rock, and I can’t remember the last time both 30 Rock and The Office were especially good on the same night. But Thursday marked both milestones. (I recapped The Office‘s “New Boss” here.)

This was the last we’ll see of Hamm this season. I didn’t think much of Liz’s romantic dabbling with her upstairs neighbor, but it wasn’t terrible, either. This episode was probably the highlight of Hamm’s run on the show. It cracked me up that, despite being a doctor, he thought the way to assist someone who’s choking is to shake them. You’ve got to be really handsome to get through med school on your looks.

But how did Liz not pick up on this earlier? Surely, if nothing else, Jack might have mentioned it. After all, he had a Superman chest when he was in his 20s. And what happened to his eyes? As the French say, aoarje aldksoi leriob.

But after the world’s saddest tennis display, being called a cheating bitch, no less, and a sexual encounter of mutual badness, she left him in the bubble. And then she didn’t, putting the kibosh on the catfish po’boys and Fanta and making him order from the menu like a real person.

And in the end, he rides off into the sunset like a guy who’s never been on a motorcycle before. I’m not telling him. You tell him.

Once again, the B story rocked harder than the A story: Tracy’s contract is up, and he doesn’t need the money. After all, he invested his videogame porn millions into a company that dismantles bank signs. He could retire today. And he does.

Jack’s at a loss. After all, Tracy’s is a tactile kinesthetic learning style. Wait, what?

I don’t know what BFF means, but Tracy and Jack go way back. And unlike his real family, Tracy’s TGS family never asks him for his damn bone marrow.

But the dilemma set up another great retrospective montage, along the lines of Tracy’s and Jenna’s shopping trip a few weeks ago. This time it was all the crazy things Jack and Liz have gone through with Tracy…that they didn’t actually show. Nice.

Anyway, it’s Cranston to the rescue, since the Cos is no help, not after what he did to Tracy’s mom. No, only Kenneth, Tracy’s personal Radar O’Reilly (“Rub my feet until you hear a chopper coming.”), makes the difference between retirement and the survival of TGS.

The dilemma takes its toll: Kenneth’s odd mountain accent returns, and Tracy’s kids are going to school with mayo and cigarettes. Just what kind of stereotype is Jack trying to make of them?

In a funny C story you could have blinked and missed, meanwhile, Jenna cuts her hair for charity. I read that in Page Six…of her publicist’s e-mail. Not since she lost a wardrobe face-off to Miss Piggy has Jenna needed some good publicity like this.

She drops some great Friends and Felicity references, by the way, and gives Janet Jimplin a break for the week. Lastly, since Locks of Love wasn’t interested, Jenna found a great alternative charity to donate her hair: Merkins of Hope.” If you don’t know, you don’t want to.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 11:24 am by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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