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The 30 Rock recap: Apollo, Apollo (I dare you not to liz)


I lizzed multiple times during last night’s 30 Rock, mostly when we got a glimpse of Kenneth’s muppet-esque worldview, but also when the deaf lip-reader protested at the site of young Jack ralphing.

“I was staring at his mouth!”

This hasn’t been a liz-worthy season, on the whole, but we’ve gotten back-to-back strong episodes now, and “Apollo, Apollo” reminded me of why I loved this show before anyone was even watching it. It was absurd with undercurrents of mean and sad.

Mean, you ask? Liz could have warned Jenna about that open latch on her harness, which you knew was going to be an issue as soon as it was pointed out minutes earlier. Liz let her fall like a rag doll out of spite. Me, I would have said sleeping with Dennis was punishment enough.

Sad, you ask again? Anything relating to Jack’s pre-bubble youth is inherently sad. In this case, though, it was a happy moment from his boyhood that contrasted with has sad, lonely adulthood at 50. But things didn’t get bogged down by emotion. Instead, the slightly pathetic way Jack dealt with the contrast fed some hilarious gags.

But best of all, it all came together in the end, as the best 30 Rock episodes do.

I don’t know what was most liz-worthy: Liz’s sex line commercial (that was incredibly long), Jack jacking or Jack’s list of things to do by 50 (Peggy Fleming, va-va-voom!). Wait, it was Tracy’s wordplay with the 70s space drink Tang. No, the $7 price tag on Kenneth, as per Jack-vision.

I have to give an nod to Dennis “The Beeper King” Duffy for coming to grips with his sex addiction, as self-diagnosed on WebMD, and owning up to the women who he’d ruined for other men. It was a brilliant turn to have him and Jenna hook up. In retrospect, how could he not be seduced by her British accent? Alas, his support group is lousy with nymphos, and his business acumen — hard to find coffee machines — hasn’t improved.

In past episodes, we’ve seen Jenna flip out over the attention paid to Tracy and acommodations made to keep him happy. But she barely batted an eyelash when they simulated a space flight for him. The sequence marked NBC’s second The Right Stuff reference of the week, after Monday’s Chuck. Nice detail that the banner behind Tracy read “Space Press Conference Banner.”

A couple questions: How come Jack can beat up a Russian and Grizz can represent TV’s Batman, but video technicians can’t see inside a box shown only from the side on film? And was Liz saying she uses her mail in lieu of toilet paper? And what did Tracy got against Ewoks?

Lastly, did you catch how Jenna’s idea of dealing with Dennis was not to confront him, as Liz suggested, but to stab him?

Relive the magic here, thanks to Hulu…

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 10:24 am by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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