When television shows want to break out of their regular format they send their characters to Hawaii or have a musical-themed episode or go live. But leave it to 30 Rock, television's eccentric cousin who goes to art school, to step into its own alternate reality TV universe.
Just a week after doing its second live episode, 30 Rock revisited the divisive Queen of Jordan. I happen to really love the faux Bravo series and desperately wish it was a real show. Make this happen, Andy Cohen. If you don't –– RUDE!
The whole gang was back and loonier than ever, even by reality TV standards. D'Fwan made his own d'fwine, which he wants you to d'fwink responsibly; Portia had a catch phrase she wasn't crazy about ("Portia reads the paper!"); and Randi bravely posed for Playboy "against their wishes" But it was, as always, all about Angie (the pitch-perfect Sherri Shepherd.)
Since we last saw her, Angie (or Tangiers, if you will) has become an octuple threat as a reality star/actress/singer-songreader/perfumist/IBS survivor/best-selling author of a book she didn't write/catch phrase coiner ("Rude!" was wonderful, but it's no "Ham!"), and now, a designer for her clothing line Cheek (pronounced "chic") a "stretchable formal wear for elegant plus-size women and huskier gays.” Angie is poised to introduce Cheek to the world with her fashion show that will feature an in-no-way-planned surprise from her husband Tracy. But even with D'Fwan and Randi and Portia and insanely adorable baby Virginia on her team, Angie was outcrazied by the TGS crew, who will always outcrazy everyone.
While Jenna was desperate to get on cam-er-ah (nothing new there), Liz found herself immersed in a hilarious standoff with baby Virginia (the episode's MVP) after inadvertently criticizing her chubby baby legs ("Never talk about a black woman’s leg size. Not on babies, not on the Williams sisters, not on a mannequin at Avenue," D'Fwan warned) and Jack and Diana (Mary Steenburgen) tried, and failed spectacularly, at hiding their affair from a soon-to-be-returning Avery and the cameras.
You have to give the 30 Rock writers a lot of credit for this episode. Not only did they make their latest Queen of Jordan even funnier than the first one, but they moved the story along in a real way (Jack is getting closer to facing the reality of his wife coming back, Liz is certain that, despite some judgmental babies, she wants one of her own) and tackled one of the show's biggest hurdles: Jack and Liz kissing.
It finally happened and it wasn't because of some big, romantic confession that they've loved each other all along or "it was all just a crazy dream." No, it was because Jack spun such a terrible lie that involved a homeless guys (30 Rock's resident homeless guy Hannibal Buress) named "Gus", Russian restaurants named "Russ", and Chandler Bing-like cover-up about why he just kissed someone he shouldn't have been kissing. Jack and Liz kissed and it was awkward and forced and everything a long-anticipated television kiss shouldn't be. It was perfect.
Here are some of the other best lines and moments from last night's 30 Rock:
– "Not to be racist, but white guys are typically punctual."- Tracy
– "Doctor guy, pilot guy, Cleveland dude, British guy, rich dude, James Franco.” - Tracy, on why Liz is a "sex maniac"