30 Rock: Apollo, Apollo
To put it bluntly, I think this was one of the most explosively hysterical and imaginative half hours of TV this season, and one of this show's best episodes ever. 30 Rock embodies that idea you have of what a great TV comedy can be, the one that is non-stop funny and unpredictable and wild. This episode was a bizarre combination of sex addiction apologies, surreal Muppet appearances, videos of old birthday parties, faked space travel, vomiting, and old late-night chat line commercials.
That paragraph makes it seem like it was a bizarre mess, but it all seems to make sense and come together in the TGS/NBC world.
This episode was so ridiculously funny and clever that I can't even complain about the whole "Jenna slept with Dennis" plot. OK, maybe I can complain a little. I just don't think that would have happened. I mean, didn't Jenna keep warning Liz about how bad Dennis was? Sure, Jenna is wacky and Dennis is sleazy, and everything seems to happen to Liz, but I just didn't buy it. It seemed forced, just a way to get Dennis back into the picture and in the middle of Liz and Jenna. Still, the lines were funny, so I'm not even sure it matters in a show like this.
The Tracy is space plot? Outrageous and crazy, but tell me you didn't laugh when Tracy and his crew were walking down the hallway in slow motion, blindfolded, everyone being quiet while a big heat was held above his head.
I also liked how Jonathan had Adam West's agent's phone number memorized for some reason, and the odd (yet somehow appropriate) British accent that Liz did when she impersonated Jenna on the phone. And when Jenna actually asked Liz later if she was British on the phone ... well, no show does callbacks like this show.
For the record, the writing staff was around. Except for Josh!
A sampling of the many great quotes:
"Oh, right, sorry, my mail has been piling up and I keep forgetting to buy toilet paper." - Liz
"What is that supposed to mean?" - Jack
"What thing with the belt? Don't hang up, I have a lot of belted objects!" - Liz, to Jack, who told her not to wear the thing with the belt
"If you have a spaceship and you're looking for a hilarious astronaut with an irregular heartbeat and $30 million, I am prepared to leave as soon as tomorrow. I wrote that yesterday." - Tracy
"Your contract expressly prohibits dangerous activities, like extreme sports or riding the subway on St. Patrick's Day." - Jack, to Tracy
"The closest I came to vomiting tonight is when I saw Ann Coulter's shoulder blades." - Jack
"Lizzing is a combination of laughing and whizzing." - Liz
"When I was a kid growing up in the projects, I would look up into the stars and dream of going into space, escaping the slums, and killing an Ewok!" - Tracy
"I'm aware of it. I have a Google news alert for the phrase 'Tracy Jordan ridiculous disaster." - Jack
"With the help of WedMD, I was recently self-diagnosed as a sex addict." - Dennis
"My support group? It's lousy with nymphos." - Dennis
"What those people were doing to the Superdome..." - Dennis, about Hurricane Katrina
"Oh guys, come on, I eat in there!" - Liz, about Dennis and Jenna in her bed
"Good luck with your fake addiction and your inconveniently located vending machines." - Liz, to Dennis
"Go to Disneyland, ride in an airplane, kiss Peggy Fleming, live in a house with stairs, beat up a Russian, hit mom with a car." - Jack's list of things to do before he turned 50
"Go to Disneyland? Lemon, I've held Walt Disney's frozen head in my hands." - Jack
"That's awesome." - Liz
"Every time you move his head, his head moves!" - Kenneth, on his key chain
"What is this, Horseville? Because I'm surrounded by a bunch of naysayers. Word play!" - Tracy
"You were trying to be an actress then. Despite your neck." - Jenna, to Liz
"I'm Lizzing!" - Jack