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November 23, 2014

30 Rock: Mama Mia

by Mike Moody, posted May 8th 2009 9:34AM
30 Rock: Mama Mia

(S03E21) "Liz Lemmon, I may hug people too hard and get lost at malls, but I'm not an idiot" - Tracy Jordan

Maybe Jack Donaghy is right. More family does mean more aggravation. The search for Jack's real dad yielded a plot based on Mama Mia (apparently, I've never seen it, and I'm pretty sure I'll die that way) and an appearance by TV's most recognizable liberal – Alan Alda.

Don't get me wrong. I love Alan Alda. I was looking forward to seeing him on the show. He was great. But imagine ultra-conservative Jack's heartache when he found out that Hawkeye Pierce was his dad. The look on Jack's face when Alda stormed out of his office and cursed in Yiddish said it all. And I'm pretty sure Jack never imagined himself living out the plot of an Abba musical. Liz Lemon seemed pretty excited about it, though.

Her instant glee about the whole thing was damn hilarious. It was a lot funnier than Jenna's new catch phrase, "That's A Dealbreaker, ladies!" and the entire Jenna/Liz/Time Out New York storyline. I hope someone on the show figures out what to do with Jenna soon. A love interest that makes her mature or, I don't know, makes her move away would be nice. This vacuous, selfish aging diva routine has gotten old already. It's a lot funnier when Tracy Morgan does it.

Tracy's storyline paralleled Jack's search for daddy. But instead of looking for his father, Tracy was bonding with the 41-year-old man who claimed to be his son. The best part of this storyline, minus all the great one-liners and the brief (kinda edgy) conversation with James, was the karate showdown between Tracy's "son" and Lutz. For a brief moment, Lutz looked like a true badass. Then he put on his karate suit, got his ass kicked and started screaming "Help mommy's baby."

Steve Buscemi made a welcome return as Lenny Wosniak, who seems to get weirder and sadder every time we see him. By season's end I expect he'll be sprouting green antennae and living in a cardboard box underneath Kenneth's desk.

And speaking of Kenneth, I missed him this ep, but I did appreciate his high-pitched version of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two" chorus.

Bob should be back covering 30 Rock next week, folks. In the meantime, chew on a few quotes from this week's ep:

"You know what family means to me Lemon? Resentment, guilt, anger, Easter egg hunts that turn into knife fights." – Jack

"If I have learned anything from my SIMS family: When a child doesn't see his father enough he starts to jump up and down, then his mood level with drop until he pees himself." - Liz

"I feel like you're not telling me something, Jack. Lemme guess. You bought a sidecar for your motorcycle and your dog won't stay in it." – Tracy

"My love child tracked me down. I was scared, shocked, angry. Like a dog in a sidecar when it comes loose from the motorcycle." – Tracy

"This is the defining thing of my life. It's not gonna be that hit-and-run!" – Jenna, excited about her new catch phrase.

"Once I'm in the building I can get in the cafeteria. And that means free ice." – Lenny

"I do have a hard time telling ages with black – shoes are the best kind of shoes." – Liz

"Don't push it Liz, let it happen. There's gonna be a Mama Mia!" – Liz

"She texts her gay friends while I write 'til four in the morning eating dry fistfuls of Raisin Bean to stay awake, which, by the way, is how I'm able to ride the fart train to work every day." – Liz

"The Greens are sharp as a tack right to the end. Which makes the end more terrifying. My father died screaming." – Professor Green

"I'm sorry, did you just snort at our House majority leader?" – Jack

"Help mommy's baby." – Lutz, in a chokehold courtesy of Tracy's "son"

"If Cornell West weren't speaking at the New School tonight, I think he might have left." – Liz, about Professor Green

"When he saw these (reveals her shoes) he asked me when my cult was committing suicide." – Liz

"Did the medical supply store where you bought those shows have any women's stuff?" – Jack to Liz

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Zachary

This is interesting. The actor who played Donald (Michael Benjamin Washington) apparently appeared in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia.

May 08 2009 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

Does anyone know what sneakers Liz Lemon shoes Jack? I'd love to get a pair.

May 08 2009 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

Does anyone think that Jane Krakowski looks better with dark hair than as a blonde. She actually looked sultry. No one thought the kidney remark at the end wasn't hilarious? I almost rolled on the floor. . .

May 08 2009 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

You know the #1 thing that makes Jenna not work? SHE'S TRACY'S BUDDY. WTF? Those two are always agreeing, always palling around. Forget that they two characters are essentially the same part; If the show was Jenna's, and some super-famous black comedian took it away and got his name on it, she would NEVER forgive him.

There needs to be conflict between those two. She should hate him and constantly be seeking revenge - which should of course almost always fail because she's an idiot.

She's a selfish diva. Why on earth would she ever forgive Tracy Jordan? There's a mountain of comedy in there if they would just get to mining it....

May 08 2009 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to malren's comment
ac

Because they are two sides of the same mentally retarted coin perhaps?

May 08 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cody

Tracy is 39, is son is 41, and it turns out DotCom is 18.

May 08 2009 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erin

I think Jenna's character is designed to make you love to hate her. The writers seemed to do a better job of finding something to do with her back in the first and second seasons. The main thing that bothers me about her is how RED her skin always looks. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?

May 08 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tingrin87

Jack had another great line, something like "I'm Jack Donaghy. My hair dries this way"

May 08 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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