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'30 Rock' - 'Anna Howard Shaw Day' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 12th 2010 12:50AM
'30 Rock' - 'Anna Howard Shaw Day'
(S04E13) "Valentine's Day is a sham created by greeting card companies to reinforce gender stereotypes." - Liz, to Pete's daughter

So here we have a Valentine's Day episode of '30 Rock,' where we find Liz without a date, Toofer set up on a date (with an ... urban woman), Frank doing his usual Frank stuff, and Lutz talking to the gang about his girlfriend, who no one believes is real. But he says that he has the proof on his web site.

And the web site is real! He insists that she, too, is real, though the pics show Karens Carpenter, Black, Allen, Walker, and whatever the last name of the girl from 'Frosty The Snowman' is.

Aw, come on. The appearance of Floyd, Dennis, and Drew was only a figment of drugged-out Liz's imagination? That's kind of disappointing. I was hoping we'd have a great scene with the three of them talking to each other about their experiences dating Liz (or maybe even not getting along and fighting over Liz and insulting each other). I wanted more interaction between the three of them, though Jason Sudeikis, Dean Winters, and Jon Hamm impersonating the medical assistants at the end (another hallucination by Liz) was pretty funny. I did enjoy Liz's story this week, as she found out that even a crappy Valentine's Day date is better than not even having someone to drive you home from a root canal procedure.

What plot didn't I like? Jenna's. God, a stalker plot, really? It's odd: there were a few really funny lines in this plot (below), but overall I found her missing-her-stalker-on-Valentine's-Day plot to be rather ... icky. And I don't just throw around words like icky that often (the montage was creepy, not funny). Just when you think Jenna is "vain but she's OK once you get to know her," we find out she's probably insane. Honestly, I want to see more of the human, normal side of Jenna, not this weekly discovery that she's done something bizarre in her past (or likes something bizarre done to her, like having a stalker for years and years). I mean, Frank was much more normal than Jenna in this episode and even gave Liz some good advice.

More thoughts:

- I've complained that we haven't seen enough of TGS and/or NBC shenanigans recently, and this episode was no exception, save for one quick scene where we saw Tracy on the screen as Baby Mike Tyson on the TV screen.

- This episode had two stale jokes that really stood out: one was Jack going with the tie that Liz didn't pick, and the other was the ploy of having someone call you while you're on a date. We've seen those jokes a million times.

- I tried to look all around the screen to see if there was anything weird/funny in the scrolls and numbers shown when Avery was interviewing Jack on CNBC. There must have been something crazy there, right? I did see a stock price for Apple.

- Loved Jack's mouthing of Liz's words when she said what she was going to do on Valentine's Day.

- Li-Lem? Have we heard that name for Liz from Tracy before?

- I really like how much Jack cares for Liz. I still don't think there will be anything between them in the future, I just think that Jack is very fond of her, and that shows that '30 Rock' has a heart, too. Under the influence of meds, Liz even admitted to Avery that he was "the best" and she "doesn't know what she'd do without him." That's great stuff.

- Jon Bon Jovi is a better actor than a songwriter. I actually really enjoyed all of his scenes, especially the scenes of him on various NBC shows.

- This is Anna Howard Shaw.


"No, CNBC gives me a headache. I get all my money advice from PBS." - Liz

"I will spend half the day in twilight sleep and then I will go home to watch the Lifetime movie 'My Stepson Is My Cyber-Husband." - Liz, on her Valentine's Day plans
"That's inspired. You truly are the Picasso of loneliness." - Jack

"That's a real problem in the celebrity community. But if Beyonce would just answer one of my letters, I'd stop trying to break into her house." - Tracy, on stalkers

"Not me. One word: oral ... two words: oral surgery." - Liz, about the gang's plans for Valentine's Day

"Also joining me is Walter Stein, whose bowtie tells me that he works for some liberal think tank." - Avery

"Blackberry Warren Buffett, iPhone Jimmy Buffett." - who's #1 on Jack's speed dial

"We'll be right back after this ad aimed at the elderly." - Avery

"It's one of the kids from 'Glee,' isn't it?!" - Jenna, on who her stalker is stalking

"I always knew it would end one day. I just always thought it would be me in the trunk of a rental car." - Jenna

"I have a thing for commanding salt and pepper types. I don't know why. I think it started when I walked in on my parents the day Reagan was shot." - Avery
"I wouldn't over-analyze that." - Jack

"Then your ghost is going to see some disgusting stuff." - Frank, to Liz, who says her ghost will haunt him

"Wow, Avery Jessup, she's hot. She was on Maxim's I'd Rape Her 100." - Liz

"There are some things that are actually harder to do with two people, like ... monologues." - Liz

"Hey Jack, whadya need? Arena rock anthem? Power ballad? - Jon Bon Jovi

"I did that once and ended up NBC's Artist-in-Residence." - Jon Bon Jovi

"Perhaps one day we'll live in a world where you ask us to pretend to be scientists." - Dot Com, to Jack

"Dennis ... watching 'The Color Purple' drunk with you was one of my funnest nights ever." - Liz

"Seeing all your beautiful faces, and Dennis' jean jacket..." - Liz

"Happy Valentine's Day, no one!" - Liz

[Watch clips and episodes of 30 Rock and other shows at SlashControl.]

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My girlfriend who lives in Cannaaadddaaaa! Nice Avenue Q shoutout, Lutz.

February 12 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is anyone finding Elizabeth Banks alot less funny than she should be based on her movie roles?

She was terrible in Modern Family and not so funny here...

February 12 2010 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Was Jon Bon Jovi's "I have an honorary degree from Monmouth University" funny to anyone outside of Jersey? I also loved when he said to Jack: "That's a good use of my time and talent" (c'mon Joel -I thought you'd get to that before I did!)

The girl from Frosty is named Karen.

February 12 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone else think this episode misfired? I thought many, if not most, of the jokes were really weak.

February 12 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best thing about this episode was Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup.

February 12 2010 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tracy was "Tyke Myson"

February 12 2010 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

Wasn't Jenna's stalker played by the (still remarkably skinny) Horatio Sanz?

February 12 2010 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joel Keller's comment


February 12 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Worst CPA offer plug EVAR!

I just marathoned this show starting from last Thursday and managed to finish catching up 10 minutes before this episode. As a result, I kind of felt like some of the jokes from the past 3 or 4 episodes were stuck in my head and made this one seem kind of unfunny compared to "Verna" or "Winter Madness".

I did love Liz's hallucination, and not just because I'm gay for Jon Hamm. Also her comments on the phone were hilarious

"Great thank you for looking out for a sista, in a feminist way, not because you're black, although it doesn't matter because I'm black too. Nope, you're going to meet me, no I'm not black!"

And Jack using his "A game" on Liz after she mocked it was also pretty funny.

February 12 2010 at 5:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maynard? What happened to Yolanda?

February 12 2010 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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