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'30 Rock' - 'Don Geiss, America, and Hope' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 19th 2010 12:28AM
30 Rock
(S04E15) "This is an exciting time for NBC. Not 'Friends,' 'Seinfeld,' 'ER' exciting, more like 3-D episodes of 'Merlin' exciting.' - Jack

I wonder if NBC killed off Don Geiss (that's him in the Han Solo-like cryogenic freeze thing above - another 'Star Wars' reference) because of Rip Torn's real-life problems? Sure, this episode was probably filmed before his latest escapade, but similar things had happened in the past, and maybe they didn't want to have to have him come back on the show now and then. Then again, Geiss had a lot of health problems in the past and almost died once already, so maybe his death was already in the works. And it certainly works as a sign that things are changing at NBC now that GE has sold it to Kabletown.

I wonder if Comcast is happy that Kabletown's main source of revenue is the porn movies it shows on some of its cable channels. I think it's funny that Kabletown's logo is a lot like Comcast's, even down to the big "C" at the start of the word (at least I assume that's supposed to be a "C"), even though that doesn't make sense when Kabletown starts with a "K." '30 Rock' can get a lot of mileage out of the NBC/Comcast deal and make jokes at Comcast's expense, but at the same time the cable company can get some advertisement on the show too. That's Komcastic!

I think viewers were waiting to see how the show would handle the NBC/Comcast deal and if it would be funny, and so far it is. And I also think there's something old-fashioned and noble about how Jack thinks about NBC and his job and how they should actually "make something" and not just "consume."

I'm glad Michael Sheen came back as Wesley (and great to see the plots continue on this show). It would have been easy to just have a one-shot guest role (movie star does TV!), but it was good to see him come back and wrap up the Liz/Wesley storyline. And it was good that Liz ended it with him because he's CLEARLY not right for her, even if "fate" kept having them run into each other.

Side note: didn't you just assume that the reason why Liz and Wesley had "Future Husband" and "Future Wife" in their cell phones was because of the gas they got during their dental work? Not sure if that was supposed to be a big reveal or just the characters catching up to what the audience already assumed, though even the characters should have figured it out immediately.

I actually liked Tracy's subplot this week. Not only did it give Tracy something important to do (save his marriage), it also shined some new light on the Tracy Morgan character. So all this time he hasn't slept with strippers or drank a lot or any of that other crazy stuff? I'll have to go back and look at episodes from past seasons to see if that is consistent to what has happened in that past (God, that sounds like something I'd do for 'Lost'...).

More thoughts:

- So Liz and Wesley go to see 'Hot Tub Time Machine' and there just happens to be an ad for the movie during the show. What a coincidence!

- When Tracy tells Liz that he talked to someone at Little, Brown, she asks him "the publishing house?" I hate jokes like that, because it's never anything anyone would ever say in real life. It's just a question to set up his joke response ("no, the premiere talent agency for black dwarves"). The line about ADD has been used a thousand times, too.

- This was yet another episode where they tried to convince us that Liz/Tina Fey isn't attractive. I wonder if Fey writes those lines? Whatever the reason, Wesley doesn't deserve her anyway for thinking that way.

- Wesley's last name is Snipes? That's so out of left field and hilarious.

- Seltzer and Mike & Ike's? That's just disgusting.


"I don't know why you're wearing girls' pajamas, but I'm sure it's cultural.' - Jack, to NBC employees in Japan

"Boston is the greatest city in the world. Boston Tea Party, Boston Cream Pie, Boston Rob Mariano." - Jack

"Los Angeles rules! Michael Bay, freeways, Legoland..." - NBC employee in L.A.

"This is for you, Dan Goose..." - Jenna, singing 'Amazing Grace'

"I had this thing where I kept running into Michael Douglas, then I realized it was just some old lady who lives in my building." - Jenna

"Adultaraisin." - Tracy's Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor

"It's like living in a Cathy cartoon. It never ends." - Wesley, about dating Liz

"All these books, sir! It's like I'm back at school, learning about the dangers of book-readin'." - Kenneth

"We brought good things to life. And bad things to Chinese rivers." - Jack, about GE

"My cousin in Atlanta is a business model. She holds up staplers in catalogs." - Kenneth

"It's like that brilliant film 'Notting Hill.' I'm British and charming and she's ... got certain angles that work for her." - Wesley

"If my heart surgeon is so great, why have so many of his patients died while I've only killed one guy?" - Liz's dentist

"Just like my favorite golfer: O.J. Simpson." - Jenna, about "yet another black superstar brought down by his personal life"

Jack 'The Master Baiter' Donaghy. - Jack's nickname, because he can bait people

'Assatar,' 'The Lovely Boners,' 'The Hind Side,' 'Fresh-Ass: Based on the Novel Tush By Assfire.' - porn movies on Kabletown

"I can kill bugs and open jars for you, and you can make me look less gay at work functions." - Wesley, to Liz

"That's grim. And I've played Monopoly alone." - Liz

"Everybody settles. At one point my obituary was going to read 'CEO Of GE Dies Violently In Casino Orgy.' Now what's it going to say, 'Middle Manager Of A Philadelphia Porn Distributor Never Wakes Up'? - Jack

"You know what I have? A Sims family that keeps getting murdered." - Liz, to Tracy about his life

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

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"And I also think there's something old-fashioned and noble about how Jack thinks about NBC and his job and how they should actually "make something" and not just "consume.""

Nobility aside, that was actually a poop joke. Watch it again and laugh. (19:25-20:00)

March 29 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder if Michael Sheen's character is actually going to be back on the show in May or if the "sweeps" line was just a wink-wink-nudge-nudge-throwaway gag. I guess we'll find out during Nielsen's Sweeps which according to Wikipedia is April 29 - May 26, 2010.

March 19 2010 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Favorite line: "Buying NBC counts as a charitable donation for tax purposes."

March 19 2010 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode was the funniest this season! Does anyone remember what Wesley called his bicycle?


March 19 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they are starting to use this joke too much:

Person 1: That's just like X.
Person 2: You mean X the logical choice?
Person 1: No I mean X a ridiculous thing.

March 19 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tracy in a reverse Tiger Woods situation was an excellent idea

March 19 2010 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew Thomas

I found Wesley's last dialogue totally hilarious. 'I'll see you in May for sweeps'. A lot of 30 rock humor is so self referential and it makes it so much more entertaining!

March 19 2010 at 4:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I hate jokes like that, because it's never anything anyone would ever say in real life."

Half of what is said on this show would never be said in real life. That's what makes it funny!

March 19 2010 at 2:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Shifty

This was filmed after his escapade but probably caused him to be written out.

I wonder if there is a company that will encase you in the Cloud City carbonite when you die?

March 19 2010 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm almost certain that they've used the "Tracy Jordan acts like an adulterous ladies man, but he's really a good husband and father" story line at least once or twice. Maybe during a Valentine's Day episode, or one where Tracy takes them out to a nightclub?

anyway, I was actually a bit taken aback when Liz and Frank reacted like they did to the news that Tracy was a good guy, because I thought "wait.... I thought this was already established and shouldn't be a surprise to anyone"

March 19 2010 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joe's comment
Ashley Boyd

Yeah and Jack did mention it in this episode. I think it was 'The Ones' from last year. It was the episode where Jack was worrying about being faithful to Elisa while she was away in the face of temptations, and Tracey said he'd been faithful this whole time.

My favourite part of the episode;
Jack: It was Don Geiss who invented the nightlight and who then invented the myth of a monster under every bed to scare children.
*shot of Kathy Geiss*

March 19 2010 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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