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October 4, 2015

'30 Rock' Season 5, Episode 17 Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 18th 2011 1:30AM
30 Rock['30 Rock' - 'Queen of Jordan']

We waited three weeks for this?

'30 Rock' rarely makes a big misstep. Even when a particular episode isn't as funny or incisive or clever as the show usually is, it's still above average, better than most comedies on the air, even if it gets there on joke quantity and not quality.

This episode was one of the worst in the show's 4 1/2 season run.

You would think that a wall-to-wall spoof of a reality show would be right up '30 Rock's' alley. Then why did this episode fall so, so flat?

I was actually looking forward to seeing more of Angie's reality show 'Queen of Jordan,' but now I hope the show is canceled and we don't see Angie again until it's time for another Tracy/Angie marital problem plot. Maybe it's because reality shows -- real ones -- are inherently ridiculous themselves, or maybe it's because other shows have already made fun of reality shows way before this, but wasn't this episode rather unfunny? I mean, remarkably unfunny? Especially for '30 Rock?'

The entire episode, you couldn't shake the feeling that these are all comics and they were just pretending that they were on a reality show.

The parts that really focused on the reality show weren't reality show-ish enough (maybe it was the way the episode was filmed), and the parts that really had nothing to do with the reality show -- Jack being mistaken for gay by the cast and crew of 'Queen of Jordan' and Frank's reunion with the teacher he lost his virginity to -- seemed shoe-horned into the plot. Having Pete say things to the camera and having the camera swing around to see what odd line Kenneth or Dotcom was going to say only succeeded in reminding us how strong the show's usual joke-plot point-quick wacky flashback-joke structure is.

Imagine that this was the episode you chose to finally get your friend who never watches the show hooked on it, to convince them that they have to start watching this show along with 'Community' and 'Parks and Recreation.' Not only would they never watch it again they would probably forever and forever question your judgment about TV shows and life in general.

Jenna had a plot too, but I swear that I sit here a few minutes after the episode ended and I can't even remember what it was. Something to do with throwing wine?

I also can't remember an episode of '30 Rock' that I just wanted TO END ALREADY. But that's how I felt tonight. With it's handheld camera work and people talking to the camera, it was like a really bad episode of 'The Office' directed by Bravo's Andy Cohen. Can't wait to get back to "normal" next week.

More thoughts:

• This episode was so lame that I didn't even realize that was Susan Sarandon until halfway through the episode.

• I did like how Jenna pronounces "cam-er-a" though. And Angie's "Haaam!"


"For your information, I am a Christian illiterate, so that's not even an option." - Randi, about writing a scene for the show

"Jenna-side ... Jenna-side ... I'm not hearing it Liz." - Jenna, about how Jenna-Side.com sounds

"It happened to Hitler. No one ever talks about his paintings." - Jack, about how the media tears down people

"I like bands, like ... Amy Grant." - Liz

"I'm not just a gay hairdresser, I'm also a homosexual party planner." - D'Fwan

"Yes, otherwise who would wake me for work?" - Frank, about living with his mom

"The boy I fell in love with was the most amazing 8th grader that I've ever met." - Frank's former teacher

"I thought this was about your spin-off where you play matchmaker for wealthy dogs?" - Jack, to D'Fwan

"I'm not clumsy or gay, so your little show has nothing to embarrass me with. That was the chair." - Jack, getting out of his chair

"I am contractually obligated to pull out a bitch's weave eight more times this season." - Angie, to Liz

"Well, if you didn't get better at the shuttle run you were going to be hospitalized." - Frank's teacher, about helping him cheat in the Presidential Fitness Test in school

"Jack, I also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome." - Angie
"It was the chair." - Jack

'30 Rock' airs Thursdays at 10PM ET on NBC.

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Respectfully disagree. For a episode that was one of the worst, you still pulled a dozen great lines and a few good moments from the episode. If this is the worst this show gets, I'll gladly take it.

March 20 2011 at 12:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I totally disagree with this "recap". One of the funniest shows they've ever done. I couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.

March 18 2011 at 4:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I have to disagree. I thought this ep was better than many of the last few, with a number of laugh-out-loud lines.

March 18 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I thought they coud have shown it like a regular 30 Rock episode, instead of using the live single camera technique. I too have no idea which part is the reality show and which is part of the regular lives of the cast. Confusing indeed. It was a bad episode but the cast deserve to have a throwaway ep once every 5 years.

March 18 2011 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brandon .. I had the same thought about the list of quotes.
I loved this ep .. clever and funny, as always.

March 18 2011 at 10:21 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I love how you can bash a show as one of the worst ever then present 12 laugh out loud quotes. That sounds pretty good to me for a 20 minute show.

March 18 2011 at 8:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Ben Williams

Were we watching the same show?

I hate those insipid Real Housewives shows as much as the next guy...and this was hilarious because it was so frightfully accurate. Could've done without the Susan Sarandon thing (which sucks, cause i like her) but i still really had a good time.

Honestly, if your friend hasn't watched the show in its first 100 episodes...they probably won't watch it now.

Why is this site picking on a show that's been pretty danged good and better than most shows for nearly 5 seasons?

March 18 2011 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed this episode. I'm not familiar with the format of Bravo reality shows, but I thought this was a hilarious spoof. Have not laughed this much while watching a 30 Rock episode in ages.

March 18 2011 at 7:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed this episode. I'm not familiar with the format of Bravo reality shows, but I thought this was a hilarious spoof. Have not laughed this much while watching a 30 Rock episode in ages.

March 18 2011 at 7:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike Siroky

I called jumnp the shark on the last new one.
Do we really miss Tracy thismuch? His wife is not funny. Too much Jenna reveals she is not funny either. Liz is lost and to dumb down Jack is to make a parody of one of the best characters on TV. No wonder his wife and child are missing in action, They don't want to be associated with this. Tragic use of a famous star. No more Lutz but too much everyone else. Even Kenneth is absurdly used as a fool. If you had never tuned in and happened on this for a test you would seriously wonder how it stayed on the air and why anyone quotes the regulars.
When the one-trick-pony show that follows is nine times better than this, you are in trouble,

March 18 2011 at 3:53 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mike Siroky's comment

You lose points automatically for not only using the TIRED "jump the shark" card, but for also spelling it wrong.

March 18 2011 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brandon's comment
Mike Siroky

You have a better phrase that everyone knows than "Jump The Shark?"
Missed the memo where you were appointed official grader

March 18 2011 at 1:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

You could say the show has passed it's prime.
You could say the show no longer has the punch it did.
You could say you are over 30 Rock.
You can say it's time to end 30 Rock.
Any phrase besides "jumped the shark" will work. It's used out. If anything has "jumped the shark", it's the phrase "jumped the shark". The phrase is handed out more often than copies of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors in the 70s. Time to retire this phrase is now.

March 18 2011 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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