'30 Rock': 'Queen of Jordan' makes its debut

30-rock

Image Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC

I didn’t know St. Patrick granted wishes, but apparently he does. After a way-too-long hiatus, 30 Rock finally returned last night. Well, sorta. The show gave up the typical 30 Rock feel in favor of Queen of Jordan graphics, characters, and subtitles. We were treated to an episode of Queen of Jordan, Angie’s reality show on Bravo. In an over-the-top ode to the Real Housewives franchise, each character had to deal with the stress of being filmed 24-7 by the Queen of Jordan cameras.

With Tracy still in Africa (AKA real-life medical leave), Angie took a special interest in all the things she normally can’t finish with look-what-the-banister-did-to-me-Tracy around. It was Angie time, and she was focusing on her music career. Her 15-second single “My Single Is Dropping” was dropping, so Mrs. Jordan glued in her business weave and set up a meeting with Jack Donaghy.

During the meeting Jack got caught tripping on camera. (Ed. note: Amazing!!!) And thus began his characterization as the show’s clumsy buffoon. The Princeton man couldn’t handle his newfound image, and tried to do everything he could to change it. Verbal Signature! Instead, he only made matters worse after a double-entendre-laced conversation with Dotcom (Grizz’s Best Friend) and Grizz (Greg’s Best Friend). “Switch hitter, pitcher, catcher. Whatever the boys needed.” Oh, Tracy’s Gay Boss. Think before you speak. Add in an ill-timed fart sound (he promises it was the chair!) and Jack was truly defeated. But of course, he came around in the end completely secure in his manhood. He took to the dancer floor at Angie’s single release party and easily convinced everyone with his dancing skills that he is, in fact, straight. (Anyone else want to see that dance competition between him and D’Fwan?)

Meanwhile, Liz (Another Person) was frantically trying to convince Angie to bring Tracy home. TGS was struggling without him, and legal wouldn’t let her use the word “best” in their best-of special. Also, her shirt was tucked into her underwear. At least it’s a step up from that Duane Reade bag. Knowing she couldn’t make it much longer without her star, she took matters into her own hands and tried to send Tracy an e-mail as Angie, promising him the sex things he enjoys — like doing it across the bed instead of up and down. (Lemon saw it in a movie once.) The Lemon/Angie battle continued until the end of the episode when a fabulous fight referenced the Real Housewives of New Jersey. “[Tracy] is my man too, and TGS is my family. And my family is thick as thieves,” Lemon shouted as she pushed over a table. Oh, snap! Angie finally admitted that she wanted Tracy back, and since he wouldn’t return, she had to put on this act. Friends again! Now, Tracy just needs to get back to the show. Also, Angie should probably apologize to Liz for ripping out her hair. That was not a weave. But it’s okay, she’s contractually obligated to pull out eight more weaves before the season is over. So if weave-pulling floats your boat, stay tuned.

Former child star Jenna was busy trying to get cam-e-rah time on Angie’s show. She went around throwing wine on everyone, because that’s the only surefire way to rocket yourself into reality TV fame. Duh! Her attempts to get noticed also included a faux intervention thrown by Pete (Powerless Bald) and Kenneth (Elderly Page). Jenna also told us about her website, www.jennas-side.com. Say it out loud. And she still doesn’t hear it. Because she doesn’t know the word!

Finally, Frank’s former lover (not to be confused with Motherlover) returned. Okay, actually she was released from prison. Susan Sarandon guested as Lynn Onkman (Former Educator, Sex Offender). In this Mary Kay Letourneau-style story, Onkman fell in love with Frank R. during a scoliosis test. And the rest, as they say, is history a felony. When Lynn realized Frank was still the eighth grade boy she fell in love with, she began to rethink her feelings. Cue Frank R. dropping all of his toys into a deep fryer. Now that’s true love.

Other “Queen of Jordan” highlights:

++ Angie’s dream of becoming a recording artist since she was “a little… drunk the other day and rented out a recording studio.”

++ The wine-throwing montage, which including throwing wine at a dog!

++ “I will not wear anything in my size and appropriate for my age.” –Angie

++ “HAM!” –Angie

++ Not one, but two (!) references to Amy Grant. (Watch this video. The clothes we wore during the ’90s were heinous.)

++ “May I be dismissed?” –Frank R. asking permission to leave Lynn

++ ” Number 1: I was so worried I forget to write the rest of this letter.” –Kenneth’s intervention letter to Jenna

++ Learning Jack only farts once a year for a full hour atop a mountain in Switzerland

I thought last night’s return was hilarious, but that’s because it was catered to people like me who enjoy trashy reality TV. It didn’t do much in terms of plot growth, but that’s the point.  That said, I imagine it was either a complete hit or miss for fans. What did you think of the new episode? Tell me what you think in the comments before I go and drink all the throwing wine. And if you don’t like this recap, well, sho nuff it’s just a first draft.

Breia on Twitter

Read more: All ’30 Rock’ posts on PopWatch

Comments (92 total) Add your comment
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  • Scott

    The psychics with the electronic cigarettes and the “i know what you said/i didnt say what you think i said!” fights were great shout outs to Beverly Hills. The interstitials were spot-on. I think there are going to be calls for a Queen of Jordan spinoff to follow 30 Rock when Outsourced is put out of our misery. FAST TRACK IT, KABLETOWN!

    • Serenity is one the greatest movies this Century

      Awesome episode, reality tv sucks and I pity the morons who watch it. Anyone else think Tina Fey looked really hot in this episode? Something about her pink lips…

    • besimon

      The two psychics smoking – “You’re cheating on my with another psychic.” pause “Wait. I knew that.”

    • LOL

      I don’t watch trash reality TV so I didn’t get the jokes. This was a waste of time.

  • Mae

    it made me so happy. this season of 30 rock has been genius. i also think the montage had the dog throwing the wine, not having wine thrown at it.

    • joshii

      It was actually both. In the episode the white middle-aged woman threw wine at it. Then, at the end, the dog got revenge. Hilarious both ways!

    • Flyer

      Both were shown. First the woman threw wine at the dog in the limo. Later, the dog did indeed also throw a glass of wine.

      • Mae

        i missed it!! thank goodness for dvrs!

  • Jane

    Is this what Real Housewives is like? Then I have to assume it is awful because this was the worst episode of 30 rock EVER!!! And I know it’s Queen of Jordan- I don’t care. It should be funny anyway. Just awful. I will agree though, the wine getting thrown onto the dog was funny and Angie does say “ham” in an awesome way.

    • Scott P

      Thank you, completely agreed. Absolutely the worst 30 Rock to date. I laughed once at one joke Liz made about Tracy, and that was it.

    • ylk

      I absolutely agree. no laughs, really really bad

      • mark in nyc

        I thought they tried something new, but it did not really hit..but come on, Haahaaamm made me laugh out loud.

      • KWise

        Worst episode EVER. The concept was good – it *could* have been funny. But it wasn’t. It was painful to watch.

    • Tony

      Also agreed. Worst episode in a very long time.

      • Mae

        i also think they are having to deal with a couple of issues – tracy morgan being out on medical leave and jane’s pregnancy – so they tried something new.

      • Delon

        You people must be insane in the membrane. This was a terrific episode. The best episode in a long time. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m not gonna erase it from my computer and watch it several times for sure. I want Queen of Jordan turned into a real show and replace the God-awful Outsourced. “My single ‘My Single is Dropping’ is dropping”.

    • fcr

      I love this show, but this episode was awful. Agreed on the “ham” and dog/wine gags, but really? A recurring fart joke? I guess if it’s an accurate portrayal of reality TV, then I am not missing anything by avoiding Bravo.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Yeah, I’ve never seen an episode of any of the “Real Housewives”, but I’m peripherally aware of some of the stuff that’s happened on there just because I follow pop culture.

      It took me until after the first commercial break to get into this episode. I totally understand how people who love “30 Rock” could hate this episode (esp. if you don’t watch “RH”) because not only did the show spoof reality TV (which it’s done brilliantly in the past with stuff like “MILF Island”), but it also intentionally changed its form and structure to that of the reality shows it was spoofing.

      On that level, I can admire it…even if I didn’t really enjoy it. (Except for the dog/wine throwing, which was brilliant.)

      I also thought the Susan Sarandon/sex offender teacher plot felt out of place. Seems to me like that storyline could’ve been dropped into pretty much any episode, so it ended up being a waste of Sarandon in this one.

      • KWise

        Thanks for explaining Mr. Holloway, but I think we all got it: they changed the show’s regular form and structure to match that of the reality shows it was spoofing. I don’t think the problem is that 30 Rock fans didn’t understand what was happening – the problem is it WAS NOT FUNNY.

      • Mr. Holloway

        @ KWise

        Fair enough. Obvioulsy, if you didn’t think it was funny, then there’s nothing in the world I can or anyone else can say to change your mind because that’s completely subjective. I also didn’t mean to suggest that people didn’t like it because they didn’t understand or “get” what was happening.

        My point is that this was just an extreme version of what “30 Rock” does really well: pick a hyper-specific target and spoof the hell out of if. Personally, I found this episode to be way too jarring because its target (trashy, reality TV with low-rent humor) was such a departure from what the show usually does, but (as Flyer said below) it was an interesting and creative way to work around Tracy Morgan’s absence.

        All I know is that this ep was a big hit with my mom (who’s a “RH” nut), while the extended “Amadeus” riff from a few years ago that had me laughing my a$$ off only drew stony silence from her.

    • stan

      Hey! Terz!

  • Anth

    Yeah, I couldn’t get into this episode at all. A couple of good jokes, but everybody in Angie’s “entourage” was annoying and unfunny…and cheap, predictable, extended gay and fart jokes? 30 Rock is better than that.

    Last few episodes have been fantastic though so hopefully this was just a minor bump in the road.

    • James

      It’s a spoof of “reality” TV like the Real Housewives series – i.e. it is supposed to be trashy, low-class humour.

      • Rafael

        on 11/26/2010 at 22:54The Kit in every shot is: Master Grade Gundam Deathscythe Ver. KaI think Gunpla TV’s really good for model mrakes and fans of Gunpla, and I think the thing I’d like to see on the show is the inclusion of kits outside Gunpla, as well as comparisons between the two. It’s a really good show and I hope it continues for many episodes more!

    • Dexter

      All this talk about green fields (2eps aelardy!) leads me to ask you guys about the prospects of a green union . Under the current system, the mere mention of unions’ brings fright to a producer. Since the producers want to hire workers, and workers want to be hired, we should rethink any institution which quite literally makes the employer look the door to their office, or move a production to another city. To a producer, unions mean more money, more paper work, more headaches with little on the positive side.Back in the day when unions were trying eliminate grievances like child slavery, and truly unsafe working conditions, thuggish methods like strikes, shame rallies, and protests were effective. I would argue that those methods are simply not effective anymore because workers (and the unions that support them) are not facing the same challenges.Our challenge, frankly, is unemployment. In entertainment, only a small % of people in unions actually work on union shows. Most people clammer for those few positions and those positions, which are evaporating anyway right along with the arcane business models that support them; for example networks.However, imagine a world where no one knew what a union was (green field). Image if an organization of workers formed with two goals in mind; to always be employed with fair wages and benefits, AND to help producers of that content be successful. How can they help? First off all, eliminate or greatly reduce the transaction costs. There is little excuse for paperwork, and job specific roles. A company should be able to complete a contract negotiation in a phone call and signature. Secondly, unions are a group of people who have collective bargaining power in general. Why not offer producers; free screening rooms at the guild, have subsidized edit bays available, have subsidized equipment rentals, help with distribution of projects via promotions (agencies do this for their starts), and the list goes on.I guess my point is, unions should find a way that they can introduce value into a production and not just act as a market distortion. My question is; how would you guys rebuild the unions?

  • FC

    ^^I agree with the two posts above me. This was the weakest 30 Rock episode I’ve ever seen. Pretty much unfunny. (This from someone who has seen every episode something like 10 times.) Blerg!

  • Flyer

    I thought the episode was a brilliant way to address – and work around – Tracy Morgan’s real-life medical leave. It was fun to look at the show from a completely different, and hiliarious, perspective.

  • numjin

    it’s really funny if you watch the real housewives, it’s spot on

    • Snsetblaze

      I’ve never watched the housewives but I know enough about it from the new … and I thought the episode was hilrious although I agree that the Susan Sarandon plotline was a bit out of place.

    • BLM

      I’ve never watched an episode of any of the Real Housewives, but I thought this episode was really funny. It spoofed the reality genre much better than Community did a few weeks ago. I loved how they continually replayed the clip of Jack tripping. That alone was laugh out loud worthy!

  • Olive

    “Jenna-Side.” That one will stick with. And I really loved the captions describing the characters as they talked like “Liz Lemmon: Another Person.”

    • Liz

      You can’t forget Kenneth (Elderly Page) I was LMBO about that one.

  • Marshall1

    Well, I think people who don’t like this episode probably hasn’t watched an episode of the “Housewives” series. It is a SATIRE people! It’s not the greatest episode (I found Jenna’s plot to be a bit rambling, and didn’t care too much about Susan Sarandon and Frank), but the Angie’s stuff is brilliant. I wish Sherry Shepherd is a regular. They should replace Tracy Morgan with her. The whole satire on the Housewives is spot on.

    • fcr

      I think we understand satire. But maybe satire of something that’s already a complete joke (reality TV) doesn’t work. It’s like the writers had to dumb down the dialog for the reality framework. Spot on? Probably. But not good.

    • KWise

      Again, a lot of people here who hated the episode still UNDERSTOOD the basics of what was going on. Yes, I’m familiar with Housewives. Yes, I get that it was a satire. Yes, i typically love satire. But this was a horrible execution of what *could* have been a great idea. And when the show started, I thought, ‘this is going to be great!!!’ But it just wasn’t. Like you said, Jenna’s part was SO rambling, Sarandon’s stuff was weird, Jack’s part was just unfunny and predictable….they just failed to execute what could have been fun.

      • Marshall1

        well, as I’ve said…the first part of the episode was very funny, i didn’t say the whole ep

    • KC

      Agree, Marshal1. Understanding it was satire isn’t the point; the electronic cigarettes/psychics were funny because it’s a sendup of the psycho psychic from Real Housewives of beverly Hills. If you didn’t watch it, it wouldn’t mean anything.

  • Marshall1

    Oh, I do love “Jenna-side”. LOL

  • RorySparrow

    I started watching a little late so I’m not quite sure who the middle-aged stripper character was. This is the first episode I’ve watched live in a while and it really did feel like another show. I loved the music that swelled just before a break, and Jack and Dot-com’s conversation was best bit by far. Jack was on the DL most of his junior year. Kudos for 30 Rock for continuing to take major chances!!!!

  • Buffy Freak

    I thought it was just great. It really pains me to say that I love Sherri Shepard in this role because she’s such an insufferable, vapid twit on The View.

  • Joanie

    Worst. Episode. Ever.

  • eliott256

    HAM!

  • js

    laugh out loud episode! so odd but hilarious at the same time. My single, “My Single is Dropping”, is dropping. haha

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