Friday, March 6, 2009

Who Knew 30 Rock Could Be So Traditional??...

Liz is back to talking about adoption in "Goodbye, My Friend," perhaps an ironic twist considering Jenna is back to fishing for compliments and/or just general attention. When the "diaper chicken" sketch gets cut, Jenna fakes an injury to get people to fawn all over her, but with her birthday coming up in a few days, she shouldn't go to too bad of extremes, right? Aw, if you're nodding in agreement, then you obviously don't "go to there" often with 3o Rock!Liz finds Jack skulking around the studio with a beer on a Friday night because although he has "art gallery openings or a gala to give bowties to inner city youths," he is committed to Elisa-- you know, the girl who pretty much dumped him via VHS tape in last week's show. He doesn't want to go anywhere where he might face temptation while she is off on vacation, so naturally he will with the boys from TGS that night: Frank, Josh, Lutz, and Toofer are going to a bar where the waiters dress up like ninjas! There can't possibly be any women there!

The universe is taunting Liz in the 24-hour donut shop when she spies an adoption brochure behind the counter. She takes her "dozen assorted" to stay in hopes of befriending the young pregnant girl behind the counter, probably just to get her to agree to give her the baby! The girl, who I have deemed Juno, launches into a diatribe about how her boyfriend thinks she got pregnant on purpose and now won't even "skype me face to face." Liz, in turn, steals a page out of the He's Just Not That Into You trailer and mentions how there are just "so many different devices for a guy to not call you on nowadays." Because in her day, the "line was probably just busy." Juno doesn't really have a plan as to yet, though, because all of the people she has met with thus far for adoption were just "old and weird" and didn't "even know who Ne-Yo is!" so of course Liz starts mumbling-humming one of his songs to get in Juno's good graces.

Jack, meanwhile, actually fits in with the guys-- but mostly because he and Frank bond over they never really knew their fathers. Jack's left when he was two, only popping back in from time to time to impregnante his mother (and explain the crazy Irish clan we met in an earlier season!). Frank's, on the other hand, went out to get the candles for his "fourth birthday lasagna" and just never came back. We also learn that Frank went to law school but had to drop out to take care of his sick mother, and both men's last name mean something not-so-great in their regional dialects. Jack invites the guys back to his place to continue the night watching movies, like the "classic" Harry and the Hendersons.

The next day, Jack tells Frank he pulled some strings, and if he wants to, he can resume his law studies at Columbia and make his mother proud and make his "father hate any new children he may have." Frank takes Jack home to have dinner with his mother, who is so proud that "someday [he]'ll have an ad on the subway-- in English and Spanish." Oh, and did I mention his mother is Patti Lupone!?!? But when Frank is out of the room, she slaps him in the face and tells him to stop ruining her son because if he becomes a lawyer, he'll be exactly like his father-- he comes from a long line of mob lawyers, apparently. Frank's father is in hiding. She tells him to clean up the mess however possible.

Liz hires Juno to come work on the show as a Youth Consultant, mostly to point out that her life is great, but her job doesn't fulfill every part of her...but also to get into her good graces so she will give her the baby. Juno is torn between trying to get back together with the baby's teenage father and keep the baby so they can raise him/her as a family or give up the baby and go for her dream of being a musician. She plays Liz a song, and of course she is not good-- like American Idol early audition round not good-- but of course Liz lies so she will go for it (and give her the baby!).

Pete is the voice of reason here, though, telling Liz that before he and his wife were happily married with their five kids, they were just scared teenagers, and he did run away-- five times. But he always came back, and she has to give Juno and her boyfriend the same fighting chance. Juno might need some more guidance, though, because she is eating baby food, assuming everything she reads on her "pregnant teen message board" is correct and that you have to give the baby food he or she will like. When Liz corrects her, she tells Liz she is surprised she doesn't have kids because she's smart...grounded...already dresses like a mom. It may not be the right time for Juno to have a family, but it seems to be the perfect time for Liz! But Juno only asks her to sing with her...

It also comes up in this episode that since Tracy bounced around to so many different foster homes, he never had a birthday party. Kenneth is sad he missed all of the "being surrounded by people you love, eating a cake with your name on it, and making a wish" that birthdays are all about. When Jenna saunters up to Kenneth to show him a picture of the dress she'll be wearing to her own birthday party ("so no one else will wear the same thing"), the light bulb in his mind flickers. He wants her to share the party (and the attention!) with Tracy; she is not so excited, but she agrees anyway...because otherwise there would be no C-plot.

Tracy enters the party first, and everybody fawns all over him, though they don't sing Happy Birthday because on TV shows they have to pay for it. Frank chooses the party to make his announcement about leaving TGS to pursue his dream of being a lawyer, and Cerie rushes in (wearing the same dress as Jenna) to announce that her dad got them all tickets to opening day at Yankee Stadium. Though Jenna had been excited to let Tracy be the "warm up act" to her Don Rickles or whatever at this party, now she can't find an opening, and it is supposed to be half-in celebration of her, too (though the cake only has Tracy's name on it)! So she throws on a backbrace...but even that doesn't work. Neither does the wheelchair she plops herself into. The only thing that does is when she stands up and rips it off; Tracy announces his birthday wish came true because he just wanted her to get better. Aw, at least someone does care about Jenna-- even if it's the someone who ends up stealing her thunder in episode after episode.

Juno's boyfriend shows up at 30 Rock, which Liz takes as a direct threat against her, and she is not amused when Jack tries to use the Harry and the Hendersons analogy to explain that sometimes you have to let things go and be where they are meant to, even if it's not with you. She intercepts him at the elevator and tells him Juno doesn't want to see him, and he needs to leave. He agrees, but then John Lithgow steps off the elevator, and she takes it as a sign that she has to do the right thing (because we're also at the twenty minute mark). The boyfriend thought it was more of a relief when Juno didn't want to see him, though, so Liz lectures him about all of the people who want what he is being given. "Oh, now's not a good time; I want to go to Burning Man-- shut up, Tim!" (Oh, his name is Tim, by the way) She tells him to "nut up," get a job, get married, and love the kid.

Jack, on the other hand, pushes Frank back into his old office, telling him there is no scholarship, and "they don't want him" so he has to go, as the Harry and the Hendersons score swells, of course. Seeing this display in the hall scares Tim straight, realizing what could happen if his child grows up without a father, and he runs to Juno. Who knew 30 Rock, liberal trendsetter as it is, would be such a proponent of something so traditional...even if the couple in question are just kids!!

Best lines of the night:

Jack: "Boy, that creative thing you guys do for a living-- writing jokes, making the world laugh-- what do your dads tell his friends you do?"

Jack (on seeing Juno in the TGS offices): "Oh God, please don't be a daughter I didn't know about."

Liz (on seeing Juno in the TGS offices): "She is the show's new 'youth consultant.' It's a thing! The CW has them!"

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