Angie and D'Fwon return for a Queen of Jordan episode.
Last week, 30 Rock reprised its fifth season "live show" device with mixed results--this week marks the show's second double-dip into last year, this time revisiting the mockumentary format of fictional reality show Queen of Jordan. Unlike last week, however, the Jordan episode is fully successful on two critical fronts: the medium perfectly serves the episode's story, and this week's 30 Rock is consistently absolutely hilarious.
Compromised on Camera
This year's Queen of Jordan, much like last year's, swarms 30 Rockefeller with cameras as Angie plans for a meeting with Jack Donaghy, this time to promote her new fashion show. Jack, however, is too busy negotiating Angie's release to meet with her, leaving Angie dramatically snubbed.
That doesn't stop the onsite cameras from catching Jack in a compromising situation, however: Avery's mother Diana arrives, promptly forget that the crew is present, and says "I don't think we should tell Avery about us" in front of them. Television!
Liz, meanwhile, is left in a feud with Angie's infant daughter. Liz calls the baby's legs chubby, only to later find out from D'Fwon that she accidently touched a sensitive race and gender nerve. Jenna, eager to hitch her wagon to a starbaby, turns on Liz in her defense; Liz is just terrified that children don't like her.
Protesting Too Much
Jack, meanwhile, has hired a crackpot off the street to be "Gus," his business partner, clarifying that Diana said not to tell Avery about "Gus." Diana, however, has already told the cameras that she didn't want to tell Avery about "Rus," the mythical founder of Russia, after whom she has named a new Russian restaurant. They combine their stories on the spot: Gus is the co-owner and head chef of Rus, which is celebrating its grand opening tonight.
Jack and Avery manage to cobble together a restaurant in only a few hours. Relieved that they have nothing to explain or apologize for, they spontaneously kiss. Unfortunately, this is noticed by everyone, including the TV cameras.
Liz helpfully jumps in to explain that Jack totally kisses everyone, and with no choice but to play up that story, that's exactly what he does. Jack awkwardly locks lips with Liz, D'Fwon, and nearly everyone else at the restaurant. The baby sees how nice Liz can be and scraps their feud.
Queen of Jordan
Angie, meanwhile, is furious that her fashion show has been ignored. She had hoped that Tracy would at least be there for some grand gesture at the end of it, but he's off playing Mass Effect 3 online with a Japanese adolescent. She furiously confronts him, but he makes it clear that what he's given her is better than any gesture: it's the gift of TV conflict. They engage in a ratings-grabbing shouting match, plan a divorce, and yell that they're both cheating on her. Television!
Tonight's 30 Rock was one of the funniest episodes of the season. Though it's easy to accuse the show of recycling its Queen of Jordan framing device, the format is so effective that I wouldn't have any problem with it becoming an annual event. Angie and D'Fwon are great characters, the camera-caused conflict and ridiculous cover-up were laugh-out-loud funny, and the mockumentary format just works for this show. Even if we can't be sure how many seasons we have left with Alec Baldwin, I would happily watch a Queen of Jordan spin-off.
"I was supposed to know where Jack Donaghy is. Don't you know where your own husband is?"
- Angie, not giving a damn about their lives.
"D'Fwine: please d'fwrink responsibly."
- D'Fwon, on d'fwrinking d'fwine.
"We're higher up here, so the sun's electricity is stronger."
- "Gus," on electricity.
"I don't watch TV. I'm really more of a masturbator."
- Tracy, on how he spends his free time.
"What's cocaine like?"
- Kenneth, in a dress.