17
Mar
2011
30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 17
Queen of Jordan
Sam
This week's 30 Rock decided to take a little bit of a risk deciding to tell the whole episode's story through the lens of Angie Jordan's hit reality show, "Queen of Jordan". At the top of the episode I was skeptical as to how well the show would work, especially since I can only handle Angie in small doses and didn't need an episode that totally revolved around her. Luckily the writers of the show managed to keep the general feel of the show while implementing clever ways to exploit the format change.

This week's A-plot had Liz worried that Tracy's recent departure to Africa would leave the show in peril. Tracy's wife seems to be happy with being by herself and her own woman with a single that's about to drop. The show shuttles well through the different characters on Angie's show to mixed effect.
The storylines that fell a bit flat for me included one where Jenna is typically vying for attention on the reality show by playing up her alcoholism. I've never been a big fan of Jenna and for reasons like this. While characters on the show all rest fairly comfortably in their type, Jenna seems the most one-dimensional and just isn't that funny.

We also see Jack making a fool of himself and trying to recover best he can only to make things worse. Alec Baldwin really nails this even though the jokes may be a bit sophomoric compared to what his character usually spits out, but perhaps it's fitting given the nature of the episode and the genre it's skewering. The last sub-plot to this week's episode was Frank dealing with the release of a teacher from prison who sexually abused students. Guess what, Frank was the love of her life! Susan Sarandon stopped by to play the teacher and this also produced mixed results. It was fairly funny but it was clearly a B-story that could have fit in any other episode and wasn't as intertwined with the whole "Queen of Jordan" theme.

I'd have to say that overall I'm glad the show decided to do such an outlandish episode that messed with the format bit but I have to say I'm also relieved that there is little to no chance this will happen again. Milking storylines around being on a reality show is not easy, so making this a once-a-season bit might be too much. But this one time, I'll let it slide.

B+

Notes:

-Loved Kenneth realizing that he found his own glove only to not know where the other is.

-Blurry-faced guy was one of the stranger jokes I think the show's ever done.

-Jack played both ways in college and was on the DL all the time.

-Pete declaring getting to get paid and not work was the best day of his life
Tags: 30 Rock
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