You had me at Elaine Stritch. This week we get the return of everyone’s favorite passive-aggressive matriarch Colleen Donaghy, bringing out the best the show has to offer.
Let’s hand out this week’s 30 Rock-Does-Things…with sass! Awards…
Good Ol’ Fashion Epic Win: Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) mother Colleen Donaghy (Elaine Stritch) is in town for heart surgery, and mother and son take the opportunity to commit emotional blackmail bond once again. In many ways, Colleen and her relationship with Jack bring out what I love most about this show – episodes that feature Colleen are always that perfect blend of sarcastic and sweet. Colleen is her usual sassy ol’ broad self, talking to her doctor about her “race war preparedness bag” that she carries around, and throwing out her pacemaker’s battery to get Liz (Tina Fey) to stop singing about feelings. But she still tells Jack in the end that she’s proud of him, and gives him a hug, even while she pushes Liz’s face to keep her out of it. As always when Colleen’s around, the jokes are on point, and brings out a slightly softer side of Jack that we don’t always get to see.
Best Turnaround for a Trite “Jenna-is-Crazy” Storyline: Jenna’s (Jane Krakowski) next stop on her sexual deviance tour is dating Russ of the Australian children’s group the Woggles. She decides to become the Yoko to their Beatles and claim Russ all to herself, until she realizes that what she actually wants is just to be with Paul (Will Forte). The first half of Jenna’s story this week was groan-inducing. She’s already pretty unlikeable of a character, and her goal in this episode is to be the Yoko? The plot doesn’t really make sense, since the whole point for her was to learn what she wants, whether it be Paul or someone else, not to screw with people for the hell of it. And Jenna is nothing if not solely motivated by her own interest and egocentric (“That song, like everything, is about me!”) But her story gets interesting once it focuses on Jenna deciding to confess her feelings for Paul, and finding him in the embrace of another woman…whom he’s dressed as. It’s nice to finally see Jenna have her feelings hurt not because she’s psychotic/murderous/idiotic, but because she comes to a realization too late, a problem that human people have to deal with from time to time. I just hope this really isn’t the last we see of Paul on this show.
Tonight’s Best Tracyisms: I love so much about the things Tracy (Tracy Morgan) chooses to say.
“Something terrible has happened! And for once I’m not talking about the collapse of the middle class!”
“Jordan men go to the school of Hard Knocks – a one-year vocation program where you learn to bang on doors and scare people into subscribing to magazines that they’ll never get.”
“I’m gonna teach my son what it means to be a Jordan! And I’m gonna die trying!”
Most likely to Prevent Me from Ever Having a Good Night Sleep Again: All right, show. It’s not bad enough that the real Wiggles gave me nightmares when I had to marathon those damn DVDs with the little terrors I used to babysit. Now their 30 Rock counterparts the Woggles are not only white supremacists (the “woggle” in their “Woggle power!” catchprase is Australian for “white”), but werewolves and murderers, too? Come on!
On second thought, I may have to give this award to Kenneth’s (Jack McBrayer) almost-admission that he’s a father. *Shudders.
So Rockers, have at it. It’s time you all take this “talkportunity” to share what you think of this week’s episode in the comments below!
30 Rock airs at 8:30 EST, Thursdays on NBC.
Elaine Stritch. That is all.