Saturday, October 24, 2009

30 Rock - Into the Crevasse, or You'll Never Believe Who Plays Liz

This week, we saw the return of Dealbreakers, a plot point I readily admit to have forgotten all about. Well, Liz has a book now, and all her male friends and co-workers are incensed.

Turns out that Liz cribbed heavily from her less than ideal male acquaintances, much to the detriment of their love lives. The best deal breaker: "If your man owns a diamond necklace that says 'Open Marriage' that's a deal breaker." Well, you can guess who that piece of bling belongs to - one Tracy Jordan. After Angie kicks Tracy out, he forcibly inserts himself into Liz's apartment for the foreseeable future.

Jenna's also mad at Liz these days, although not for Dealbreakers. She's still fuming over the still non-existent new cast member, so has decided to star in a student film in Iceland about werewolves called "Moonstalkers". Unfortunately, because Iceland is so far north, it receives about a minute of darkness each night this time of year. So, it looks like Jenna will be gone for a long time, considering the entire film takes place at night.

Also, where is this new castmember?? 30 Rock writers, you continue to tease me with the promise of a new actor, but fail to deliver!

Meanwhile, Jack makes a daytrip to DC (woot!) to testify before the new industry task force on microwaves and small appliances. Jack is convinced that he'll wow the panel and be back to NYC before dinner. But, when he sits down with his GE cronies, the man staring at him from across the table is none other than DEVON BANKS! Bum, bum, buuumm!

In fact, 30 Rock indulges in not one but two "Bum, bum, buuumm"s, one uttered by Devon, and the next intoned by ominous trombones immediately after. It's the small details like this, 30 Rock, that make me love you so.

ANYWAY, after Devon drills into Jack about negligent company spending, he leaks the testimony to the papers, dooming GE to a government shutdown. It turns out that Devon spent the entire fall worming his way into the Obama's inner circle, mainly by being BFF's with Sasha and Malia. He took control of the task force specifically to destroy Jack, and now it looks like he'll have his way.

Back at Liz's apartment, Tracy continues to punish Liz, adopting 20 dogs (rescued by Kenneth from an animal shelter right before they were about to be put down) and buying porn left and right.

To save the company, Jack tries improving upon the basic design of the microwave, but ends up accidentally inventing the modern American automobile - obscenely huge and shoddily made. Liz goes to Jack for help with the Tracy problem, and he, in a King Solomon decision, decrees that since Liz used Tracy's life for gain, Tracy will have the same opportunity. Jack says that Tracy will receive ownership of Liz's life rights, to do with what he will.

Jack then imparts a tale from his past, chronicling the importance of "climbing down" - doing what seems the opposite of intuitive in order to get yourself out of an impossible situation.

Of course, this will then come into play for the resolutions of both their tales. Liz makes a deal that Tracy to help him do the most humiliating thing possible with her life story: make a porn out of it. She agrees to write it, and he will film it.

On Jack's end, he appeals to Devon's insatiable urge for power, and tells him that, instead of destroying GE, Devon can make Jack take government bailout money, effectively making Devon his boss. This sates his desire for revenge, but now Jack will again be an underling to Banks.

We're privileged enough to see a few of the shots of the porn that Tracy films, which take verbatim dialogue from earlier scenes in the episode and pornify them. As I was watching, I was convinced that the actress playing Liz in the porn was the same adult film star who played "Serra Paylin" in that adult film classic "Who's Nailin' Paylin?" I thought it was a beautiful moment of ultra meta-casting, but it turns out my excitement was for naught. The woman playing Liz was not in "Who's Nailin' Paylin?", and is Savanna Samson, also an adult movie actress.

Fun fact: Savanna broke into the pornography business because her then-fiance's fantasy had always been to see her have sex with another woman, so, as a wedding gift, she filmed a porn with an adult movie producer. The movie took off, she had clear...talents, and thus, an adult film star was born. I'm not kidding.

Overall, a well-crafted episode. It featured the kinds of unnecessary flashbacks (Do the Microwave!) and delicious non-sequitors (Lazer Shield...) that make 30 Rock a joy for vigilant watchers.

P.S. Did anyone else notice that they cut the opening sequence in favor of just the title flashing across the screen with a black background? Weird. I hope they aren't going the way of Lost. As long as you keep the ominous, crescendoing horn music out of it, I guess it'll be okay.

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