Monday, December 14, 2009

30 Rock - Secret Santa, or Why Is YouFace Not a Real Thing?

It's Christmas at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and the hi-jinks have a bittersweet aftertaste this week. Kenneth, full of Christmas cheer, tries to organize an insanely complicated Secret Santa Fun Swap, much to the dismay of Frank, Toofer, and Lutz. To get out of it, they make up an equally complicated religion that precludes their inclusion in Secret Santa.

Meanwhile, Jack is reconnecting with friends on the cool new social networking site YouFace, and his first crush fingertaps him to say she's in town for the weekend. With a relationship status of "weirdsies", Jack figures he has a shot at his long-lost love, who turns out to be Julianne Moore sporting a wicked awesome Boston accent. Sounding like she just left the caahhh ovehh at Hahhvahhd yahhd, she and Jack reconnect over their shared past.

Liz has decided that she wants to exchange gifts with Jack this year, and finds out from Jonathan that Jack is a notoriously amazing gift-giver, probing deep into your soul to grant you your greatest wish. Someone, the portrayal of Jack as a modern day Santa doesn't jibe with his character, but I'll let it slide. Liz becomes increasingly anxious about what she'll find for Jack, so they agree on exchanging gifts without monetary value.

Kenneth, of course, has fallen completely for Frank, Lutz, and Toofer's fake religion, catering to their every religious need, especially free sausage pizza. Tracey breaks it to Kenneth that it was all fake, which shakes Kenneth's belief in all organized religion.

Jack and Nancy (Julianne Moore) have a wonderful evening together, and, after some tutoring in the ways of social networking from Suri, he decides to take her out for dinner. They have a wonderful time, but she has to return home with her boys and her husband. They share a chaste goodbye, and Jack bemoans what may have been.

At the taping of the TGS Christmas special, Jack presents Liz with a framed ticket of a high school, gender-neutral production of The Crucible, in which she played John Proctor. Liz doesn't have anything for Jack...or does she? It turns out that Nancy's train was cancelled, and after being stuck in New York, gives Jack the goodbye he deserves. And why was it cancelled? Because someone called in a bomb threat. It's a Christmas miracle!

Liz's illegal actions make another's Christmas more merry, since Frank, Toofer, and Lutz are arrested in her place (Liz dialed from their phone). Because they've been punished for their lies, Kenneth once again believes there is a vengeful God out there waiting to judge us for our sins. Christmas is saved!

The most important part of this episode is, by far, YouFace. I really enjoyed the elaborate and ridiculous vocabulary assigned to the social network, and as part of the first generation of Facebook, I feel similarly out of touch with the young kids and their new-fangled contraptions, while still in enough to get the references. Here's a tip, 30 Rock: if you put out a YouFace beta right now, you'll be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Here's hopin'!

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