30 Rock: A Flying Leap

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30 rock S06E09: "Leap Day"

It’s not often that a TV show attempts to create a holiday—including all of its traditions and perhaps even a fictional mascot—out of whole cloth. There was Seinfeld’s Festivus and The O.C.’s Chrismukkah (though in fairness, that was a hybrid of two pre-existing holidays). And now, thanks to the brilliantly off-kilter minds responsible for 30 Rock, we have Leap Day, a once-every-four-years celebration in which you:

– dress like a Best Buy employee (or poke the eyes and yank the hair of people who don’t)

– try new things and take chances, without fear of failure or consequence

– delight in the arrival of a bald, white-mustached fellow named Leap Day William who emerges every four years to trade candy for children’s tears.


You know, Leap Day! The best part was the fact that Liz, like the audience, knew nothing about it. So we learned along with her, and we also got to see clips from USA Network’s Leap Dave Williams marathon, a forgotten Jim Carrey and Andie MacDowell movie, like an amalgam of every movie the two actors have ever made, including Groundhog Day, Liar, Liar, The Mask, and more. That Sad Thad the Skin-Tag Lad, the internet billionaire with a lifelong crush on Liz Lemon, popped up to throw the daytime Leap Year party to end all daytime Leap Year parties made it all the sweeter.

And what do internet nerds spend their money on? How about a pet Ewok living in captivity, held in a plexiglass prison? That was the third Star Wars reference on 30 Rock in two weeks: Liz’s lyrics to the Cantina Song, and Tracy’s hair-extension Chewbacca were the others. (Is all of this sudden geekitude on 30 Rock the universe’s way of filling the fanboy-reference vacuum left by Community’s absence? There were also Game of Thrones and BSG references this week.) With Jenna on her “sexual walkabout” with Paul, landing a virginal billionaire in the sack is exactly what she needed to test the solidity of their commitment, so she put on her sluttiest blue-and-yellow businesswear and got to work at the party. But Sad Thad had his sights on Liz, and offered her $20 million to sleep with him. After a brief call with Criss—who told her Leap Day has no consequences, as we'd all just learned from Leap Dave Williams—Liz decided to go for it. Luckily, a small army of hot bitches showed up before she can go through with it.

Tracy’s plot was very simple, and kind of awesome: Kenneth found a $50,000 gift card to Benihana in a pile of unopened mail, and they had until midnight to spend it. Try as he might, he couldn’t consume that much soy sauce-soaked steak. And Jack was thrilled to present 3-D Internet to shareholders, but the presentation ended up being a bit of a misinterpreted disaster when three guys in white K costumes stood side-by-side and began to whip a black man. (Edgy, 30 Rock! Maybe, uh, a little too edgy.) The episode ended rather insanely, with Leap Day caroling, Tracy feeding the homeless, Jack and Kenneth recreating A Leap Day Carol, and Jim Carrey tearing off his shirt and prancing through the streets. Yes, it was a mess, but true to the holiday it celebrated, it was a Leap Day mess. It’s nice to see a show in its sixth season take big, crazy chances, and that’s what “Leap Day” was. God bless 30 Rock, every one!


QUESTIONS:

1. What was your favorite line this week?

2. How are you going to celebrate Leap Day next Wednesday?

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