30 Rock: The New Normal

30 Rock S06E08: The Tuxedo Begins"

If you’ve ever lived in New York City, or even visited long enough to be loudly farted on by an elderly Chinese gentlemen while standing on a subway platform, which indeed I have, then "The Tuxedo Begins" was an episode of 30 Rock that spoke directly to you. The show had me in its delightful clutches from the teaser, when a young girl stepped off a bus sweetly singing a song from Annie, then asked Liz, “Say, where does a young prostitute get started in this town?” Then, a minute later, a sick Liz sneezed out a Jesus-shaped snot pattern that itself caused me to spit out a mouthful of cottage cheese onto my laptop. (It was kind of in a Justin Bieber pattern, if you squinted.) Two instances of surreal, laugh-out-loud hilarity in 60 seconds isn’t too bad. And yet the show kept tossing out what felt like personalized jokes: The Ghostbusters vs. Ghostbusters II debate? That’s so me!

And it just kept getting better: Jenna’s cross-dressing boyfriend Paul was back in the mix, returning from a drag cruise ready to infect Jenna with a variety of exotic Thai STDS he’d picked up, with help from a recreational sex monkey he’d brought back from Jakarta. The couple ended up passing out before getting it on, like so many boring couples do. But instead of cursing their domesticated fate, they spun it into it a fetish: normalling! What’s normalling? It’s a twisted, fringe sex game that involves walking around a Bed, Bath and Beyond exchanging insipid, cutesy patter, just like a regular couple does. It’s so regular it’s perverse!

Jack, meanwhile, was spooked by a cufflink-jacking at knifepoint. The mugger was a white man, leading him to believe the 99 percent were rising up—and he was going to do something about it. First he called P.I. Lenny Wosniak (Steve Buscemi) and enlisted his help in getting more police on the streets. That didn’t go so well, as Wosniak shops at Anne Taylor Loft and is the oldest living member of 21 Jump Street. (That flashback to the school hallway was so good.) Then Jack decided to run for mayor, and it seemed for a moment like he was tackling the crime problem—but really he was just become an agoraphobic shut-in, living out of his office while Liddy was away at a “baby leadership conference.” Tracy called him out on it, leading to another flashback involving a child Tracy in a Chewbacca costume made of hair extensions. It was wonderful.

Liz had a different journey: She was convinced that no New Yorkers abide by rules. But once she realized that dressing like an old lady and behaving erratically causes people to get out of her way and give her everything she wants, she kept upping the crazy-old-lady ante, until she became a makeup-smeared facsimile of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Eventually Jackman and The Loker met on a Gotham rooftop set for a completely untimely—and therefore hilarious—parody of The Dark Knight. (Liz’s chemical weapon was her stinky gym bag.)

I think this is my favorite episode of Season 6: As I requested last week, it brought back Paul and minimized Tracy and Pete. It kept the action to 30 minutes. And I don’t think Jack mentioned Avery once. Jack was back to being good, old, rich, mean Jack—and wearing a tuxedo for basically the entire episode, no less! (A sweet nod to this classic exchange: Liz: Why are you wearing a tuxedo? Jack: It’s after 6 o’clock, Lemon. What am I, a farmer?) I do declare, 30 Rock is back on track. Hooray!


Best Lines:

Kenneth: The gym said the odor is attracting bugs, which is attracting bats, which is attracting bat hawks.

Cerie: What’s a commercial?

Liz: Is that brain? Hopefully it’s not an important plarg of my blern.

Liz: I’m going to clear out that whole theater and watch a sneak peek of The Hunger Games by myself! It will be my greatest triumph. There’s a Q&A; afterwards with... oh, the screenwriter. Yech.

JackDonaghyIsRunningForMayor2013ThisIsTheWebsite.com



Questions:

1. Did you notice Cerie, the hot intern/receptionist, had a line this episode? They haven’t been using her much lately, but I was really happy to see her!

2. What was your favorite line?

Comments (16)
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I actually pity myself for it, but my biggest laugh this episode came when Jack, after speaking with Len, agreed with Tracy. "You do?! Oh no!" It was so stupid and simple that I burst out laughing.



The girl getting off the bus and singing from Annie made me giggle too: "Three bucks! Two bags! One meeee. Say, where does a young prostitute get started in this town?"



The brief look of Len in 21 Jump Street was hilarious too. Buscemi looks hilarious as a teenager.
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My favorite line was Len's (Steve Buscemi): "So you got mugged, huh, mr. Donaghy? And you caught the man who did it (Looking at Tracy). Good for you" =))))... that was hilarious!!!
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they should have created the domain name for real.. that would have been awesome!
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LOVED this episode. I'm a huge fan of the show and laugh out loud at least once every episode (which, given CBS's comedies and the like) is a huge testament to how good this show is, even when it's off).



This show was, though, the best of the season so far. I agree, that I'd love to see more of Cerie, though not too much, and her "What's a commercial?" just had me in fits.
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Some of the humor was a tad broad for me, that "is that brain" line especially so - that's Fey's go-to place for gags, I'm not really sure why but it always feels 1 step past forced to me. At first the stuff with Liz as the gross-out character wasn't part of the overly-broad humor, but naturally they took it farther.



The lengthy setup with Jack becoming "The Tuxedo" (it's the name of the episode, so one has to assume that's his superhero name) was mostly quite enjoyable as it stayed on-note much of the time, and fans of the genre could see it coming a mile off. Since he's already played a superhero in film, The Shadow, it only felt that much more natural.



I dunno, this episode felt more schizophrenic than most, trying to be both grounded and cartoonish at the same time. It wasn't as offputting as last week's episode though, that's for sure.
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I have to agree, this was my favourite episode of the season so far. Liz's Joker was hilarious.
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I couldn't pick my favourite line. BUT my favourite scene was when they met each other in the street at the end, and Jack pretty much threw Liz into a pile of garbage and Paul and Jenna were reminiscing about when it happened to them :P Also loved all the Batman references.



I miss Cerie, I feel like we haven't seen her in FOREVER!!!! Glad she got a line, and a very funny one no less :)
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Perhaps the best comedy episode of any show this season!
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I wish Toofer would get more time (he was absent entirely, though he got a credit). He's easily the most underutilized character, and he had some great material tossed his way in the first season.
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This was a great episode, there were a lot of good lines but I like the fact the Batman parody worked. Not only did it work, but it was original and so 30 Rock. Great work all around.
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"There's a war going on out there and you're going to have to pick a side. I've always wanted to say that and I can't believe I wasted it on you."
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**** Episode 30 Rock on its game. And I didn't even watch those Batmans.
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Yes, definitely the best of the season so far
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Favorite line: "I know they are condoms." Poor, not so naive Kenneth.
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I love 30ROCK!!
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I watched this episode twice in a row last night because I couldn't stop laughing the first time. I loved the Batman / Joker development between Jack and Liz. And so many great lines!
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