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30 Rock s05e17 - Queen of Jordan

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Written by : published Thursday 19th May 2011

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Reminder: The one where Tracy's wife has her own show.

 

This entire episode is from the point of view of Tracy's wife and her show. With Tracy gone missing, Angie starts living it up and focuses on her career as a reality TV star and her new single "My Single Is Dropping". They're taking over the TGS stage to hold a release party, and the cameras are following her and her friends around as the stress makes the drama unfold. Liz thinks Angie isn't upset enough about Tracy's missing-ness and eventually they have a show-down in grand reality-TV style, but the show once again bucks the expected and before the fight gets far, Angie admits that she's been trying to get him to come home and she can't find him. She just wants her husband back.

 

Meanwhile, Jenna wants to be a focus of the show and starts picking fights with people and stages her own intervention for a made-up substance-abuse-habit, and Jack works to be seen as something other than clumsy, gassy and a closeted gay by the show.

 

Meanwhile meanwhile, Frank is reunited with his one true love--his seventh grade teacher (played by Susan Sarandon) who has finally been let out of jail after she was caugh involved with a student. She's upset to find that he hasn't grown up since then, he says he hasn't had a reason to, and in the end he goes to where she works and deep-fries his action figures to prove that he loves her more than his stunted childhood.

 

Review:

It's a whole episode about weird love. Angie and her posse are hilariously over-the-top, and yet fully within the realm of actual reality-TV nonsense, and that makes the joke just that much better: it elevates it to satire, not just joking. And it sets up an interstng work-around for Tracy's real-life medical leave: instead of just having him perpetually off-screen, or off on a sanctioned leave or something like that, he's gone into hiding and everyone's looking for him, and that means he's still very much a part of the show even though he's not there. His absense has meaning and impact, and it gives the heart of the show something to work with: Angie and Tracy are weird, but they do really love each other, and she's just doing the best she can without him. Thankfully for the comedy, her best is ridiculous and self-serving.

 

Jenna still gets some of the best and most random lines of the episode, but the story with Frank and Ms Onkmann's relationship was consistently sweet, and it was nice to see Frank gets something to do other than wear a goofy hat at the right moment. Plus, it's fun when the show goes outside its usual pattern and does something experimental. The fact that it was Ange's already-established reality show they went with, rather than making up a new one for one of the main characters, makes it that much better to watch.

 

 

Watch the latest episode (30 Rock s05e17 - Queen of Jordan) right now on TVKing!

About the author SamanthaHolloway

SamanthaHolloway

Samantha Holloway is a writer, editor, book reviewer and TV reviewer. She's especially fond of the weird, wonderful, clever shows that tend to not last on network channels, and so forms a deep loyalty to them the few times they do. Follow her on twitter at twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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