Review: '30 Rock' - 'Queen of Jordan 2: The Mystery of the Phantom Pooper': Rude!
A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I pick up Yakov Smirnoff from the airport...
Last week, "30 Rock" revisited a gimmick from last season I hadn't enjoyed and made me much happier with it. Last night, "30 Rock" revisited a gimmick from last season I had mixed feelings about at best and improved certain things about it while still making me wish they weren't doing it.
On the plus side, this felt more like what an episode of "Queen of Jordan" might feature than the first go-around, which devoted too much time to subplots (Frank and Susan Sarandon in particular) that I can't imagine the producers of a Bravo reality show would care about. Jenna's much more famous now (not that she remembered this until Liz pointed it out), Liz was feuding with the adorable baby Virginia, and even the Jack/Diana story was presented as something that was making Angie mad for upstaging her big night.
So that was better, and "Queen of Jordan 2" continued to make good use of certain parts of the framework: the chyrons ("Randi's Date/Arby's Customer" or Liz being credited at first as "Lisa Lampanelli?!"), talking head interviews to comment on the action (I particularly liked Tracy's explanation of why, from the viewpoint of his 20 years of monogamy, Liz's run of boyfriends over the last 6 seasons makes her look trampy), or the idea that whenever anyone is on camera, they can only drink D'Fwan's D'Fwine. And there were enough other funny moments — Tracy soberly explaining that he doesn't watch much TV because "I'm more of a masturbator" or Grizz being surprised by the climax of "A Game of Thrones" — to make me glad I watched.
Ultimately, though, I think I react to these episodes the same way a "Community" fan does to any spoof episode where they haven't seen or don't like what's being parodied. I'm aware of the "Real Housewives" shows but do my best to avoid them, and I'd rather my "30 Rock" not be taken over by Angie, D'Fwan, Randi, etc. Last season, they did it to help fill that stretch where Tracy Morgan was on medical leave, and this one was also improved by the Tracy/Angie scene at the climax, featuring Tracy at his most perceptive and selfless, but just as a matter of personal preference, this format is one I'd rather not see again. Your mileage may vary depending on your knowledge of/affection for the Bravo brand.
What did everybody else think?