30 ROCK: "Believe in the Stars" - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: “Believe in the Stars”

November 7, 2008 by  

30 Rock Recap

Thank you, Oprah, for demonstrating that you get the joke, because while I worship you (which is maybe not something I should admit), I have had my doubts about this. In the past you’ve seemed willing to laugh at many things but not so much at spoofs of your public persona, although for that I suppose we can thank David Letterman. Then you went and proved me wrong by guesting on TV’s best sitcom and letting Liz Lemon paw you and snore on you and call you Barpoh. Which consequently proves me right for worshiping you in the first place. So, win-win-win!

Obviously—to me anyway—the best part of Oprah’s appearance was Liz’s frightfully awkward, non-stop introduction where, in the space of about 60 seconds, she admits that she lost her virginity at 25, that Oprah inspired her to wear shorts to work (which surprisingly didn’t go well), that she once had a sex dream about Nate Berkus and kissed a girl at summer camp who later drowned. Whew! She might have been high on the Comanaprosil and all, but like last season’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” it was nice to see Liz as tongue-tied and giddy when meeting one of her idols as the rest of us might be to meet, say, Tina Fey.

If you watched closely, the first clue that Oprah may not be who she claims to be is there when she slides into her seat toting a pink plastic carry-on. Plastic luggage? Oprah? I don’t think so. Nor would she be pushing calypso music and Liz Lemon as two of her favorite things. Sweater capes I can buy, because they seem silly and expensive, but not Chinese checkers. Unless they’re made out of Italian marble and carved by George Clooney or something. Nevertheless, the reveal was perfect, with Pam as Oprah, Oprah as Pam, and Pam as Pam, the spunky little tween who manages to bring Tracy and Jenna back together by employing Oprah’s patented brand of earnest malarkey and bossy common sense.

Also sweet & tart was Jack and Kenneth’s subplot, which forced Jack to pull a few dirty tricks to regain Kenneth’s faith when he finds out that NBC faked a few events at last summer’s Olympics. In typical Jack style, while he’s genuinely dismayed by the loss of Kenneth’s respect, he gets it back not by proving he’s worthy of it, but by proving that Kenneth is just as willing to cheat as everybody else. If in fact stealing cable is even cheating, which is a tough call.

Of course the genius of 30 ROCK is that it generally makes its point by making everybody look stupid in equal measure. Thus we have Jenna and Tracy both using Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry at the Oscars as an example of discrimination against their respective genders and/or races, and then swapping identities in their Freaky Friday social experiment. That part was actually a little creepy, and I’m not even talking about the monster claw.

Good call on the fake Olympics events (which included tetherball, beer pong, synchronized running, Jazzercize, and possibly women’s soccer), because that’s absolutely something NBC would do to boost the ratings, and just the sort of hoodwinking most likely to break Kenneth’s spirit. Nobody lies in television! Plus the sweet tetherball costumes, although I’m pretty sure that sport requires helmets.

Tracy: “White folks stole jazz, rock and roll, Will Smith, and heart disease.” And then: “Do you know it’s still illegal to be black in Arizona?”

Liz’s Oprah-speak, to Oprah: “My Work Self is suffocating my Life Me.”

Tracy: “I watched ‘Boston Legal’ nine times before I realized it wasn’t a new ‘Star Trek.’ ”

Kenneth: “I don’t believe in hypothetical situations, Mr. Donaghy. That’s like lying to your brain.”

Oprah as Pam: “I lost my headgear at Six Flags!”

Kenneth: “There are only two things I love in this world: everybody, and television.”

Jack having mistaken Jonathan for M. Night Shyamalan while under the influence of “in-flight medication,” and Liz calling Tracy “Tracist” on the phone after taking the same.

Tracy and Jenna’s “Lean on Me” duet, which frankly should have gone on a little longer.

Finally: Liz Lemon as Princess Leia.

So what did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? Do you still believe in the stars?

— posted by Kari

Kari is a 30 ROCK fanatic and will be taking it out on you, her new imaginary friends.

Filed under 30 Rock


6 Responses to “30 ROCK: “Believe in the Stars””

  1. Andrew on November 7th, 2008 4:41 pm

    I loved this episode. I have been a 30 rock fan from the beginning, and of course a tina fey fan from way back. I don’t watch Oprah, but i’ve seen Oprah, and the therapeutic babble that Liz Lemon decides to let out like one of Oprah’s guests was perfect.

    The “Please welcome Liz Lemoooon” was perfect, and even though it was every other NBC commercial for a few weeks, still managed to make me laugh.

    Liz Lemon was great on that episode! And it was all funny and ultra-racist, but in a funny way. Great episode!

  2. R.A. Porter on November 7th, 2008 7:09 pm

    Much better episode than last week’s. This one was hectic in the “right” way that 30 Rock does so well.

    I have to answer your rhetorical about stealing cable: it is NOT cheating. Not if you couldn’t see 30 Rock without doing so.

    And, uh, should I be seeking professional help for thinking Jenna looked awfully cute in her Freaky Friday getup?

  3. Tessa on November 7th, 2008 7:17 pm

    Liz as Princess Leia had me in tears. I literally had to pause so that I could laugh without missing any of the next scene. Sooooo good.

  4. Give Me My Remote on November 8th, 2008 9:16 am

    Sorry. Some comments were deleted during a back end update of GMMR.

  5. RivB on November 10th, 2008 8:17 am

    Seeing Jenna in black face (singing “Ease On Down the Road,” no less) was one of the freakiest things I’ve seen all week.

    And Tessa, I had to rewind the Princess Leia scene several times just to let it absorb in what I was seeing. Pee your pants time, it was. Maybe I should try that next time I get called in for JD?

  6. kari on November 10th, 2008 11:09 am

    RivB: Yes. And if you can manage to speak like Yoda, so much the better.