30 ROCK: Generalissimo - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: Generalissimo

February 6, 2009 by  

Given the dismal state of NBC these days, it’s not tough to imagine a future in which all roles will eventually be played by Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. Which is okay by me, and if they can find a way to throw Jon Hamm in there, too, I will certainly not be complaining. All Fey and Baldwin need to do is sit around and talk to each other, and Hamm can stroll in and smile every so often and say something totally benign yet inherently sexy, and then at some point he and Baldwin can have a hair contest while Fey tosses cheese curls at them. Ratings will surge!

Anyway, they got off to a solid start last night because, while the mechanics of the “Generalissimo” storyline were clunky, the payoff was so fabulous it didn’t matter. Watching Alec Baldwin’s obvious glee in playing Jack Donaghy as a gay Spanish soap star—complete with pancake makeup, pencil-thin mustache, eyeliner, and guitar—was worth all of the tedious machinations of his never ending non-romance with Elisa. But it is ending at some point, right? It has to. His relationships are only interesting when they carry a note of danger (as with ex-wife Isabella Rossellini and the money-hungry, bird-boned Emily Mortimer) or outright hostility (Edie Falco’s C.C.). There’s nothing all that funny or even dramatic about him dating a nice, sexy nurse, and there’s no counterweight to the character; her presence illuminates nothing about him, so it doesn’t feel like it’ll actually break his heart when it ends. But I for one would like it to end. Soon.

Liz’s new romance, though, has good written all over it, as her desire to get closer to the delicious Dr. Baird (“he looks like a cartoon pilot!”) leads her to commit an escalating series of frauds using the Generalissimo as a role model. Thus she goes straight from reading his mail to inventing a lost dog and an allegiance to Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome before luring him to a fake welcome party where she feeds him fondue and Tracy’s roofies. And the best part is that she’s able to incorporate her own natural pathetic charm into the mix at the same time: “Come in! I was just opening a bottle of wine to drink alone.” Likewise it’s her membership in the Cheese and Steak of the Month clubs that eventually help clear the path in her search for (somewhat) honest love.

That storyline also provided a beautiful, organic tie-in with the best Tracy Jordan plot we’ve seen in a while. His desperation to cling to his youthful party boy rep—which is the only thing keeping him from transitioning into mature, respectable roles like Arthur Ashe—is always golden, but clubbing with an overly amped band of former investment bankers makes him realize he might finally have hit the wall. And the roofies they give him are only the tip of the iceberg. As he admits to Kenneth, “It’s like I said in my non-hit comedy ‘Cruise Boat’: ‘I am getting too old for this ship.’” Not too old to buy Lehman Brothers as a cover, though, and not too smart to immediately give himself up at a press conference: “I’m doing this so no one will know I’m getting old.” And yet he couldn’t possibly do worse than his predecessors, right? The man’s a money machine!


  • Jack: “They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off in that economic crash caused by Nancy Pelosi. They have zero real-world skills but god, they work hard.”
  • Jenna: “He’s a pediatrician, so you know he likes kids. Or feet. No, no, kids.”
  • Dr. Baird’s Netflix trifecta: “Muppets Take Manhattan,” “Caddyshack,” and a documentary about how pies are made.
  • Oswald: “I live in the basement, so I have all the nails.”
  • Tracy: “I’m Tracy Jordan! Why would I be afraid of fire next to my mouth?”
  • Liz excuse to snap pics of Drew with her iPhone: “I told him his haircut was exactly what I’ve been trying to describe to my barber.”
  • Tracy: “Have you ever tasted Scotch? It’s terrible!”
  • Liz: “Well, Buster’s probably dead! Should we go to the wine bar around the corner, deal with these emotions, get some dinner?”
  • Hector: “I get to cut the line at Disneyland, if I come midweek.”
  • Jack and Hector: “We laugh alike, we drink alike, at times we even think alike.”
  • Jenna to Elisa: “Don’t listen to anyone who says you should become an actress.”
  • The Generalissimo: “I look forward to your wonderful cooking. Later, I will fulfill my dream of making love to an older Puerto Rican woman. But first, let me compliment pictures of your grandchildren.” Also: “After you scratch off these lottery tickets, can we go to McDonald’s and order only coffee?”
  • Concepcion to Jack: “What are you going to do about the NBC News? It’s too sad.” Which leads directly to Matt Lauer playing Tito Puente over pictures of cute Latin babies on “The Today Show.”

Do you have any favorite moments to add to the list?  Any people willing to give MAD MEN a shot after seeing Jon Hamm last night?

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


14 Responses to “30 ROCK: Generalissimo”

  1. Kimber on February 6th, 2009 7:06 pm

    Dude … a man who rents Muppets, Caddyshack, AND a pie documentary? I would so be there. I have to say that Jon Hamm was delicious in the role, though I’ve never really had any desire to watch Mad Men. I think I saw a few minutes of the show when it first aired, but it wasn’t enough to hook me. And since I’m assuming the character he plays on MM isn’t a pie-loving, baking, dog lover … maybe it just wouldn’t be the same.

    This episode had me in fits of laughter, from the reprisal of the line: “I want to go to there”, to the way Liz stalked her man via stealing his mail, invited him for a fake welcome dinner, and then roofied him. I was actually relieved to see that someone is much, much worse at dating/attracting proper attention than me! Really, really great episode, and I seem to love this show more and more each week.

  2. kari on February 6th, 2009 8:26 pm

    I had the same problem, Kimber — I watched 2 or 3 eps of “Mad Men” and just didn’t get it — it was overstylized or something. But damn he’s cute.

    And I liked this episode much better on second viewing. Everything about it made me laugh.

  3. kari on February 6th, 2009 9:19 pm

    I love Elisa when she calls Liz “Lemon.”

  4. AMM on February 7th, 2009 11:27 am

    “He looks like a cartoon pilot!” was definitely my favorite line of the night.

  5. maggie on February 9th, 2009 4:43 pm

    I had a lot of favorite moments, but one of the best was Kenneth telling Tracy not to do the Arthur Ashe movie — “You leave him alone!” 🙂

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