30 ROCK: The Bubble - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: The Bubble

March 20, 2009 by  

Alas, Dr. Drew is no more. But Jon Hamm got a solidly sneaky send-off this week, as Liz discovers her beautiful boyfriend is actually too beautiful for his own good. And hers. Even a Disney prince and potential Calvin Klein underwear model can’t overcome the handicap that is a lifetime spent inside “the bubble” (which according to Jack enables one to “free drinks, kindness, and outdoor sex”), and so the poor man sucks at nearly everything—including tennis, cooking, sex, and apparently his job. (He was a pediatrician, right? Double nards!) And while she’s tempted—as, let’s face it, who wouldn’t be?—there’s simply no way on earth Liz Lemon is going to let a loser beat her in tennis, or strap her on the back of his motorcycle/scooter for an obviously fatal trip up north. So we say Go forth, Liz Lemon, and find someone as “moderately pleasant looking” as you are. We’ll all be safer and/or happier that way.

Also, the realization (and reality) that Jack Donaghy was once a bubble boy himself? Too good for words, but they should have gone ahead and shown that laminated picture he was carrying in his pocket, because it would’ve saved the rest of us a lot of time and effort. (For some reason, the Google returns on “Alec Baldwin + shirtless” include a lot of pictures of The Hoff. So you’ve been warned.)

I also liked but didn’t quite buy Jack’s rookie blunder during Tracy’s negotiation, because if there’s one thing this guy knows how to do, it’s not show his hand—ever. But it did allow Liz to call him on a screw-up for once, even if her Jack Donaghy impersonation quickly devolved into Christian Bale’s Batman. And it let him come face-to-face with Tracy Jr., who rightly blames Jack for being packed off to school with mayonnaise and cigarettes for lunch: “I didn’t come here to hear more excuses; I came here to see the dumbest cracker in all of New York. You gotta fix this, Donaghy.” Also good was the way they’ve set up Tracy’s sons as the two sides of his personality: one casual, affable, and mute; and the other a highly charged attention hog ready to snap at any second.

The B story also put a nice spotlight on Tracy and Kenneth’s relationship, with Tracy tagging Kenneth as his Radar O’Reilly: “Now get in here and rub my feet till you hear a chopper coming.” (Please tell me that reference isn’t lost on the youngsters. Please?) Until now, though, I hadn’t realized exactly how co-dependent that relationship had become, and I love that Kenneth needs Tracy almost as much as Tracy needs him, but not quiet as much as he needs his NBC page jacket.

As for Jenna, I liked the plot in theory, but it might have been stronger if it had gone further and been motivated by something more than another rehash of her jealousy over Tracy’s popularity. I know we don’t want our characters to “evolve,” necessarily, but that beat is starting to feel stale three years in, and there are plenty of other reasons for Jenna to keep behaving like an insecure, narcissistic boob. (Like the simple fact that she’s a “celebrity” and therefore an insecure, narcissistic boob.)


  • The return to Plunder.
  • Jenna: “Everyone gather around please: Actor Announcement.” Also, Jenna being outdressed by Miss Piggy by 84%.
  • Dotcom: “Tracy’s is a tactile, kinesthetic learning style.”
  • Jon Hamm in tennis whites!
  • Jack: “For years I thought I spoke excellent French: Ffffghgg csdlktj gekjl.”
  • Jack: “Be careful, Lemon; you wake a sleepwalker, you risk getting urinated on.”
  • Jenna: “My mother’s boyfriend raised me to believe that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory.”
  • NYC shout-out to the great Barney Greengrass (AKA “The Sturgeon King”), right here on the Upper West Side.
  • Jenna: “Locks of Love turned me down; they said my hair was too processed for a sick person to wear.”
  • Kenneth: “I guess I’m only farm strong and not heart strong.”
  • Drew’s admission that life outside the bubble isn’t really worth living: “I wanna use ‘ironic’ however I want.”

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


6 Responses to “30 ROCK: The Bubble”

  1. Kathleen on March 20th, 2009 2:25 pm

    OMG, in my opinion, Jon Hamm can come back anytime. It is refreshing to see an actor that has this “reputation” as the golden boy be able to poke fun at that in the funniest way possible. Cause please… like the man has never looked in mirror. What self respecting woman (or gay man for that matter) wouldn’t fall all over themselves for a little one on one with Dr. Drew. Heh. He’s welcome back anytime, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. SB on March 20th, 2009 3:58 pm

    Something that went completely over my head last night but that my boyfriend caught (SCARY) was Jenna donating her hair to “Merkins for Hope”. A merkin is a pubic wig. Yeah, you read that right. OMG. And obscure.

  3. kari on March 20th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Nice find, SB — I knew Jenna was a true humanitarian.

    And I agree, Kathleen — Jon Hamm’s generous sense of humor was well utilized. Watching him “play tennis” was a real joy.

  4. Kimber on March 20th, 2009 7:41 pm

    Ha ha, SB!! I didn’t piece that together, but you’re right … I’m an L Word viewer, and I remember learning that when they had a character named “Stacy Merkin”. Good one, 30 Rock!

    Jon Hamm can definitely come back anytime … he is very pretty to look at. He was great in this episode, and so was everyone else …. it might be because I was new and haven’t heard it before, but I LOL super hard at Tracy’s kid, Tracy Jr. And also the fact that the other one is named George Foreman. Too funny.

  5. Lisa (aka lmr) on March 21st, 2009 8:01 am

    Jon Hamm will always be in the bubble in my book 🙂 Will miss Drew.

    I knew the meaning of merkin, my friends in college and I used to sing this lampoon of the great Janis Joplin song “Oh lord won’t you buy me a merkin that bends, my friends all have Porches..” Okay perhaps a bit too raunchy, sorry about that. But you can imagine my laughter as Jenna said that given she’s doing a movie based on Joplin’s life.

  6. Whoa on March 25th, 2009 2:32 pm

    The merkin comment was not lost on me. Not at all.

    To me, this was the most superbly written, hysterically hilarious episode YET! I watched it twice and cried tears of laughter. The entire episode was ripe with nuggets of comedic gold. Gold, I tell ya! It was like a laugh landmine!

    I can’t wait to watch it again, probably tomorrow after I watch the one NBC will aire. Hopefully it’s a new episode.

    Stand out comments for me were:

    “Tracy’s is a tactile, kinesthetic learning style.” LMFAO! OMG…

    and Jenna’s

    “My mother’s boyfriend raised me to believe that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory.”

    I adore that show. Best stuff on television right now. Aside from Fringe.