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30 Rock Recap: Scrumpnugget

This show and its women: Their neuroses are contemporary, real — and occasionally approach the grotesque. Tina Fey might be the first true female Woody Allen. (Which is not to discount Cathy Guisewite and her clear influence on 30 Rock.) Like Allen’s great Alvy Singer, Fey is “a bigot, but for the left,” and in this episode (the second one from last night), her great character, Liz Lemon, also exhibits a taste for younger women, er, men, when she begins fooling around with new guy Danny. (Jack got us in the AC/DC frame of mind when he said “I would’ve guessed Jenna, Sue ... ” when Liz admitted to fooling around with her staffer.)

So yes, Liz takes the kind of “reward” Jack regards as exclusive to the realm of men, and that’s not all, as the show’s gender icons grapple with their sex-based foibles. First, Tracy: Now that he’s about to bring a daughter into the world, he’s souring on morning nudie-bar runs and looking for a female member for his entourage; it’s telling that the funniest thing in this plot is the instant-replay montage of the father-daughter relationship that comes together between them. (Although him confusing Pinkberry and Tasti Delight for strip-club names gave us a chuckle.) Jenna, as usual, does the heavy lifting here, getting hired to play a 41-year-old mother “dying of old age” (hee!) on Gossip Girl (or was it just a Gossip Girl–-like show?), but thinking she’s been given the role as the daughter. “Would a mother be going on a sex tour of Vietnam?” is a classic Jenna line, more absurd than hilarious, although it’s notable that network television has probably never broadcast a joke about a female sex tourist. (See? Absurd.)

Jenna’s rendition of “Forever Young” was a highlight, but Tina’s situation proved the real fount for humor: the mustache, “dirty thirties,” “tongue girth.” And you know, “Women are allowed to get more mad than men about double standards” was pretty good, too. Really, it was a heartwarming episode, with Tina’s conquest, Jenna’s discovering an honest role in the mother, and the celebration of body hair and middle age. But the funniest shit we haven’t even mentioned, and it’s in the clip below.

Click back below for last night's other episode!

Photo: Courtesy of NBC