30 Rock 5.17 “Queen of Jordan” Review

Ian McDonald March 18, 2011 4

It’s a remarkable thing when a sitcom, lampooning those trainwreck Bravo reality shows, makes up an entirely new vocabulary to describe said shows. The jokes in this week’s episode of 30 Rock, which plays out more like an episode of Queen of Jordan (Tracy’s wife’s reality show on Bravo) reads like a checklist for “Housewife” reality shows to adhere to.

Queen of Jordan cameras invade Rockefeller Plaza, making Jack out to be gay klutz who farts all the time and causes Jenna to ham up her already insane behavior. Liz attempts to manipulate Angie into getting Tracy to return to TGS and Frank reconnects with a teacher he had a love affair with (played by Susan Sarandon) when he was 14.

The reality show vocabulary that 30 Rock establishes will probably provide a blueprint for these shows to follow and inadvertently inspire more of the same. These reality shows aren’t complete without throwing wine, photoshoots for dog funerals, singles called “My Single is Dropping” dropping, Christian illiterates, elderly women who act like they’re 21. As silly as these are, they’re painfully close to the truth.

Despite how entertaining the main plot of the episode was, Susan Sarandon was underused. Not to sound like a total creep (because it’s about a sex offender), but the storyline between her and Frank could’ve been absolutely hilarious had they expanded upon it.

Another slight disappointment was the recycling of a Freaks and Geeks joke. When Jack stands up from a chair, the chair makes a fart sound. He blames the chair, but fails to make the chair produce the same sound. Bill Haverchuck found himself in a very similar situation in Freaks and Geeks. Maybe this was just a tribute to the short-lived masterpiece, but it didn’t feel like it.

Including the minor hiccups, “Queen of Jordan” was the best episode of the season, if not the most memorable.

  • 30rockcalifan

    The queen of Jordan was stupid. Lose it.

  • Jon

    This episode was one of the best, but the funniest episode of the season was the pretaped telethon.

  • Kevin

    I liked Freaks and Geeks perhaps better than the next guy, but even they didn't do the fart joke first. I don't know who did, but the gag dates back to Gilda Radner's 1979 live stage show, when Roseanne Roseannadanna talks of a meeting with Walter Cronkite. "Cronkite says, 'Hey, did that come out of you?' I go 'No way, Mr. Cronkite, I swear that didn't come out of me!' " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd_syuD-N_k

  • Mike

    I love this episode

    "I know what you said about me"

    "I didn't say!"