30 Rock: The Funcooker

Posted by: Jeff Anseeuw  //  March 17, 2009 @ 2:51pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Liz has gone shopping to a new Department store on 5th Avenue and she is excited about the things she bought. She is holding 2 huge bags full of plastic containers destined to organize her life. She will become a better person, with a better life...it's a turning point towards fulfillment and a bright new future for Liz Lemon! Then she is run over by an errant bike messenger and finds out that she has been summoned for Jury Duty, so that bright future she sees for herself seems very much in doubt, or at least very much in the future.

Liz finds out that her assistant Cerie has registered her as a citizen of New York, rather than Illinois as Liz had previously kept herself, and that is how she has been found by the New York Jury Selection process. She prepares to leave (and hopefully get dismissed from Jury Duty), but before she goes she tells the cast and crew of TGS to behave themselves till she gets back. She is afraid to leave anyone in charge per se because none of them are vaguely competent, so she knows her only hope is to return as quickly as possible before any real harm is done. Even before she leaves, the problems begin as Frank is wandering around pants-less and Jenna and Tracy are being yelled at by an irate Irishman over their less than professional behaviour while hosting the St Patrick's Day parade (Jenna had passed out from sleep deprivation due to working on TGS and the Janis Joplin tribute movie while Tracy had sworn at her on live tv.)

Jack tells Liz to keep control of her staff because he is busy with the launch of a new portable microwave oven called the BiteNuker. Tracy gets fined $50,000 by the FCC for his on-air profanity while Jenna goes to see Dr. Spacemen after she falls asleep again and then glues her lips shut by mistaking a glue stick for chapstick. The doctor tells Jenna that she can do it all by being the human test subject for a new pill he is developing which promises to keep people awake and alert indefinitely. Meanwhile, Tracy pays his fine and learns a lesson- that if you have enough money, you can do whatever you want on tv!

Liz dresses up as Princess Leia and does her best to appear completely disconnected from humanity, but due to the bizarre nature of the people in the New York jury pool, she is NOT immediately dismissed as a nutcase as she had intended. Whats worse, she finds herself strongly identifying with the defendant in the trial- a woman accused of setting her workplace on fire after being driven mad by the antics of the staff she supervises. She is gravely concerned with the effects her prolonged absence will have so she calls Kenneth to find out what is going on at 30 Rock. She is told that Jenna is running around drinking any water in sight as a side-effect of her anti-sleep drug, and that Tracy had cursed at Martha Stewart while he was a guest on her show. Meanwhile, Jack has conscripted all the TGS writers to come up with a new name for the BiteNuker because it has been found to be offensive to the Franco-Dutch. In desperation, when no one comes up with anything usable, Jack turns to Kenneth and Jonathan for ideas. Kenneth shocks him pleasantly by coming up with the name "Funcooker" which Jack thinks will be perfect- light, breezy and incapable of being offensive to anyone!

Liz rushes back just in time for the start of TGS. Jack has managed to get the show to air, and things look like they might be alright for everyone. Suddenly, during a sketch where Jenna is dressed in a bear suit, Dr. Spaceman bursts onto the set yelling that Jenna needs to sleep or she will suffer the same fate as his lab rats, who all died. Then, he starts physically banging her costumed head against a table to try and knock her out (all captured on live tv). Liz hopes that Tracy will somehow cover for them, and he does in his own way. He drops his pants and turns around, thus exposing his own "funcooker" to the tv audience. Liz desperately throws to a commercial, but it is a commercial of Tracy Jordan who has taken to buying TGS ad time to replace advertisers who have dropped the show because they no longer want to be associated with his unrepentant swearing. The "ad" was simply Tracy asking anyone if they wanted used towels, which only took 9 seconds, so to fill up the rest of the 30 second spot he drops trou and again treats everyone to an unobstructed view of his rear end.

Liz is livid with everyone after this disaster, so she herds them all into her office and locks them inside while she gathers herself. She picks up a box of matches and lights one, just for a second imagining how good it would feel to burn them all and be rid of her problems once and for all. She blows the match out, but when she throws it on the floor it ignites her Leia costume which had fallen in front of her office door. The resulting fire forces the Fire Dept. to come and cut the staffers out of Liz's office (and also melts all of Liz's new plastic organizers). Jack tells Liz that she has probably bought a week of good behaviour from everyone by inadvertently almost killing them, but that he has bigger problems- 3 million mini-microwave ovens ready to ship, but now all labelled "funcooker" and totally unmarketable.

Tags: 30 rock, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, tracy morgan

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