TV Recap: 30 Rock - Cut Backs

TGS is celebrating its 50th show tonight, along with one unsolved crew death and an EMMY magazine cover. As congratulations Jack gives each member of the crew their very own decorative air holder (empty wine bottle). Thoughtful? Maybe. Functional? Mmmm not so much. Cheapo? Bingo! Liz asks Jack what's up with the shoddy gift which leads them to discuss the inevitable--cut backs.

Oh yes the recession, it's even hurting our beloved fictional employees these days and TGS is no exception. Well, that is of course, everyone who is not a "special" aka Jenna and Tracy. Poor Jonathan is the first to be let go, but he does not go quietly as he serenades Jack on his way out embodying the spirit of early 90s Mariah Carey. But don't worry, I have a good feeling we'll be seeing Jonathan again very soon! A love as deep as his cannot be put out but only dimmed for the moment. As a result Kenneth is asked to split his duties as both Page and Jack's assistant.

Kenneth, although an excellent Page, is clearly not cut out to be Jack's assistant. His double duties overwhelm him so Tracy offers to help out, but not really. He asks Tracy to feed his pet bird, Sunny Crocket, since he doesn't know when he'll be able to get home again. Tracy agrees because he thinks birds are "like little dinosaurs" so doing this for Kenneth is pretty cool and brave at the same time. Kenneth hands over his keys but with the warning to not enter his bedroom with the creepiest of eyebrow raises. This leads Tracy and Jenna to believe that Kenneth is a serial killer that needs to be stopped, and by stopping him they in turn will be heroes.

Liz has to present her budgets to an outside "Hatchet man" to convince him not to cut her staff. The presentation--performed a la Steve Jobs complete with a black turtle neck sweater, and a staged slide show with apple icons representing comedy, music and live shows, all one, all TGS--does little to convince the Hatchet man and it looks like some cuts are going to have to be made. There are a few ways they could try to save money without firing people, like cutting the food, straws, and announcer budgets (the announcer who can't speak after being hit by lightning) but Liz refuses to trim the fat which leaves her no choice but to start turning tricks to save the staff. No Pelican Brief stuff here-- this week's Harry and the Henderson's running joke, gotta love Showtime!

Liz picks up this tip from another employee who is about to get the axe and plans on sleeping with Jack to save her job (mind you she's about 57 and any boobs or butt that she planned on tempting him with are long gone by now). She even suggests that Liz joins her in Jack's office so they can "lez out and really give him a show," because that will do the trick for sure. Liz refuses but quickly changes her tune as the pressure to save the show builds. So Liz does what any smart, talented, semi-nerdy, professional woman would do in this situation. She gets the sluttiest makeup artist on set to doll her up in a crushed red velvet mini dress, tease her hair and apply pounds of blue eyeshadow. She holds her head up high and takes that hatchet out for a wild ride, or probably a ham sandwich. The last few episodes of 30 Rock have certainly showed us a more sexual side of Liz Lemon, and by sexual I mean 80s Russian hooker side. But I do enjoy seeing this side because Tina Fey, as pretty as she actually is, really knows how to make herself completely revolting when it matters. That to me is the sign of a well balanced lady.

The end of the night comes and Liz and the hatchet make a deal--30 minutes, sounds, work the ears, top half of the body--and they seal it. Hatchet got "a little taste of the Lemon" that night but to no avail as the following day Telemundo has taken over the TGS stage. Liz is now ready to fight and storms down to pimp slap the Hatchet for not holding up his end of the bargain. She essentially wants to know where her show at bitch? The Hatchet realizes the ear work and heavy petting was merely a barter of goods and services and bursts into tears, calling out to his dead wife "I'm sorry she wasn't worth it!" Liz gets suspended for the prostitution but ultimately things go her way since Jack will now be reviewing her budget instead of the Hatchet. See sometimes sexual harassment does get you what you want!

Tracy and Jenna decide that they have to go to Kenneth's apartment to try and save any survivors of his mass murdering. Once outside his bedroom door, stopped up with a towel, Tracy says he will throw up all over Jenna's face if they find any human remains inside. Honest, direct and to the point that Tracy! To their surprise (not ours) they do not find any bodies but only a bug bomb. They run for their lives and leave the bedroom door open, allowing the poison to infect the entire apartment instantly killing Sunny Crocket. Jenna and Tracy try to dismiss the mistake by blaming it on their earlier suspicions but Kenneth doesn't let them get away with it so easily and lays on that southern guilt. Tracy and Jenna, as dumb as they can be, are not heartless, so they try to make up for their mistake by leaving Kenneth a surprise. Kenneth, after a long hard day of screwing up and getting fired from one of his two jobs, comes home to an apartment full of birds. This would definitely be my worst nightmare but Kenneth loves it and begins to name them one by one...Pat, Balthazar, Donna, Lorne, Michael.