Recap: "The Bubble"


This week on NBC's 30 Rock, Liz learns that her perfect boyfriend has been living in a perfectly absurd reality, and Jack botches Tracy's contract talks. And now, as the French say, "Giddybon bejoo do voojah" ("On with the recap!")


I don't know how this is hitting Liz only now, but the crux of this episode revolves around the realization that Drew (Jon Hamm) skates through life - and obliviously at that - on his stupendously good looks. Strangers pay him compliments, Calvin Klein offers him jobs, hostesses rush him tables and women hire him as a tennis pro even though he profoundly sucks at the sport.


I must be honest, and I'll preface this with the usual "I love 30 Rock deeply and was one of its very first champions" asterisk: This A-story was ridiculous, and not in the hysterical way. When I first read the logline about Drew "getting by on his good looks," I thought we'd witness the occasional favoritism. But horrid doctor skills and flailing at the very public sport of tennis, and his obliviousness to it all? Hamm got a turkey of an exit story, sorry.


Hey, maybe I'm partly cranky because (just as it was on 30 Rock, eerie!), it's snowing today, the first day of spring.


Anywho.... Liz gets a bit fed up with her boyfriend's many shortcomings ("He's as bad at sex as I am," she is just now observing) and tries to force him out of his "bubble." This means no ordering catfish po'boys and Fanta off the menu. Well, Drew can't deal and retreats back into his bubble. More specifically, he rides away on his new motorcycle, seemingly destined to mangle the face that earns him so much good grace. Now that, Drew, is properly ironic.


Elsewhere, Jack had Tracy all but re-signed to a new contract when he made the mistake of noting that Tracy - who invested his videogame porn millions into a company that dismantles bank signs - doesn't really need to work. So Tracy quits. D'oh! A desperate Jack then appeals to Tracy's family, his posse and even "Bill Cosby" himself to help out, but to no avail. Ultimately, it falls on Kenneth (and "Cranston") to give up being Tracy's lifeline and make him reconsider returning to "TGS." Of course, Jack lets Tracy think it was all HIS idea.


Just barely detectable on the periphery of all the above, Jenna decides to cut her hair as a publicity stunt, but bails the instant she hears that Tracy has quit "TGS." Her storyline was a case of the sum of the parts (i.e. funny name-checks for Aniston and Felicity) being greater than the whole.


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