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30 Rock: "Senor Macho Solo"

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Peter Dinklage was sexy in Station Agent partially because he's a handsome, brooding, intense guy but also because his character was remote, distant and emotionally unavailable. There is nothing in Dinklage's screen persona that asks for approval or validation, let alone begs for it. His whole vibe says, "I am what I am and if you don't like that, fuck you." I have a friend who went to college with Dinklage and said women were all over him, which I didn't find surprising at all.

Dinklage's deadpan, prickly sexuality was front and center in tonight's episode of 30 Rock. Dinklage took a character that is introduced being mistaken for a small child by a baby-crazed Liz Lemon-she totally wants to be a baby mama just like her character in that film she was in, Mean Girls-and imbued him with dignity and grace.


"Senor Macho Solo" was all about Love, American style, not unlike that popular seventies television show, The Love Boat. Jack Donaghy fell into a deep, primal state of love, or at least lust with his mother's nurse (Salma Hayek). When describing Hayek's sexuality words don't suffice so I am reduced to a series of cartoon noises: hummina, hummina, (pant, pant), Aooga! Aooga! If you don't know why Salma Hayek is sexy then I can't do nothing for you, man, as you must be dead or in a coma.

Tracy Jordan enjoyed a passionate love affair with his wife, his gold shoes, his money coat and Benny Hill's enduring legacy. Jenna is immersed in a lifelong love affair with the sound of her own voice. I love how 30 Rock manages to repeatedly showcase Jane Krakowski's solid singing voice while simultaneously make her look like a complete ass.

In the episode's main plot thread Liz Lemon bumbles her way through an aborted would-be romance with Dinklage's United Nations employee, who doesn't find Lemon's neuroses and lunacy quite as endearing as the rest of us do.

I wrote in a much earlier post that Liz Lemon is the show's straight woman but that is simply not true. She's a lovable kook who just seems straighter compared to the nutjobs around her. Tonight's episode of 30 Rock juggled its various lovestruck plots with aplomb. I particularly enjoyed Jenna's doomed attempts to land the lead role in a Janis Joplin biopic directed by one Steven Spielburger, who must be Steven Spielberg's non-union Mexican equivalent's protégé or some such foolishness. But there was a faint hint of melancholy as well, as Jack threw himself into a passionate infatuation with Salma Hayek's sexy nurse inspired partially by Hayek's mind-melting hotness but also out of a sense of his own mortality induced by a lump in his testicles. On a completely unrelated note, man, Alec Baldwin is seriously porking out. He must have spent the hiatus appearing a stage production of Mystic Pizza. He's all relying on his talent and comic timing and shit now instead of his matinee idol good looks. He's going all Shelley Winters/Marlon Brando on us.


Hayek may not have the comic chops of her co-stars but I was so hypnotized by her cleavage of joy that I didn't really notice. I can see where some viewers might be getting celebrity guest star fatigue (alternately known as Arrested Development Season Three Syndrome) but I was delighted to have the gang back and could easily have watched all three hours of Tracy Jordan's tribute to Benny Hill. Is there anything sped-up film and "Yakkety Sax" can't make hilarious?

I appreciated how the show hilariously mangled "Piece of My Heart" yet sneakily exploited its gut-bucket pathos all the same. Did anybody write down the revised/improved lyrics? And how awesome was the sight gag of Jordan's money-based wardrobe? Yes, tonight's episode of 30 Rock was truly a blaffair to rememblack.


Grade: A-

-"You with your baby fever and me with getting turned on by car accidents."

-"I came here dressed as me!"

-"Like how we're including a Heroes DVD with every missile system we sell."

-"Take a lesson from Janis and exhibit some self-control."

-Holy shit! They mentioned The Girly Show on tonight's episode. I wasn't even sure if that was still on the air.


-Pete, where are you Pete? You're missed, along with the rest of the writing staff.

-"So Stewart, what is it like living under a bridge?"

-"When I'm on my deathbed, frenching my wife, I'm gonna be thinking of you."

-"And written by the best screenwriter in the world, whoever that is."

-How devastating was Dinklage's delivery of "I lied about your show. I have seen it."? That was some cold blooded shit.


-"Is it more embarrassing than your CD collection? I had no idea Michael Buble had so many albums."

-"Thank you for telling me what I already know. You should write for the Huffington Post."


-"Which is actually what we call a McRib sandwich."

-"Yes and no. Yes, I'm talking. No, we don't have the rights."

-"I like a to make the prank phone calla." I liked that Dinklage actually put her through to the Italian ambassador



-"Why are they smiling so much? Who's being ostracized?"

-I loved how gingerly Kenneth delivers the news that the original warm-up comic OD'd in a gay man's apartment.


-Is it heretical that I prefer Bryan Fery's "Piece of My Heart"

-which he delivers in the Count Chocula cadences of his early work, more than Janis Joplin's?


-"Shut it down!"