30 Rock/The Rural Juror
The Rural Juror is the tenth episode of the first season of 30 Rock. Jenna's movie is in limited release and Liz thinks that it's a train wreck. Meanwhile, Tracy attempts to sell an invention of his to raise money for his house payments.
Special Guest Star: Whoopi Goldberg (Herself)
The Rural Juror, Jenna's movie, is in limited release next week and Jenna is asking for time off of rehearsal to promote the film on The View. She also offers Liz a screener of the movie to watch and give her thoughts about it, but the movie turns out to be awful. She refuses to let the other writers watch it for fear of them coming up with more ammunition to make fun of Jenna with, but does mention that the character she plays is named "Constance Justice." When Jenna confronts her about what she thought about the movie, Liz tries to make compliments but only winds up sounding condescending. Jenna asks for her honest opinion and she calls it a train wreck.
Liz and Jenna find themselves in a passive aggressive fight where Jenna refuses to talk to Liz and Liz starts writing impressions for Jenna that she can't do, like Bill Clinton. The writers eventually manage to get a hold of the tape by breaking into Liz's office and stealing it off her desk, but they claim to like the movie to keep the fight going so they won't have to keep working. Jenna asks for an apology but that only manages to start a bigger fight. They're intercepted by Jack and he solves their problem by putting it all on Jenna, until Liz admits that she really was jealous of Jenna getting famous without her.
Meanwhile, two of Tracy's houses are up for foreclosure and he needs $100,000 from Jack in order to save them. Jack suggests that Tracy create an invention and sell it on infomercials to make money quickly. Tracy comes up with the idea for "The Tracy Jordan Meat Machine," a grill that combines three types of meat into one meat sandwich without the hassle of bread. Jack decides to make it but kicks it down to a North Korean subsidiary of GE. They go to Dr. Spaceman for a medical endorsement and to appear in the infomercial. Unfortunately for Tracy, the Meat Machine shoots jets of hot grease from the bottom and burns Kenneth. Because Tracy isn't willing to sell the product internationally in case people get hurt, Jack gives it to Whoopi Goldberg.
- Maroney & Lemon: The framed flier in Liz's office is of "Maroney & Lemon," a two man show at Second City featuring Jenna and Liz. This is a reference to an actual show called "Dratch & Fey" which starred Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch before their days at Saturday Night Live.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- AT&T Worldcom: At the height of the corporate responsibility scandals, AT&T Worldcom was one of many companies that was found to have lied about its profits and losses. By the end of 2003, the company was found to have inflated its profits by nearly $11 billion. The company went bankrupt in 2002 and was merged with MCI.
- Grizz: Worldcom, man. Worldcom.
- Maureen Dowd: The woman that Jack apparently has a relationship with is Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the New York Times and most notably won a Pulitzer Prize for an article she wrote about the Lewinsky scandal and President Clinton. Dowd's writing style is known for lacking respect for powerful figures, including President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI, even going as far as creating nicknames for them instead of using their real names.
- Jack: Get me Maureen Dowd back on the phone please.
- Con Air: One of the productions Jenna was in is a musical adaptation of the film Con Air, originally starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. The movie is about a group of convicts who hijack the plane transporting them to a new maximum security prison in Alabama. There were no flight attendants in the original movie. This is also likely a reference to other films that were inappropriately adapted into musicals, like Silence of the Lambs.