If there's one thing I want for Christmas (and I'm entitled to nothing, but whatever), it's an end to this stupid writers strike! I can't believe I'm going to have to go months without a new episode of this show.
In this episode, we're in guest star heaven, with Elaine Stritch (who just kicks all manner of ass) as Jack's mother, Colleen, and Buck Henry (who thinks Jack looks like an "Arrow Shirt model") and Anita Gillette as Liz's parents, not to mention the awesome Andy Richter as Liz's brother, Mitch, who thinks it's 1985, due to a freak accident. He even hits on Cerie by asking if she likes Wham!, since he's the "George Michael of his school." He doesn't remember poor Jenna, whom he's apparently slept with, and thinks she's a friend of his mom's. The Lemons are kind of like the Fockers in a way, all gushy and praising of their children to an absolute fault. Jack, whose family is the picture of dysfunction (when will Nathan Lane return as his brother? It'll be 2012 at this rate!), does not get it. He asks why Liz's mom referred to her as a "beautiful genius. Was she taunting you?" (Her dad calls her "Wilma Shakespeare")
Crusty Colleen (according to Jack, there are terrorist cells more nurturing than she), who managed to get to NYC by getting Jet Blue to take an Amtrak ticket, surprised Jack, who figured she was stuck in the hurricane devastating her hometown of Jupiter, FL. Evidently, he'd only invited her out of his "paralyzing Irish guilt" and at one point looks up at the destruction on the TV and mutters, "she should have been there". Ultimately, she ends up poking and prodding the Lemons until she cracks their perfect veneer and even jogging poor Mitch's memory of the ski accident that caused his little condition. It's a great scene.
The rest of the gang is wrapped up in the annual Ludachristmas party, and throwing out their corporate gifts of a Photo Scanner/Paper Shredder (do you see all the inherent problems there?). Kenneth is upset, naturally, at everyone's lack of the proper Christmas spirit, fondly recalling the holidays in his backwoods world, where they sat around a roaring fire, "waiting for the owl meat to cook", while Tracy is lamenting his newly acquired ankle bracelet that comes at quite the inopportune time (Ludachristmas, "Nude" Year's Eve and Martin Luther King Day all involve heavy alcohol consumption for Tracy Jordan...and probably for Tracy Morgan, let's be honest).
All in all, a fabulous episode of 30 Rock. And if that Disney cruise is still on for March, I'm in!