30 Rock had a live show this week, which meant a couple of things: You can hear the audience laughing, everyone looks a little bit ugly (according to Jack, Liz’s face looks like “a YMCA climbing wall”), and there is a constant threat that someone will get naked. Spoiler alert: Someone kind of does! But humane sub-spoiler alert: It is not Frank.
The show's plot was also a little different because it was live. There are actual excerpts from Tracy Jordan’s live TGS show, which lets everyone joke about live shows without explicitly saying “We are all in a live show of 30 Rock right now!” There are also more guest stars than usual: Matt Damon plays Carol, Liz’s boyfriend; Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Liz in flashbacks; and Rachel Dratch plays a janitor who makes some extremely strange noises with Liz in the elevator.
The basic plot this week (and every week?) is that everyone is upset. Liz is upset that no one remembered her birthday. Tracy is upset because Liz won’t let him laugh during live filming. And Jack is so upset that Avery made him quit drinking that he starts to take up strange hobbies, like partially completing magic tricks while singing little songs.