Archive for the ‘30 Rock’ Category

Don’t Lemon Your Life

January 17, 2010

The star of NBC’s Thursday night was definitely 30 Rock. We got two of them!!!

Highlights of the episodes? Liz’s New Year’s when her cousin Randy from a rural coal-mining town came out “and ol Liz Lemon had a little something to do with that.” Namely she lurched over a couch announcing “Randy’s gaaaaaaay everybody! He’s gaaaaaay.” Hey, who has a camera in my apartment? So Randy comes to live with Liz. “What better place to live now that I’m a homo, is that the one we call ourselves?”

Jenna meets James Franco’s manager who wants to arrange a relationship with a “real human woman,” which turns out to be Jenna, and turns out to be hilaaaaarious. Like Jenna, I am starting to fall for James Franco, and I don’t care who knows it, we’re in love! (Seriously, I just saw Milk last week, and he can even work a 70s porn ‘stache! (More on ‘stache later.) Also I cried and cried like the hag I am, and I’m man enough to admit that.) The ‘razzi will call us Jam-by, which might be confusing when we go to Jamba Juice,* but which is a lot better than Joostyn, which sounds like an anti-Semitic slur.

Speaking of, “In German class Mr. Kreuger always chose [Nancy] to sort the students. He was eventually arrested by Israeli commandos.”

Jenna and James (“James” according to the tabloids) ultimately break up (“You’re being such a non-pillow right now.”) which leads to Liz picking James up at a club and having a threesome with James and Kamiko-chan, James’s real girlfriend the body-pillow.

Tracy’s pick-up crisis is amazing:

Tracy: Hey baby you new here?
Virginia: This is my first show.
Tracy: And before this were you an ass scientist? Because your ass blah blah blah you get the point.

Ha! I have been trying to make a pick up line with “You must be a child molester cuz…” for years and I can never come up with the punchline. I know this would probably be WAY too offensive to ever be funny, but the lead up popped in my head at one point and I just need to complete it to finally end that mental loop.

Tracy: So what’s your name?
Virginia: Virginia…
Tracy: Virginia?!? But that’s going to be my daughter’s name. Are you also someone’s daughter?
Virginia: Uh yeah.
Tracy: Is every woman someone’s daughter?
Virginia: Of course.

Now, this is like, the most patriarchal reason to respect women– because they’re another man’s property– but for Tracy Jordan it’s a start.

Tracy blames Kenneth, Dot-com, and Grizz for his unhealthy attitude for women.

Tracy: Grizz– when was the last time you told your fiancee you loved her? Since the phone call I interrupted to make this announcement. Kenneth– your haircut is disrespectful to lesbians. Dot-com, do you ever read books by women?
Dot-com: George Eliot was a woman.

In part two, Jack and Liz has a fight over who get to keep Danny because Liz is finally getting some secret underling action, but Jack how has something arguably more precious: a buddy who doesn’t talk about Quidditch at sports events. Twofer cracked me up because I have always had the same big problem with the game: If the Snitch is worth 150 points, why does anyone bother with the quaffle?

Jack and Liz grossly nearly bond about “taking your reward” from the young people who lust after your power. Not any more attractive on a woman (even one as comely as Liz Lemon) than on a grizzled old patriarch, I have to say. Liz has Danny acting out her fantasies through TGS sketches… Chips cop and Grizzly Adams. Jack gets Danny to dump Liz by claiming he is in love with Liz, but he has a little help from Liz’s new grown mustache. I continue to entreat the tv gods, do not, under any circumstances, get Jack and Liz together. That must NEVER happen.

Jenna has an audition for Gossip Girl… MAKE IT HAPPEN TV PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I would love a crossover of these two shows. Jenn believes she will be playing Blair’s friend “Tartine” but she’s really up for the part of the mother. I refuse to relate Liz’s comments about Madonna’s aging process, out of respect for her Madgesty, but Jenna decides to emulate Madonna rather than Meryl Streep.

After Jenna accepts her age (thanks to Liz accepting her ‘stache) she gets the part on Gossip Girl:

Tartine: Oh mother I can’t believe you’re dying of old age!
Jenna: Don’t… cry for me, Tartine. I’ve had a full life… Oh the things I’ve seen! The first Clinton administration… the Nagano Olympics, Microsoft Windows 95! but… I’m 41 now, time to die.”

The funniest bit of both episodes is absolutely Tracy’s belief that the yogurt establishments “Tasti D-Lite” (I shudder at this spelling) and “Pinkberry” are strip clubs.

*Did Jamba Juice pay for this placement? I can’t imagine they’re too thrilled about being associated with “ice-cold diarrhea.”

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30 Offices of Parks and Recreation

May 3, 2009

Thursdays NBC tv was… not the greatest. Doostyn and I spoke about how it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t so bad it’s good, either. But the common thread, to a degree, was the place of feminism in the workplace and boy’s clubs, most explicitly on Parks and Rec, and just implicitly on The Office, but it wasn’t handled as well as I think these generally clever comedies are capable of. 30 Rock at least, has done it better before.

Bottom to top then, The Office. In this episode, Michael has to choose between Pam and Ryan who can stay on as a salesman, since the other Dunderheads demand the return of the clients who defected to the Michael Scott Paper Company. Several people scream at Pam that she’s “only a secretary.” At the end of the episode Michael tells Pam that he’s giving the job to Ryan, despite the fact that of the two of them, Pam is the one who hasn’t been to prison for embezzlement. But surprise! Michael was just kidding! But then Michael calls in Other Kelly, the new secretary to pull the same “You’re getting fired” prank that he pulled in the very first episode. So it becomes pretty clear that Michael, enormous fan of bromantic work relationships, has not actually learned that women are also people worthy of our respect, but has just upgraded Pam to the buddy circle. Great.

The Office is a show I enjoy, but it’s pretty much in constant feminism probation for its inability to show women succeeding. (Jan was insane, baby obsessed, cruel, and abusing her position. Holly also engaged in an inappropriate work relationship. Pam isn’t even allowed to finish her degree.)

Line of the night, and one I will be stealing: “It is on like a prawn who yawns at dawn.”

30 Rock‘s A Plot was who suffers more when treated equally, black people or women? Or so we are meant to generalize from the examples Tracy and Liz. (Black women exist! Tracy is married to one!) Tracy’s opening foray– making Liz change the water dispenser– made me wonder about the logistics of those things. Surely they’re not just open like that? The biggest problem with this plot is that it’s basic sitcom hardy hars without any 30 Rock twist. I have seen this plot on Boy Meets World for cry yi.

And 30 Rock did this better with Jenna and Tracy during the primaries when Tracy lived for a week as a white woman and Jenna in terrifying blackface as a black man. And part of why that was better is that Tracy and Jenna are about equivalently ridiculous, whereas Liz is clearly more of an adult than Tracy is. Some of the things Liz is put through during equality week are ridiculous and inappropriate for the workplace, like the strip club visit, whereas Tracy is essentially freaking out about having to show up for work on time.  So not only is this storyline a little tired, it also really trivializes the experience of racism.

Simply put: it’s reasonable to expect that when you go to work you will not be expected to do things you are physically unable to do for whatever reason, and that you will not be expected to interact sexually with coworkers. It’s unreasonable to expect that you won’t have to show and can send a monkey in your place. The effect is to imply that the only thing holding black men back is ridiculous behavior and laziness. Charming.

Line of the night? “He treated her like dirt all those years — coming and going, taking up with other women, including more than one Unitarian!”

As a Unitarian, I say hee. Also, I thought Tracy voted for McCain? Remember his PSA: Black People– don’t vote!

Parks and Recreation.

“I wanna take that cheese and do terrible things to it.” Me too, Tom, me too.

But more seriously, the topic of the episode is that Leslie gets herself in trouble by opening up a gift basket that was more than $25 in her excitement to break up the boy’s club in politics.  The problem is, this episode treats the existence of these boys clubs as hilarious and unimportant. Yeah, good point. That’s way half of all the senators and representatives and even local politicians are women. Oh wait.

The fact that all the dudes are actually getting together for beers and to talk about how their clothing looks doesn’t at all negate the idea of boys’ clubs.  Politics is about making connections to other people and exploiting those connections, and it’s very hard to rise to any level of importance if you’re not seen as a real human being.

Working on my Night Cheese!

April 27, 2009

What a coincidence that last night when I curled up in my slanket to watch last week’s 30 Rock I myself was eating night cheese! Although really, any night, literally any night 30 Rock chose to bring up night cheese would have found me consuming the stuff. So maybe coincidence is less the right word than “sobering mirror held up to sad reality.”*

Inquiring minds do want to know what causes a Filipino’s throat to close up quickly, and I make up my mind that if I ever share an erotic evening with my darling Kenneth Ellen Purcell I’ll cancel the strawberries and invest in the hill people milk instead.

No judgment in brainstorming!

*I lied, it wasn’t sad at all. It was cheese from Paris brough over by the kilo by a good friend of the booze tube.

Ooo boy you’re looking like you like what you see, but I can’t fathom letting you “work up” on my car

April 18, 2009

Commenting on something from a clip show (in this case  VH1’s “Best Week Ever”) might be a little unfair since they’ve sifted through hours and hours of shit to find the hidden sparkly bits so have already done some of the heavy lifting; however, the properly trained (i.e. druuuuunk) Booze Tube mind makes no distinctions (also, as gnatalby would say, “I’m not a lifter”).

On last night’s edition, we were shown a clip from a bizarre docu-show about people who “love” their cars (to the point of licking them clean apparently rather than the usual wash and wax with non-bodily instruments) and a man afflicted with such looooouvre explained that the tail pipe was the anus of a car.  Fair enough…really what else would be?  Things got weirder (I know, is that possible?) when he revealed his love is best expressed through anal sex.  Yes, he’s a tail pipe fucker, but for some reason (couldn’t be that it sounds more palatable) this man describes it as simply anal sex-ing the love of his life.  Anal sex can be messy/weird regardless of who/what you’re fucking, but how can tail pipes be remotely pleasurable (unless maybe something like this were inserted into the tail pipe first)? 

Sadly unlrelated to auto-‘mos, but still awesome, is the fact we now know how versatile Jeanna Maroney’s song “Muffin Top” (we’re talking “30 Rock” now) truly is.  When slowed and accompanied by cello, lines like “…but I just wanna dance” take on a new poignant meaning, especially considering Jeanna has faked her death to garner Tupac Shakur-like postmortem popularity.  Gnatalby is now required to play cello and sing “Muffin Top” at my funeral.