30 Rock recap: Lemon in Real Life
Tracy throws a fit, Jenna throws a counter-fit, and Liz has nothing in her life outside work -- except for caffeine, candy, and bra tape
Dear God, woman, please give Floyd a call. Things have been a little sour for Liz Lemon since her ex bolted for Cleveland, but it took last night’s episode for me to realize just what a lonely, dark place she’s in. For the record, Lemon is now eating candy bars for breakfast. Jack thinks she dresses like a ”small-town lesbian,” but even that doesn’t explain wearing a broken rape whistle as a necklace. She quit caffeine — fallout from her breakup with the coffee fetus? — craves meat lover’s pizza, and can’t stay awake past 5:30. In Cleveland, she could’ve been a model, but instead, she’s wearing a brassiere held together by pieces of tape. What a sad, sad metaphor.
Of course, this only makes me adore Tina Fey more. Not Lucille Ball or Mary Tyler Moore, not even Tracy’s inspiration, Shelley Long, located the virtue in ruthless self-deprecation like our fearless heroine. But before Lemon actually does turn into Carrie Fisher’s cuckoo comedy trailblazer from earlier this season, she needs to get a life. Any one will do. Preferably one without fart dust on her office chair.
Instead, Lemon spent the episode mollifying her dueling divas, Tracy and Jenna, whose simmering feud finally erupted after Jenna received a homemade award. Her success struck a nerve — and a craving for French fries — in insecure Tracy, who walked off the set until Lemon informed him he too had won an award, a fictitious Pacific Rim Emmy. Tracy has a soft spot for the Far East, from his experiences shooting the film Samurai, I Am-Urai, and he demonstrated his affection for Asian culture by subjecting Jenna to a ”sharking” attack, or, as some of you Puritans might call it: sexual assault. That might be standard procedure at the Maiden Voyage, Newark’s first offshore gentlemen’s barge, but Jenna was outraged. Not by the indecent exposure, mind you, but by Tracy’s refusal to properly thank her in his acceptance speech. From the way Jenna relished the extra attention that accompanied her extra Mystic Pizzapoundage, to the delight she couldn’t suppress when Lemon admitted the pathetic lengths she went to prop up Jenna’s ego, Jane Krakowski has been one of the best parts of the show this season. No one takes greater advantage of narcissism. Hmm, makes me wonder which SNL cast member inspired her character.
Frank and Toofer had their own clash of wills when Frank dared wear a Harvard sweatshirt. In my mind, he earned the right, performing stand-up at the esteemed institution and getting ”a squeezer from an Indian girl on a bunk bed.” But Crimson alum Toofer took issue with Frank’s Ivy League garb and retaliated by wearing a messy wig and Frank’s trucker hat. Their silly dispute sort of fizzled, but male applications to Harvard are now expected to jump 37 percent.
I stand by my prediction that Jack and Lemon will eventually share a moment — note her reaction when he called C.C. (Edie Falco) the most beautiful woman in the room — but for now, the conservative exec planned to continue his forbidden romance with the liberal congresswoman. C.C. couldn’t bear to hide their relationship anymore, but Jack feared NBC’s ”strict bros before hos” policy. His paranoia enabled the nearly forgotten Kenneth to shine at an intimate dinner party with Lemon. I loved that he wore his NBC jacket, and his conversation-starting index cards, while fabulously inappropriate (”Tell me a painful story about your teenage years”), were solid progress over his nauseating romantic encounter with Tracy’s wife.
Clearly, though, Jack and C.C. share something special — in addition to their fondness for John Legend. She loves his hair, and he admires her career: ”I like when a woman has ambition; it’s like seeing a dog wearing clothes.” I doubt Democratic strategist James Carville, who’s married to Republican spinmaster Mary Matalin, would have agreed, but the ”pinko nut-job” counseled Jack nonetheless, Cajun style. (Now that Carville and Al Gore have paved the way, I’m lowering the odds of a Bill Clinton cameo in ’08 to 5 to 2. Didn’t C.C. work in his Harlem office building?)
We’ll have to see how the Jack-C.C. dynamic works now that their relationship is out in the open. Jack announced it publicly to his corporate cronies, prompting an outburst of shameful Republican admissions. (”I gave to NPR last year.” ”I’m black.”) C.C. chimed in, admitting she’s not merely a Democrat, but a Reagan Democrat. Let’s hope Jack continues to kiss her mouth to stop her from saying such ridiculous things.
Thoughts on Lemon’s dire social life? Would you oppose a Floyd return, or do you enjoy her purely as a single gal? And how many episodes do you give C.C (strike notwithstanding)?
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.