The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

it’s like check in at an Italian airport

with one comment

This whole episode, despite its “green week” subplot, was all about family values and family possibilities. Tracy confronts the constraints and limitations of having children (at least, of taking his son to work), which basically boils down to not being able to tell filthy stories about strip club antics. When Jack watches the Geiss family implode and decides to cut off the prospect of posterity by having a vasectomy, his anxieties fuel Tracy’s discontents and they go in for the procedure together. Meanwhile, Liz takes another gem of advice from Jack and starts a series of sabotage attempts to drive her upstairs neighbor out of his apartment so she can buy it and begin plotting for the family she may or may not ever have.

In perfect 30 Rock style we get a hodge-podge of reasons for reproducing – fulfilling domestic fantasies (complete with astronaut husbands), seeing one’s self in one’s posterity and the pride and joy of being wanted, needed, and loved by a Tracy, Jr., balancing domestic chaos with the introduction of a double x chromosome – all of them laced with petty individualism and self-interest. Except that throughout the episode we see the 30 Rock office functioning as an alternative family, forcing its members to learn from each other (Jack and Tracy, Jr., Jack and Tracy, Liz and Frank), give up some of their desires to accommodate others (make room for more sun tea), and help each other out in times of crisis (Dot.com taking one in the knees from Liz’s gay hipster cop roommate). While Tracy, Jack, and Liz each plot and scheme to arrange for their biological posterity, they are emeshed in another kind of family, which is giving them far more than they even know how to desire from their imagined nuclear family bliss. The 30 Rock family might be like check in at an Italian airport – anything goes – but at least it is taking them somewhere.

Other thoughts: I loved the riff on the Cosby family. Since it was one of the only shows I was allowed to watch as a child, it did some serious damage searing my mind with images of domestic harmony, wit, and banter. And yet, like Tracy, I still want to believe! My favorite single line: Kenneth walks into Jenna’s dressing room and she says “I’m doing my Kegels. What is it?” Since I am about to head to pregnant lady yoga and do several rounds of Kegels with a group of random strangers, I laughed pretty hard at that one.

Posted by Kathryn.

Written by themothchase

November 21, 2009 at 9:42 am

Posted in 30 Rock

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Good assessment! I love the alternate family 30 Rock shows us. And, yes, the Kegels line was the best of the show. Definitely laughed out loud for that one.

    victoria winters

    November 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm


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