The New Face of Abstinence
Ok, let’s start by saying how brilliant Kenneth was last night! How does he make an abstinence, gender-neutralizing sack look so teeth-baringly menacing? Facing that hooded creature at a rally would put me off of sex for life! But in the midst of his own alternative Valentine’s Day oddball practices, he also found time to give a little strange love to Jenna, reeling from the loss of her long-time stalker. Perhaps this is why I love Kenneth so much – while his weird religious, traditional Southern country-folk upbringing (and continued existence) should make him the most closed-minded judgmental character on the show, he’s the one most able to love folks where they’re at, seeking to give them what they need in the most screwball versions of their own desires…even if those desires go by the name of Doug.
So I’m not sure who I was more excited to see: Dennis, Floyd or Drew…or Bon Jovi (why was he always a palm tree for Liz?). For all the ways we laugh at Liz, she’s had three pretty great relationships that have met some form of her own romantic needs. Floyd was obviously the best catch for her – sweet, smart, funny and totally in sync with her lifestyle…unfortunately wanting to live that lifestyle in the Cleve. Drew was…well, Drew was freaking hot in a sweet, take him to your mama (so your mama can drool on him too) kind of way. And Dennis, well, Dennis used to take her cheeseburgers in bed and wanted sex only on Saturday nights and even then only briefly…in his own way, a perfect match for Liz! And I have to admit, the word “dummy” has started to sound quite affectionate to my ears.
Even so, in the end it was friendship that won out when it came to Liz’s needs, as Jack risked his newest Valentine (finally right wing, corporate Republican Jack gets a genuinely right-wing, corporate Republican lady!) to bail out a drugged-up Lemon. And we were reminded of one of the facets of what makes the Jack/Liz friendship so lovely to watch unfold – as Avery mocked his phone excuses as too nonsensical to believe, I realized that’s what makes this friendship so great. It is nonsensical! It doesn’t make sense that this bigwig would befriend the producer/writer/creator of this silly little, totally not popular, drain of a show to the point of such deep caring. And it doesn’t make sense that this flighty, but hilariously intellectual screwball writer would care so much about this guy in corporate. There’s something ludicrous to their bond that reminds each one of us of the magic of some of our least explainable relationships…the mystery of what it is to care for someone with whom we’re not all that compatible but who teaches us a new way to live (even if it’s not a way we’d want to live). Just as Kenneth blissfully skips along loving these crazy TGS kids in all their foibles, so too Liz and Jack love each other unconditionally. And that this love never verges on the sexual is perhaps what makes it most magical of all!
Perhaps my favourite moment in the episode, though, was Lutz’s insistence on his fake girlfriend, Karen, for whom he had established an obviously fake web-site…something along the lines of www.jpluzt.com/girlfriend/karen/proof. So perhaps I’m the only one who’s had a friend so pathetic that they pathologically lie about their life making up fake partners, jobs and hobbies (ok, I’ve actually had a couple!), but that’s really how it goes. And there really is that mix of anger with them and occasional liking of them that Lutz’s colleagues experience with him. It’s another nonsensical form of relationship that 30 Rock brilliantly brings into the light!
Posted by Natalie.