The Moth Chase

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

Archive for the ‘30 Rock’ Category

Shoulder’s Back, Lemon

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So I’m kind of loving what they’re doing with Liz this season – last time we had her genuinely facing her sexual issues (in a nevertheless hilarious way).  And this week we faced the reality of her parents’ marriage potentially crumbling.  And in both we got to see just how much she needs Jack…not only to keep her from wearing Duane Reed bags as underpants (how is that even possible – perhaps a sign of deeper sexual issues that she would choose plastic over commando!).  And much as I love the Liz/Co-worker/Little brother:Jack/work husband/uncle relationship, it was also good to see Avery’s (perfectly rational, even as it was overwhelmingly hormonal) reaction to that relationship.  It is a tough one to understand, and one that any new partner in either one’s life would need to learn to negotiate. But negotiate she does – and in that negotiation we get to see that it’s not just Liz who needs Jack, but that in some strange way, Jack only works when he’s got Liz too.  Or should I say, he only works when he’s getting dihc (brilliant!)? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

November 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

Posted in 30 Rock

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Breaking

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Dear Moth Chase friends,

So, I don’t think I enjoyed that…but I was intrigued and it’s got me thinking.  I shared my worries last week – that the live episode would cause an irreparable shark jump for the show a) because they wouldn’t be able to move around as fast as usual and, thus, their usual modes of storytelling would be lost and b) that Tracy would have a hard time holding it together and playing his part of the team (as he sometimes did on SNL, but certainly has developed a public identity for doing since that time).  What made this episode work was their conscious embrace of both problems.  First, Jack’s sobriety provided a nice frame for why everything looked weird – the world had shifted just a little too far off its axis.  And they came up with funny solutions to the ‘can’t be in two sets at once’ problem – Julia Louis-Dryfus being my favourite solution of all!  And they, quite geniusly, incorporated any gaffs Tracy would create with the narrative of breaking – Tracy got to be Tracy (in a hyper-parody of the fact that TJ is already so much TM…or at least, he is the incredibly well constructed image we all have of TM).  So were those furtive glances at the camera Morgan’s or Jordan’s? I don’t know. But they kinda worked.  And likewise, was the sometimes verging on an English accent, overly theatrical speechifying Jenna or Jane?  Was the self-assured sexiness Alec or Jack…and so on…And in this way we were reminded how very much each actor is playing some version of his or her-self.  In essence, the live version revealed the insides of what makes 30 Rock tick. Read the rest of this entry »

Outsourced is the new Friends

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After last week’s stellar episode, this one felt a little uneven again – but I’m forgiving it as it seems it’s going to set up the whole season’s themes.  As Jack stormed out at the end of the episode shouting, “I’ve got 3 months to change your mind,” I had to wonder what diversity stories 30 Rock would be taking on.  And I also had to wonder to what extent 30 Rock functions as the key to whatever is going on at NBC – it’s so self-referential to its network (down even to its name), and it’s always quick both to big up and to mock its host.  Is NBC going through a time of diversifying?  Is it doing so in ways that the 30 Rock writers find abhorrent (I have yet to figure out what the heck is going on with Outsourced – I can’t yet tell if its kind of racist or so fresh I don’t have categories to process it)?  Or are Jack’s impassioned speeches about immigrants, innovators and snowboarders taking improv lessons the heart of what 30 Rock has always been?  A show that doesn’t tout its diversity, but rather which succeeds, and can do things other shows can’t do because of it.  Either way, I’m hoping for a little more Queen Latifah! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

October 8, 2010 at 9:07 am

Jack’s Indulgences

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So I absolutely love the idea of Jack purchasing his way into a more powerful Heaven! Especially one that will let him commune from beyond the grave through animals!!  The image made Tracy’s words of wisdom – “if you want to make God laugh, make a plan” – that much more poignant.  Not only did Jack end up unable to control this world from the realm of the next, but he can’t even record the right tapes.  As Tracy has endeavored to have a daughter this and last season (a situation it is difficult to imagine), now we have to imagine Jack doing the same.  How sweet that it’s Liz he needs to turn to for help with this.  If you’re like your mother, you’ll need no advice…otherwise, Lemon.  In a sense, that moment solidified Liz as Jack’s number 2 – not in romance, but in the order to awesome ladies.  She might have an abnormal amount of body hair, but outside of perfection, it seems she’s the best model for womanhood as far as Jack’s concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

October 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

Haven’t You Ever Read an Archie Comic?

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This really was the core question of the episode, with everyone needing to choose between their Betty and Veronica.  Jack picking between Nancy and Avery, finally – and, in my opinion, making the right choice (wow, I can’t believe Jack’s going to be a Daddy!).  Jenna learning to accept Paul as he is, no matter how creepy he looked in that Cher/Jenna get up (really, is there anyone so awesomely gross as Will Forte?!  You really do have to have a lot of taped up balls to show up dressed like that!).  Liz finally choosing the pursuit of dangerous love over settling for a settling soulmate (although I am waiting for the other shoe to drop on Carroll – are we sure he’s really a pilot and not just an extra from a ‘pilot’ episode filming elsewhere in the 30 Rock complex? Sorry, couldn’t resist it – it’s late, I’m tired…apologies).  And poor Kenneth (who I hope to God isn’t really going to be absent from next season) needing to choose between New York and LA, and ultimately losing both. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

May 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Posted in 30 Rock, Uncategorized

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Emmanuelle Goes to Dinosaur-Land

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What a great week for Michael Sheen to return – with all that’s been going on in British politics, it was fun to see the actor who has played Tony Blair twice back on 30 Rock to remind us of great British humour, even if that humour is in the derivative form of “Chums”!  Perhaps it’s just because I’m English, but it remains unclear to me why Liz hates Wesley as much as she does.  Sure, he overly mimes stuff, but he also does so knowing full well that excellent pantomime is supposed to look idiotic.  And yeah, he’s a bit smarmy with his ‘we’re meant to be’ know-it-all-ness.  But compared to her other options, especially now that Floyd is completely out of the picture, he’s quite the catch!  Although, what fun to see Dr. Drew back with hooks for hands – Drew is so very much the opposite of Hamm’s Mad Men character, Don Draper, it’s great to see Hamm’s range.  He plays dumb with a type of innocence clearly lacking from the particular brand offered by Dennis Duffy – who’s balloon plot was as idiotically evil as it was poorly planned.  Nevertheless, of all the losers, I think Dennis might still be the best one for Liz and if any of them had to have their own spin-off, I’d pick the beeper king! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

May 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

The Luckieset Shman in the World

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Ok, that’s two weeks in a row that 30 Rock has brought us a little trans-humour.  Last week with the reference to Mrs. Doubtfire shimself, and tonight with Will Forte’s amazing turn as Paul the drag queen/Jenna Morony impersonator/luckiest shman in the world.  My LGTBQA vocabulary is quickly expanding (another favourite gender-neutral pronoun which hasn’t yet been used but, I kid you not, I once encountered in a hymn is Zhe – please, please Tina Fey, find a way to incorporate that one too!). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

April 30, 2010 at 8:37 am