’30 Rock’ Recap: TGS Hates Women

S5E16: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Okay, that’s overly dramatic, but after such fantastic episodes for the past few weeks, can you blame me for noticing a downward shift? This week we saw Liz Lemon and friends take on something we haven’t seen them approach in a while: feminism. Did it accomplish anything? Nope. Does that matter? Nope. All we care about is that it was entertaining; we don’t look to 30 Rock for moral guidance. The episode made me giggle, but for once, I was actually waiting for it to end (just a little bit, but the sentiment was there). The one-liners on 30 Rock are never not good, but they aren’t enough to turn an okay episode into a triumph.

“Femolution. Tracy Chapman. She’s a woman, right?” –Liz

I guess we don’t really have much to judge from based off the small amount of actual TGS sketches we see on 30 Rock, but I never really thought they were that detrimental to women. So this episode, the writers have decided to cement that fact with a slew of “OH MY PERIOD” skits in which famous women lose their cool when their period hits them like some sort of “Hulk Smash” moment. I’m sorry, I’ve just never found period jokes funny, even when they’re making fun of how not funny they are.

The real treat here was that the show called out the famously feminist blog, Jezebel, as a part of this plot with the introduction of JoanOfSnark.com. In fact, the plot resembled a little spat between The Daily Show and Jezebel a while back when the blog railed on The Daily Show for being anti-feminist for hiring hottie correspondent Olivia Munn because she didn’t have a brain. (Turns out she does have a brain and she’s awesome, so suck on that.) This of course prompts Liz to hire the comedienne the blog praises so highly, but it turns out she’s the poster child for anti-feminism. (I’d like to note that the mere fact that Jezebel picked up on this “tribute” made me want to revoke the fact that I noticed the similarities, but it’s just too close to ignore.)

“Steve Carrell owns ‘That’s What She Said.’ He OWNS it.” –Liz

With that sort of a set-up it’s no wonder that the Lady Gaga/Sarah Silverman hybrid of a comedian, Abby, is so obnoxious that I’d almost rather beat myself over the head with a shovel than watch her on my TV one more time. Between her little poop and fart jokes and her over-the-top “I’m so sexy look at me” voice and her wardrobe stolen from some Sailor Moon fan’s closet, I was right there with Liz. The bitch had to go. Of course, maybe that comes from jealousy like Jack tried to point out, but do we want to let Jack be right? NO, we don’t.

The presence of this awful girl just brought out the worst in Jenna; and not in the usual funny way. She was just a watered down version of Abby’s original obnoxiousness. I did, however, appreciate that her dialogue supported the notion that just because Liz is smarter, more bookish, and wrapped her sabotage plan in a more mature package, she’s still viciously tearing down other women JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Wow. Shocker.

We all knew that Abby would turn out to have a good reason for her antics – this time it was that she’s hiding from her psycho ex-husband and that’s why she slept with Lutz. WAIT, WHAT? Someone slept with Lutz? Has she seen him playing that active video game with his shirt off? Wow. Anyway, this paints Liz to be the bad guy and they return to writing that sketch about Wonder Woman getting her period. (Oh, do I smell a dig at the new Wonder Woman pilot for NBC?)

“What most people don’t know is that NBC is still a network.” –Kenneth

I always enjoy the little digs they throw at NBC, but the network is so down in the dumps right now that I feel like it’s kind of like bringing up the fact that your friend’s hair has split ends after her boyfriend just dumped her because he thought she’d let herself go. IT’S CRUEL. But things at NBC go on, and with Hank Hooper at the helm, Jack is determined to weasel his way to being next in-line for Hooper’s roost. That’s a problem because Hooper’s granddaughter, Kaylee (guest star Chloe Moretz), is next in line thanks to the tragic disease (Trustfund Kids’ Disease) that distracted his children from actual responsibility. Of course, we knew Moretz’s character wouldn’t be some dopey kid. Jack plays on her aspirations to be a marine biologist, taking her on a private tour of the Natural History Museum, but it turns out she’s been playing him by studying his autobiography where he reveals that marine biology was actually HIS dream. Ta-dah!

The best thing about this little side plot was the digs it took at Gossip Girl, from her school mascot being voted “The Sluts” to the fact that the school scene was shot on Gossip Girl’s old high school set, to the fact that before the scene ends, Kaylee yells “Megan! Books!” Hello, Blair Waldorf. I guess the fact that the writers included this side plot parody adds to the overall feminist parody, but I still laughed more about “the ocean is for tools” and the fact that Jack went toe-to –toe with a 15 year old.