• 30 Rock recap: TGS Hates Women

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    Episode : “TGS Hates Women”

    Liz Lemon’s opinions as a feminist have been no secret on 30 Rock over the last five seasons. Sidenotes about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anna Howard Shaw and, of course, the Sugarbaker women, have crept up over the years to indicate Liz’s love of lady power. This episode tested Liz’s beliefs, after a pop-culture focused feminist blog (aptly titled ‘Joan of Snark’…genius) claims that TGS “hates women.” In order to combat this heinous accusation, Liz brings on a female comic (that the same blog loves) to guest write – hoping that it will get the writers in line and prove to the world that TGS is for women, by women.

    When this new female comedy powerhouse shows up, however, she’s not what Liz expected. Abby Flynn (played by Cristin Milioti) has a short skirt, pigtails, huge buxom breasties and a high-pitched voice that immediately concerns the prudish Lemon (check out the video below). Toofer, Lutz and Frank have already prepared alternative personas to woo the new girl in their midst, and again – Lemon doesn’t like where this is going. She confronts Abby, encouraging her to be herself. In turn, Abby claims that she’s comfortable with who she is – and her use of her sexuality to get what she wants is no different than Lemon using her glasses to look smart, and that Liz is judging her unfairly based on her personal beliefs and societal influence. The perfect third-wave feminist argument.

    We come to find out that there was a much more serious reason behind Abby’s identity. Her real name is Abby Grossman and she used to be a stand-up comic. She dyed her hair and changed her persona to hide from an insane, potentially homicidal ex-husband. This turn to a really serious topic is different for the show – but Lemon’s foot-in-mouth reaction is as awkward as you would expect from her. If the writers had, however, left Abby confident in her sexuality – the message of the show would have been much different. The takeaway message seemed to be that any woman (or woman in comedy) who uses her sexuality is simply doing it to get attention, and couldn’t possibly be that way in everyday life. (Kind of a bummer, you guys.)

    At the same time, Jack is trying to establish his dominance as he sets his sights on the CEO spot at Kabletown. One problem: a young girl named Kaylie Hooper (played by “Hit Girl” Chloe Moretz), the current CEO’s granddaughter. Jack meets young Kaylie and learns that she has a passion for marine biology, much as he did as a young boy. He encourages her to pursue this passion – both as someone who lost their dream and someone who wants to ensure she stays out of a career in television.

    And – shock – huge twist! Sweet little Kaylie Hooper? She’s a shark. Kaylie has researched Jack thoroughly and was playing up a love of the ocean in the hopes of reminding him what he’s lost. The ocean, she tells him, “is for tools.” They have a perfect face-off outside of her school where each threatens retaliation and triumph over the other for the top spot in television.

    Chloe and Cristin were both fantastic choices for this week and Chloe’s character will certainly come back to face Jack. Now that he’s gotten rid of Will Arnett’s character Devon Banks, this is a clear choice for his arch nemesis. After last week’s sentimental focus on Jack’s new family, this brought us back to reality: Jack is a businessman through and through.

    Other yummy bits:

    “Ahhh! My period! You’re all fired!”
    Highlander mention
    “Sir Ian McKellen. That guy must be knee-deep in boob!”
    “Tracy Chapman! … she’s a woman, right?”
    “Quiet, chalk hands. A real man is talking”
    “Give me strength, oh Oprah”
    Lutz got shirtless. Very good.
    “Our nips just touched! Mine are sooo hard!”
    “Is this where you got your V-Card punched?” “No. Does this look like the dressing room at a clown college?”

    Meagan Kate

    Meagan Kate is a Portland, Oregon writer and comic. She has been laughed at by audiences at The Brody Theater, The Someday Lounge, Theatre! Theater! and other venues that provide her with the validation she has yet to receive from a long-term relationship. She says things at http://myfacewasred.tumblr.com and you can follow her @MeaganKate.

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