Feb 04

“30 Rock” and Liz Lemon Come to a Finale But Will Live On Forever

30 Rock has come to an end. It happened last week, and if you haven’t yet seen the finale, I’m not intending on ruining that for you.

The Recent Tributes (30 Rock Is Quotable, Fast-Paced, Funny, Relatable)

30 Rock was my favorite show. I sneezed once during an episode and missed seven jokes.” Nikki Glaser, WitStream

Liz Lemon’s universality, relatability. Chris HarnickThe Huffington Post:

In Liz Lemon, Tina Fey created a character that could appeal to pretty much every kind of audience and not just man/woman. Liz was overworked, looking for love, incredibly nerdy, sweet, lazy in some aspects, a lover of food and so much more. She made a sort of misfit into a hero…

Liz Lemon as female role model. Blog Dorothy Surrenders:

I will miss ’30 Rock’ for so many reasons. Its humor, intellect, zaniness, nerdiness, metaness, catchphrasecoiningness. (BLERG FOREVER!) But probably most of all I will miss it for allowing Liz Lemon to be so smart, unabashedly so. And despite her flaws and foibles, her capability – to run the show and trust her intellect – was never in question.

As comic Steve Martin once said, “I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.”

A line that, with its mixture of intellect and silliness, would itself have fit so well on 30 Rock.

Liz (Tina Fey) had some of the best lines, of course. Throughout the series, fans of the show have been known to compile “Lemonisms.” Just a few:

  • I pretty much just do whatever Oprah tells me to.
  • You are my heroine! And by heroine I mean lady hero. I don’t want to inject you and listen to jazz.
  • If reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t keep people with no shame down.

The Finale (“Because the human heart is not properly connected to the human brain, I love you. And I’m gonna miss you.” Liz Lemon)

Much is jam-packed into the finale. Rest assured, there are themes totally relevant to Minding Therapy. Jack (Alec Baldwin), for instance, questioning if he’s really happy—and if not, how to be. Liz working on a similar dilemma.

In addition, there are issues related to abandonment, friendship, fear of goodbyes, suicidality, antidepressants, food obsession, workplace dysfunction, narcissism, life meaning and fulfillment, personal growth, marital and parental roles, etc.

Ethan AndertonScreen Rant:

For a show with as much ridiculous humor, non sequiturs and general nonsense as 30 Rock, this finale pulled at the heartstrings and allowed each of the chief characters to have a touching moment in the sun…

This whole time 30 Rock was about love, friendship and life, as any good TV show should be. It just happened to have a cast of great comedians, phenomenal writing, and a lot of Liz Lemon snacking…

Whether you haven’t watched any or much of the seven years of the series or have loved it as much as I have, there will still be chances to see the finale and everything that came before it, I’m sure, on your DVR’s or DVD’s or in reruns. Perhaps while munching on some tasty night cheese.

As for me, wherever the 30 Rock folks are right now, I want to go to there.

Jan 15

“She Matters”: Female Friendships of Susanna Sonnenberg’s Life

In her new memoir She Matters: A Life in Friendships, essayist Susanna Sonnenberg tells the stories, in 20 brief essays, of the friendships of her life—including friendship choices and dynamics that have been influenced, of course, by how she was raised.

The review by Kirkus sums it all up:

One of the first friends she made as a child taught her that it was possible to have ‘no drama at all’ in a relationship with another female. Others, like the girls she met in boarding school, became role models, comforters and confidantes. They helped Sonnenberg navigate a turbulent adolescence that included an affair with a married teacher and other sexual betrayals. Two young women brought the author into an awareness of females as objects of desire. As an adult, Sonnenberg had many passionate friendships, only to either outgrow them or be outgrown by them. When she married and became a mother, the challenges she faced in her relationships with other women increased. Not only was she still trying to fulfill her yearning for lasting connections with other females who also lived complicated lives, she was also confronted with having to ‘rewrite…my previous definition of motherhood’ and grow beyond the example her own mother had set for her.

In an interview for Publishers Weekly Stephanie Arndt asks Sonnenberg why she chose to write on this topic:

In my mid-30s a very close friend dumped me. She had specific reasons why I was a bad friend, and I was terribly confused (and devastated) that she saw me that way. This got me thinking about how a friendship can serve a vastly different purpose for each of the two friends. I started to wonder about purpose—the gain and lesson—of all the friendships with women in my life. I set out to tell several stories of friendships, and with each story to write about a particular moment of life. I concentrated on women because women make things intense. We can’t help it.

Is this the breakup she means? Emily Rapp, in her Boston Globe review of She Matters:

…(T)he most moving chapter is one in which a friendship slips away after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, for reasons the writer struggles to understand, a break that comes as a surprise, a woman we hardly know before she is gone: ‘It never occurred to me the elegant friendship could end in shards.’ Sonnenberg lets us into the process of grief and loss in a way that attempts to unpack the psychological roots of the woman’s decision in a way that is not based solely on the author’s singular experiences and is therefore less purely self-referential than the drama of the other chapters.

Selected Reviews of She Matters

Carolyn Cooke: “It’s the truest, most human book I’ve read all year – generous, hilarious, ecstatic and profound.”

Publishers Weekly: “Sonnenberg’s strikingly honest depictions of tumultuous female alliances and confessions about friendships are both moving and relatable; her depth of reflection and incandescent prose marks this exceptional memoir as a must-read to share among friends.”

Emily Rapp, Boston Globe: “Navigating ‘the complex task of belonging‘ is the gift these women give to Sonnenberg, and her gift in response is to inspire the reader to unpack her own history of friendships, the ‘scaffolding of friends,’ with all its betrayals and disappointments and long-held loves, to render that ‘deeply known friend’ and to remember ‘love in its greatest warmth, its common comfort.'”