30 Rock 1x01-2x15

Thu, Oct. 7th, 2010 01:45 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
This show is apparently based on Tina Fey's experiences as a writer on Saturday Night Live. I don't watch SNL and tend to find most things on Comedy Central unfunny, so I am probably not the target audience for this show. That said, I watched two seasons in a few days because they were streaming on Netflix and I wanted something nattering on in the background when I was doing a jigsaw puzzle.

(I love jigsaws! And puzzles! I read nearly nothing this summer because I was playing Picross and Picross 3D on my sister's Nintendo DS the entire time! She says I am obsessed, for some odd reason.)

I appreciate having a show on TV written, produced, and starring a woman, and a woman over her twenties at that. However, I really hate a lot of the humor in the show for many of the same reasons why I hate a lot of the standup and other comedy shows I've seen. I'm fine with Jack being sexist and totally corporate, and he's actually one of my favorite characters on the show, but the way the show does liberal lip service while actually supporting the "Why do we have to be so PC? Lighten up, it's funny!" brigade drove me up the wall.

Liz Lemon is a perfect personification of white guilt and privilege, and although the show points it out sometimes, it does so by sending the message that stereotypes are stereotypes because they're true, that people shouldn't feel white guilt not because it turns the focus to white people but because there is nothing to feel guilty about. So far, the show has had black characters play the race card several times, noted that affirmative action gives people unfair advantages, made fun of mental illness, and in general made fun of those uptight PC people who take offense at everything.

Sometimes the show does break stereotypes instead of conforming to them (I especially like Dot Com), but mostly it's with minor characters and done very rarely. It also tries to make fun of stereotypes, but unfortunately, what usually happens is that the show has a situation, goes "Hey, this is offensive and stereotypical!" and then proceeds to go "But it's funny! Haha! We will just point out that we are reinforcing stereotypes about black people while never actually doing much to break those stereotypes, and the fact that we're doing it ironically makes it ok!" It's a little better with feminism than with other social justice issues, but even then, Liz Lemon comes off as a privileged white feminist who is more afraid of offending people than she is of not actually hurting people.

It's especially frustrating because at times I see things I would like to watch, such as Liz trying to balance her career and personal life and romance, Liz and Jack's mentor/mentee relationship (my favorite part of the show), and the camaraderie among the TNG staff, but those bits are sadly small compared to everything else.

I also hate that the show makes me feel like that uptight PC feminazi who doesn't think anything is funny, but I think it's possible to be funny while also making political points. Er, that is, political points that aren't "Black people play the race card all the time! White people feel guilty too often! It's too bad all fat women are good for is humor, but oh well!"


(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
wychwood: xkcd's boom-de-yada strip (gen - BOOM DE YADA)
Posted by [personal profile] wychwood
I read a post a while ago about Liz Lemon and feminism which I thought was interesting and might be relevant to what you're talking about here?

I hate shows that make me feel like I'm being uptight when really it's just that they're not actually funny, only offensive.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] vito_excalibur
So far, the show has had black characters play the race card several times, noted that affirmative action gives people unfair advantages

This drives me up the goddamn wall. I have seen probably 20 fictional depictions of PoC unfairly claiming that something was racism for every fictional depiction of racism that was acknowledged as such. And we wonder why some people think racism is over and PoC are too sensitive.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sanguinity
We only watched half a season, waiting for that "oh, that's why they watch it" transformation to happen, before we decided we couldn't take it any more. Between the "just PC-ness" crap on the one hand, and Jack's continual humiliations of Liz Lemon on the other (what, he's a sexist pig and he's right?) it was just ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (avatar: sibling love)
Posted by [personal profile] glass_icarus
auuuugh. :( people keep telling me to give 30 Rock a shot! and i have been meaning to!- but given this, i think i might scratch it from my list. sigh.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
crossedwires: toph punches katara to show her affection (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] crossedwires
I gave it a shot, a couple of times, but didn't like it because of what [personal profile] oyceter wrote. (I tend to feel this way about "Better Off Ted" too.)

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 8th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (atla iroh disappoint)
Posted by [personal profile] littlebutfierce
Ha, I was totally gonna drop that Tiger Beatdown link about the show. I've heard so much about this show that makes me think it's most definitely not for me (though like you, I'm so not its target audience for the same reasons), & your post has cemented it!


oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

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