“Good job, Lemon.”
That phrase is uttered to me every time I admit I’ve done something a little less than graceful. However, it’s not an insult. It’s actually somewhat of a compliment.
30 Rock premiered on the NBC fall schedule back in 2006 and truly found its footing around season two. Loosely based on Tina Fey’s experience working as the head writer of Saturday Night Live, it managed to score an Emmy for Best Comedy from 2007 till 2009 – and rightfully so. While there have been many TV characters I’ve identified with throughout time, Liz Lemon takes the cake. Certain lines of dialogue uttered by Liz are things I, myself, have said – or at least thought of. Finally – I’m not alone!
Liz also procures my dream job, which is writing for television. Although The Girly Show with Tracy Jordan has faced cancellation and impending doom throughout the (fictional) show’s run, Liz never seems to give up or call it quits. Continuously, she’s proud of what she does while also being realistic about the fate of her career. And while her job might impede with a few of her life goals – namely, finding a decent relationship and having a child with or without a man in her life – she manages, while fully being aware of her shortcomings. Liz, in a lovable way, is kind of a mess.
Personally, I love the fact that television granted us a heroine who doesn’t have it all together. After all, who truly does? Can anyone actually admit that they’ve never refused to unload the whole dishwasher when all they need is a clean fork or spoon? Has anyone else thought of scheduling a root canal on Valentine’s Day to help mask the utter disappointment that day might bring? While Liz might depend on the advice and life guidance of Jack (Alec Baldwin, of course), she isn’t tragic enough to cartoonish-ly Amelia Bedelia her way into situations but isn’t the type of girl who traipses around New York in stilettos a la Carrie Bradshaw. She’s proud of what she does and she doesn’t have to hide the fact that she’s still a bit awkward in social situations.
In fact, Jack’s first impression of Liz in the pilot pretty much says it all: “New York third-wave feminist, college-educated, single-and-pretending-to-be-happy-about-it, over-scheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says ‘healthy body image’ on the cover and every two years you take up knitting for…a week.”
Fashion-wise, Liz also represents the professional every-girl. Typically in blazers and jeans, she adequately fits her role. When Liz needs to dress up on short notice, she steals clothes from the wardrobe department at TGS. Thus, Liz is a fantastic Halloween choice if you want clothes that you, yourself, could wear on a daily basis afterward. I know this based on experience: I was Liz last year and didn’t have to explain to anyone who I was based on her signature garb.
Another thing to love about Liz is her unabashed love of junk food. While episodes have shown her trying to change, she can still get emotional over a lack of a decent sandwich. Let’s admit it: While we might have tried a diet plan, we can all admit that occasional indulgence is a beautiful thing that Liz never denies.
Not only did Tina Fey give a boost of confidence to us ladies who wear glasses, but Liz Lemon makes them a signature piece as well. In fact, both Tina and her fictional counterpart have – dare I say – made glasses quite an attractive accessory. While I dig Dorothy Parker, the phrase “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” is now completely irrelevant!
Let’s all make a point to celebrate Liz Lemon: a true representation of women today. She wasn’t the most popular girl growing up and still occasionally revels in opportunities that prove the fact that she’s well liked – despite the fact that she’s an overall approachable girl. She has sexual hang-ups that don’t dominate her life but illustrate her personality. She proves that it’s not completely necessary to have everything together in your later years – it’s just important to stay true to your character and realize that the right people will accept that.
And first and foremost, she made me feel less embarrassed when I accidentally sat on and broke a pair of sunglasses in my car while searching around for a coupon I had for a buffet dinner.
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