Tag Archives: 30 Rock

Sweeeeeet

HAPPY LEAP DAY!

Thanks to last week’s episode of 30 Rock, February 29th has a whole new meaning to me.

It’s no longer just an extra day on the calendar every four years…or that day when, according to Irish folklore, women supposedly have ‘permission’ to ask men to marry them.

Lame.

No, Leap Day is right up there with Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day now, because it’s a holiday….

…all about CANDY!

Thank you, Leap Day Williams.

Friendly skies?

The Manhattan skyline is pretty awe-inspiring, even to the most casual observer.

But this week?

It’s been a virtual smorgasbord of spectacle!

On Tuesday morning, a small airplane buzzed past the S&P office in Lower Manhattan, pulling a banner that read:

“Thanks for the downgrade. You should all be fired.”

Lucy Nobbe, a single mother from Kirkwood, Missouri, paid for the fly over.  She simply wanted to send a message, and when she discovered she couldn’t do it over the Capitol in Washington, she settled for Wall Street.

Soon tweets were flying, too.

Then on Wednesday, the folks at 30 Rockefeller Plaza were treated to their own aerial show.

A young man in his 20’s stepped out on the ledge of the Top of the Rock Observatory — some 70 stories up — and threatened to jump.  (Quest Love, the drummer for the Roots, was one of the first to tweet the incident.) Police arrived on the scene and talked him down some 45 minutes later.

Now, we all know things like this happen in three’s.  (They just do.)  So, we’ve had a plane.  We’ve had a Superman of sorts.

Did we miss the bird?  Or is some scary, spooky critter on its way?

Don’t. Look. Up.

Dynamic duos

Ricky and Lucy.  Ross and Rachel.  Sam and Diane.   Every generation has had its seminal TV couple.  But not today.

We gots all kinds of ‘em!

Thanks to a really strong lineup of sitcoms — and dramas, too — the current television landscape boasts multiple couples with great chemistry, fun banter, and unconventional relationships.

Do I have favorites?  You betcha!  (Thanks for asking.)

Here are my 2011 Top Five TV Couples:

No. 5Sheldon and Amy, The Big Bang Theory — Call them the ‘uncouple’.  They don’t like to spend too much time together, preferring to Skype.  The terms ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’ offend their sensibilities.  And the only kiss they have ever exchanged was more scientific experiment than sexual act.  But their pairing has added a spark to the already smoking nerd fest that is TBBT. Long live Shamy!

No. 4:  Jack and Liz, 30 Rock — We’ve all had that work colleague who is more than a friend.  But in the fantastical world that is 30 Rock, Liz and Jack’s more-than-a-friendship mentor-ship blurs the lines in bizarre, often disturbing, always hilarious ways.  Heck, they even got married by accident.  If I had a nickel…

No. 3:  Castle and Beckett, Castle – This may be a TV drama, but anyone who watches Castle knows this police procedural is sprinkled with a heavy helping of funny, thanks to Nathan Fillion’s take on its namesake.  And his chemistry with Detective Beckett is as Sam and Diane as it gets on TV today.  Will they?  Won’t they?  When?  Hurry up already!

No.2:  Ben and Leslie, Parks & Recreation — My favorite ‘newbie couple’ on TV today, Ben and Leslie are as positive and life affirming as those shiba inu puppies on the web cam.  I love their characters separately; I love the idea of them together even more.  Since the series is relatively young, I thought they’d keep us dangling like a worm on a hook in a lake in a park in Indiana. But did you see last night?  “Uh oh.”

And, last but definitely not least, my choice for the absolute bestest TV couple of 2011:

No. 1:  Claire and Phil, Modern Family – No couple on TV is funnier because no two actors are braver.  The Dunphys’ sexual exploits alone are worth a spin-off.  (Could they be more unsuccessful?  How did they have three children?)   This week’s episode “Bad Dog, Good Dog”  — featuring a brilliant parenting role switcheroo — was yet another tour de force for Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.  They are, simply put, the very best on television today.

Emmy voters, mark your ballots.



Spot on

As funny as 30 Rock is each week, I have to ding the series for often being a bit too…outrageous for its own good.

Hear me out.

For every episode that is relationship-centered and hilarious — Liz’s recent break up with Carol on the plane, for example — there are two more that are simply…weird.  Laughs generated by ridiculous situations seemingly pulled out of a hat and slapped upon the TGS show-within-a-show format.

But last night’s episode — where Liz is painted as a ‘woman hater’ — was nothing short of brilliant.  Not only because it focuses on her relationship with a new writer and is inherently more ‘real.’

It speaks to a reality for all women.

From childhood, we are programmed to compete with other women.  Our first competition?  Our mothers…for our father’s and siblings’ attention.

That’s why our moms tend to be painfully honest with us.  Because that’s what competitors do.  Even the ones that love you.

Then we are launched into a world filled with not-so-loving females.  Girls who are our competitors for school achievements.  Boyfriends.   Jobs.  Husbands.   And then we become mothers of daughters ourselves….the competition continues.

Thank you, 30 Rock, for pointing out the funny — and not so funny — in real life.  Your show is better for it.

Hopefully a few people stopped to think after the laughter died away.

Hands off

And now for something completely different — a disparaging remark about “Twilight.”

Well…not really about the saga itself.   It seems a member of the “Twilight” family is trying to score a bigger slice of the fame pie.

This instance seems particularly grabby….but maybe I should expect that from a hands model.

That’s right.  Kimbra Hickey is a ‘parts model’ — as in hands and feet parts — who lives right here in New York City.  Many moons ago, Hickey earned $300 for 2-hours work — the industry rate — to hold an apple for the book cover of “Twilight.”

Of course, at the time, no one knew what a smash hit the books and subsequent movies would be.  And now Hickey wants her extra pound of flesh.

The model has taken to hanging out at the cash register at the local Barnes & Noble, telling “Twilight” book purchasers ‘those are my hands’ and giving autographs.  She’s also attending “Twilight” fan conventions, selling apple-scented hand lotion.

Her ultimate goal?  A role in the final two “Breaking Dawn” films.

Now, as you know, I’m all about self-promotion.  But Hickey thinking she deserves special treatment from the “Twilight” movie producers based on that photograph would be like me expecting my own Emmy for being an extra in an award-winning episode of “30 Rock.”  Granted, I was, and I joked about it…but I didn’t show up at the after-party and expect to get in, or demand a recurring role on the show.  Even I admit that’s ridiculous.

What do you think?  How should Hickey be handled?  To help you make up your mind, check out her website, where she’s posted ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and her “Twilight” promotional schedule.

Or just visit Barnes and Noble during your next trip to Manhattan.  I hear her autograph is free…for now.

Fey everyday

Hey Tina.  Big week, huh?

We’ve got “30 Rock” tonight — a rerun, but a recent one with the incredible Michael Sheen as Wesley, your reluctant romantic interest.

Then Friday night we’re meeting up at the movie theatre for the anxiously awaited “Date Night” with Steve Carell.  I have laughed hard at every trailer viewing, so I’m pretty stoked (even though I just read a mediocre review — the critics are such ruiners).

On to Saturday night, and Tina, we’ll be together again….’cause you’re hosting “Saturday Night Live.”  No doubt you’ll open the show with your uncanny Sarah Palin impression, or we’ll see it very soon thereafter.

When Sunday comes, I’m thinking feature in the New York Times in addition to the magazine covers that I’ve already spied this week.  And heck, the way things are going, I’ll probably see you walking down the street later that afternoon.  We do both live on the Upper West Side.

But, I have to be honest, Tina — I need some space.

It’s not you; it’s me.

You’re smart and funny and accomplished and, well, everywhere. You are dangerously close to be seriously overexposed.

A little less Tina would make us all appreciate you even more.

Let’s just enjoy the weekend…and after that?

We’re on a break.

Emmys Part II: Tina acting fey

Other people won Emmys Sunday night besides me.  Shocking, I know.

And overall, the winners were excited and gracious in their acceptance speeches.  Some were even funny — many intentionally so — which is always a highlight of the evening for me.

But then the Emmy for “Best Comedy” was awarded to ’30 Rock.’   This announcement was no great shock, but Tina Fey’s attitude continues to be.

I wonder if she ever takes the time to review her acceptance speeches.  The show — and Tina individually — have won enough times now that she has developed a definite persona on the awards show stage.   And here are the words I would use to describe it:  Entitled.  Ungrateful.  Pissy.

Comments like “Man, that was a nail biter” may have been her attempt to be funny, but pretty much dissed her competition in the category.  She followed that up by taking a shot at her own network with “Thanks, NBC, for keeping us on the air when we’re so much more expensive than a talk show.”  Nice way to bite the hand that feeds you there, Tina…especially since your ratings have never been as high as the critics’ opinion of you.

There are ways to be funny and gracious at the same time.  We’ve seen it over and over again at the Emmys, Oscars, even Golden Globes.  If you find saying ‘thank you’ so difficult, I’m sure the producers of any of the other comedies would be happy to take your place.

I’d certainly love to hear what they have to say.

I’d like to thank the Academy…

I won an Emmy last night!

I was an extra on an episode of “30 Rock” called ‘Reunion,’ and IT won a ‘Best Writing’ Emmy….which totally counts.

If you saw the episode — which was pretty darn hilarious — you may recall a majority of the action takes place at a high school reunion (duh) in an auditorium.  In the foreground lots of teenage angst is revisited by the major players; in the dark, poorly lit background, you kinda see some murky, indistinct figures dancing.

I was one of those gyrating guys and gals!

Now, that might not seem like much of a feat to earn an Emmy.  But just so you know — when you see people dancing in the background of a TV show, they are actually dancing to nothing.  No music.  Nada.  They have to fake dance moves in silence so the principals can speak their lines; the music you hear is added later.

Yeah, I know.  It is impressive.  And with that in mind….

I’d like to thank the Academy.  I’d also like to thank Central Casting for their belief in me.  And finally, I’d like to thank Tina Fey for being in my age range so I could play one of her former high school classmates…at a distance.