|Jack Donaghy Loves You, Wants to Marry You.|
On 30 Rock Thursday Rock, we have looked at the many loves in Liz Lemon’s life. It’s only fair that we now focus on the women in the life of Liz’s friend/mentor, Jack Donaghy. For a man who boasts many an accomplishment in the bedroom (in an episode a few weeks ago he was a little too proud to be called a slut), Jack is actually the character who tries the hardest to find love and marriage. He gets engaged as often as Liz eats mediocre turkey subs, which is to say that he gets engaged a lot.
To fully understand Jack and his many engagements, we’re going to examine the women with whom he has had his most serious relationships on a few criteria: Their chemistry with Jack (1-10), their level of crazy (1-10), and the level of jealousy they felt towards Liz (1-10):
Bianca (Isabella Rossellini)
Jack’s first marriage, to Bianca, was filled with mind games and sexual one-upsmanship. They were too intense to last (like a brilliant, violent firework), but they were also too emotionally attached to separate. Bianca, though apparently cool-headed, freaked the freak out when she thought Jack was engaged to Liz, resorting to pulling Liz's hair, stripping her, and attempting to beat her with a broken wine bottle (see picture Right). Ah, L’amour!
Jack and Bianca were embroiled in a divorce settlement that lasted 18 years, and they are presumably still embroiled in a battle over a Telluride-based Arby's (Bianca loves her Big Beef and Cheddars). Many ladies have followed Bianca, but none have quite the same place in our hearts.
“I hate seeing Johnny happy!”
Charisma: 10 – Such fiery, age-appropriate chemistry
Liz Jealousy: 10
Phoebe (Emily Mortimer)
Jack moved on pretty quickly from Bianca, due to some not-so-gentle nudging by
Rip Torn Don Geiss. Phoebe, who is
only possibly British and could definitely be faking her devastating
combination of Avian Bone Syndrome (hollow bones) and Vertigo, is rude,
conceited, and works at an auction house that sells beautiful and violent
paintings of horses. In an attempt to have him all to herself, Phoebe convinces
Jack that Liz is in love with him, which causes a momentary rift in their
burgeoning friendship and sends Liz on a crusade of truth. Ultimately, though,
it’s the fact that Jack doesn't love Phoebe that permanently severs their
relationship. Well, that and the fact that she was causing him to have stress-induced
“Careful, my bones!”
Chemistry: 4 – They were cute together, but you can’t be both romantically compatible with someone AND accidentally fall asleep on top of her during sex.
Crazy: 9 – Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!
Liz Jealousy: 5
Congresswoman Celeste "CC" Cunningham (Edie Falco)
Jack and CC met while on opposing sides of a Sheinhardt Wigs fiasco, where, if memory serves, some tainted water runoff from a factory was turning local children orange. Of course, they only learned that they were on opposite sides after a night of no-holds barred sex that definitely included furniture with wheels (“I gave her the ottoman, and she walked out”). CC had some trust issues and a love of litigation, stemming from the time that a dog shot her face off and she sued. She was a Democrat, which gave Jack chills (not the good kind), but they overcame their differences to have a fairly healthy relationship. Their coupling didn't end in an engagement, but this was due mostly to their relationship ending prematurely in preparation for the writers’ strike (remember when that was a thing). In the show, their relationship ended because it was hard to keep the passion alive while living apart, but Jack really wanted to make it work, and, judging from his dating history, we assume a proposal would have been right around the corner.
So far, aside from his mostly off-screen relationship with Condoleezza Rice, this is Jack’s only former flame to have shown up on 30 Rock after their breakup, and she helped him out of a major governmental jam. So, props to her.
Liz: Well, I will leave you to it.
CC: 'It' meaning 'business'.
Liz: Of course. I call the movie Risky Business 'Risky It' because ‘it’ means business.
Chemistry: 6 – They always seemed a little awkward around one another, but apparently they were doing bonkers stuff to one another in the boudoir. They were very compatible
meat lovers pizza.
Crazy: 1 – Their relationship was doomed to end as soon as she revealed herself to be a certified Non-Crazy person.
Liz Jealousy: 0 – She understood.
Elisa Padriera (Salma Hayek)
It seems like, after CC, Jack was in the mood for a little crazy. He quickly hopped on the Padreira Loco-motive, which ran non-stop to Cuckoo Town, a suburb of Lunacy City (that might be too much wordplay). Elisa was hired by Jack to take care of his ailing mother Colleen (who got in numerous accidents that may or may not have been Jack’s subconscious attempts to kill her), and she quickly stood out for her ridiculous body and her ability to subdue Colleen with rapid-fire Spanish. Her Puerto Rican ways and working class background made her seem exotic and new, and Jack fell in deep. She was pretty awesome in the most confusing ways (she called Jack on his crap, she wore Battlestar Galactica t-shirts for no frakking reason, she was deeply religious, and she loves McFlurrys). Also, their relationship brought on one of the best moments in 30 Rock history, with the introduction of El Generalissimo. Jack was sure that she was ‘The One’, and Elisa was sure that Jack was ‘El Uno’, but ultimately their differences were too lengthy to mention and to overcome. Also, it turns out that Elisa once murdered her previous husband in a jealous rage, a type of rage that she was extremely prone to. She even had the nickname “La Viuda Negra” (The Black Widow), and Jack didn't need any of that nonsense. Still, rumor has it she’s returning for the finale this Thursday, and we hope she brings all of her nonsense with her.
“Lemon, isn't there a Slanket somewhere you should be filling with your farts?”
Compatibility: 10 – Honestly, everyone in the world has a 10 when it comes to Salma Hayek. She crosses all sexual-preference boundaries.
Crazy: 11 – Did we mention that she murdered her former husband? And was only let go because it was impossible to find an impartial jury after a song came out about her?
Liz Jealousy: 6 – At first the jealousy was a real issue, but then she realized that Liz was just Jack’s bro.
Nancy Doherty née Donovan (Julianne Moore)
Jack: I’ll wait. Not forever.
Nancy: I’ll try. Wicked hard.
Nancy: You look like a gay mortician in that suit.
Compatibility: 8 – Never has Jack been as fun-loving as when he was around Nancy, who definitely brought out the kid in him (not in a creepy way). Plus, she wore some insane red lingerie which you would think would clash with her hair but it didn’t.
Crazy: 4 – She wasn’t that crazy, but she did jump into a relationship with Jack right after she ended hermarriage, and she was a little crazed (though justifiably) when she found out that the second man she had ever slept with was currently sleeping with another woman.
Liz Jealousy: 2 – Nothing really, besides a few sideways looks and some comments about how progressive their relationship seemed.
Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks)
Avery is almost the last woman on this list, not because Jack hasn't dated anyone since, but because this was his last brush with a super-serious relationship. Avery was a CNBC anchor with amazing reporting skills and an even more amazing repartee with Mr. Donaghy. They quickly hit it off, and it was immediately clear that Jack had to try a lot harder to woo her. She was acutely aware of his tricks, able to spot a fake excuse a mile away, and wasn’t easily impressed. It took the one-two punch of creating a fake VIP lounge at TGS that Jon Bon Jovi had to attend and proving that his weird, dug-fueled call from Liz was in fact a real thing. The best thing about the start of their relationship was that it forced Jack to be on his “A” game, since she was clearly not his equal, but his superior. She rocked dresses that made her look like a slutty Grace Kelly, she gave him perfect gifts, and she was incredibly adept at hiding her walks of shame.
|Sure, they look like a dad dropping|
his daughter off at camp,
but it's love, dammit!
Jack started dating Avery after he had rekindled a friendship with Nancy but before he actually started dating her. However, he was soon embroiled in a multiple girlfriend situation, and he couldn’t choose which woman to move forward with. Avery represented everything new that could be accomplished; Nancy represented everything that he used to be. He chose Nancy, but a surprise pregnancy soon turned that all around. Jack married Avery and they had a baby, thus strengthening his bond with the hope of a brighter future, and all seemed right with the world. However, Avery was soon kidnapped by Kim Jong Il and forced to be an anchor on his terrible news program, effectively separating the couple for a year. When they finally reunited, some mutual infidelity and the need to constantly pretend that everything was normal led to their relationship being strained. They soon divorced, realizing that they were only together for their daughter and that they weren't really right for each other. This explanation was all a little too simplistic (and didn't reference their very real feelings for one another), but we're sure all of this will come up when Avery returns for the finale this week!
Jack: You can't control everything, Avery. Sometimes it's just fate.
Avery: Ugh, is there gay juice in the champagne?
Jack: See, I want you to teach our child how to say awesome stuff like that.
Avery: I would be a kick-ass mom.
Chemistry: 9 – They’re a lot of fun to watch.
Crazy: 7 – Her ultra-competitive nature sometimes makes her a little bananas, and her pregnancy hormones were nobody’s friend. Still, she’s no Bianca.
Liz Jealousy: 6 – There was some real tension there, but soon Avery, like every woman before her, realized that the platonic love that Jack and Liz share is inexplicable and also pretty harmless. However…
Elizabeth Lemon (Tina Fey)
As it is with all great comedies, there is a central love story that keeps everything together. This could be an actual love story or a friendship that acts as an adhesive for the rest of the show, keeping things together with strong bonds (ugh, extended metaphors are the worst). Liz and Jack, despite their differences, have formed an incredible friendship over the last seven seasons. It’s never turned explicitly romantic (there have been a few conversations, an accidental marriage), yet it remains one of the most intricate couplings on television. They have made us laugh, cry, and jack (that thing where you're so happy you throw up), and we've been happy to have them in our homes. We'll miss this relationship most of all.
Liz, while recovering from oral surgery: Jacky? He’s the best one. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Crazy: 10 – Oh, they’re both insane.
With almost all loose ends tied up in last week's episode, one of the last remaining questions is “Who will Jack end up with?” As previously mentioned, Elizabeth Banks and Salma Hayek are reportedly returning in the final hour, and Avery and Elisa are two great options for Jack. Still, in the same way that we wanted Liz to end up with Wesley Snipes, we kind of want Jack to end up with Bianca. That's the kind of crazy ending we can get behind.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments OR keep it to yourself. Your call.