Jan 31, 2013

30 Rock Finale: Some Thoughts

Take a bow, Tina Fey. Take a frakking bow.
30 Rock ended its amazing run tonight, and I'm still trying to process it all. There were a lot of shout-outs to seasons past, some nods to other show finales, and some incredibly well-placed and fast-paced guest spots. Nancys Pelosi and Donovan turned up, Jenna finally showed a real emotion, and things really worked out for old Liz Lemon. I have some questions (when is Grizz & Herz coming to NBC?!), but for the most part I am very happy with how things turned out.

If I had to put into words how I feel about 30 Rock, I think it's best to quote the hit song from the Rural Juror musical: These were the best days of my...flurm.

For more thoughts on 30 Rock, check out our past articles on the show:

30 Things We'll Miss About 30 Rock

30 Rock's 100th Episode

30 Rock's Great 2nd Live Episode

That Time One Of Us Saw Tina Fey

Liz Lemon's Relationships, Ranked

Liz Lemon Wedding

TGS with Tracy Jordan: A Hellscape

Great 30 Rock Moments

Hipster Baby and 30 Rock

Jackie Jormp-Jomp and "Muffin Top"

Evaluating 30 Rock's Unaired Pilot

30 Rock's Final Week

Jack Donaghy's Many Lady Loves

Alias on 30 Rock

30 Things We'll Miss About 30 Rock

30 Rock ends its impressive 7(SEVEN!)-season run tonight at 8pm (7pm Central) on NBC, and we have been lamenting the loss for quite a while now.  Since we recently learned to count to 30 a few days ago, we thought is was only appropriate that we look at the 30 things we'll miss the most about one of the greatest shows of our time:

Jan 30, 2013

Dammit, Johnny! [30 Rock]

While trying to find the perfect videos to accompany our posts on Isabella Rossellini and 30 Rock, we stumbled across this gem of a video. It is difficult to describe exactly what this video makes us feel. However, it's almost impossible to look away:

Such beautiful insanity.

Alias on 30 Rock [30 Rock]

Liz Lemon's Intensity Would
Probably Scare Sydney Bristow
Lately, I have been very much obsessed with both 30 Rock and Alias. At Tableau your mind, we have been writing a lot about 30 Rock because the series finale is airing this Thursday, and we've been thinking about Alias because the stars of the show have been everywhere this awards seasonAlias also recently became available on Netflix Instant, which means my Facebook mini-feed is full of people discovering the show for the first time.  It got me thinking about how much the two shows relate to one another (and it's not just because both Sydney Bristow and Liz Lemon subvert Rikke Schubart's ideals of the female action hero as Mother, Daughter, Rape-Avenger, and Dominatrix, amirite?). While 30 Rock has certainly spent more time referencing LOST, the writers/casting agents do show a certain affinity for Alias.

In honor of both shows, I would like to highlight some of the few 30 Rock moments that took me right back to my favorite times with super-spy Sydney Bristow:

Jan 29, 2013

Jack Donaghy's Many Lady Loves [30 Rock]

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):

30 Rocks - A Sesame Street Parody

We're hitting a lazy streak, so here is the Sesame Street parody of 30 Rock that doesn't really make any sense. Still, it is still so much fun, and we all learned to count to 30!

Jan 28, 2013

30 Rock's Final Week

We're currently four days away from the end of 30 Rock. The one-hour finale will air, we will cry, and then it will be over. Unlike other great comedies like Seinfeld, Cheers, or even older comedies like The Dick Van Dyke Show or The Mary Tyler Moore Show (we've got a whole Mary Tyler Moore obsession over here), it's not clear yet what the impact of 30 Rock will be. If anything, it seems like networks are hauling butt in the opposite direction, choosing to develop shows with easily digestible comedy and empty jokes with no relevance to the characters or their motivations. Despite a lot of wonderful comedies on the air right now, it seems like 'smart' comedy is quickly falling away. This season will mark the end of 30 Rock, but also the end of The Office and the possible end of countless others (Don't Trust the B, Happy Endings, Ben and Kate, etc.). More than any other show, though, 30 Rock feels and has always felt like a show created for us: for TV nerds that missed countless sporting events, mitzvahs (both bar and bat), holiday celebrations, and community events so that we could spend more time with our beloved TV boxes, who were always there with a new episode of Pete and Pete or a re-run of Alias just when we needed it. For people that count television among their loved ones and cried during the Friends finale, not because it was really that great an episode, but because it was the end of an era, dammit!

Is this the time to wallow in our suffering, crying "LIZ LEMON!" to the heavens and a vengeful god? Perhaps, but it's also a time for reflection, for soaking in the joy that the show brought us. Regardless of the strength of 30 Rock's final episode this Thursday, there's no denying the brilliant seven seasons that have come before it, nor the momentous final season that we have seen, gifted to us by Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and all the other amazing people behind and in front of the camera.  We've followed Liz from the lettuce-hating creator of The Girlie Show to the woman that she is now: slightly more put-together, married with two children, still a hater of all things green and leafy, and the showrunner of the (just cancelled) TGS with Tracy Jordan. We've watched Jack wrestle with the contradictory nature of his conservative values and those of the hippie, 'feminista' employee that he loves so much. We've watched Liz and Jack Donaghy's relationship grow from antagonistic to friendly to pseudo-sexual to way-too-enmeshed to whatever they are now. We've seen Jenna go from a fame-loving nincompoop to a brilliant psychopath, hellbent on being famous no matter what the cost. We've been confused as Tracy Jordan does whatever it is Tracy Jordan does (WWTJD? IDK). We've enjoyed Kenneth as he used kindness to be continually fired and demoted, until he finally got the Head of Television for President of NBC title that was his all along (he loves TV so, so much). We've been simultaneously creeped out and overjoyed by the antics of Pete, Toofer, Frank, and Lutz, and we've stared too long at Cerie when we were supposed to be watching something else in the scene. We've cried with Jonathan, we've laughed with Colleen, and we've been shamed repeatedly by Jack's ex-wife Avery. We've even fantasized about astronaut Mike Dexter and considered settling with Wesley Snipes.

Now, more than ever, it's time to look back at the brilliance. We've spent many Thursdays enjoying 30 Rock, and we've spent the last few Thursdays looking at our favorite moments from the show. This week on Tableau Your Mind will be no different. We'll be checking in with old flames, favorite episodes, and missed moments. We'll be looking at Jack's relationships, 30 Rock's indelible mark on product placement, and so much more. Unless we're too busy crying - then we'll just be posting YouTube videos.

Jan 17, 2013

Jenna Sings "Muffin Top" [30 Rock]

Everyone Knows The Most Delicious Part of the Muffin...
Is The Top
We were going to really take time with our 30 Rock article this week, with insightful comments on Jack's relationships with women and quippy asides that really highlighted how much we love and appreciate the show.  However, we just got off the bumpiest and most nausea-inducing car-ride from Agra to New Delhi, and we're not feeling particularly inspired.

So, here is Jenna Maroney's "Muffin Top," a dance-pop techno hybrid which was, at one point, the number one song in Israel:

UPDATE: The previous videos we posted got deleted from the source, so here's a new one:

Jan 15, 2013

Victor Garber Confirms That He/Everyone is Gay

Victor Garber is so
embarrassed for you right now.
(image source)
Were you upset while watching The Golden Globes that not enough people casually came out?  And not in the way of casually coming out where some cool girl wears Chuck Taylors to her debutante ball and the whole garden club is scandalized. No, the coming out where someone is gay and always has been and it's embarrassing that you didn't know already.

Well, don't be upset any more. After Jodie Foster's confusing, rambling, and melancholic quasi-coming out speech at the Golden Globes, Victor Garber casually came out by finding it ridiculous that you didn't already know.

You didn't know that Victor Garber, the coolest man in the world and Sydney Bristow's dad, was gay? That's adorable. Sit down, we have to tell you some things about Santa Claus and Sylar from Heroes. They're both gay too. It's so cute that you didn't know that.

So, in conclusion, Victor Garber is gay, you should have already known, and it's incredibly attractive when you don't know something and your face makes that little confused puppy expression. This is just like that time we tried to explain K-Pop to you.

Jan 13, 2013

2013 Golden Globes Wrap-Up

Well, the Golden Globes happened, and it was about as unruly and bonkers as a controlled night of self-flattery can be. Hayden Panettiere showed up and looked old, Daniel Day Lewis won and also did the E.T. finger, Anne Hathaway thanked someone for ‘the best string of yesterdays’ she has ever had, and Dog President stars Darcy St. Fudge and Damian Francisco were robbed. Tableau Your Mind is currently in India, so we enlisted the help of guest blogger Bro-sie the Riveter, who is in Seattle, so that we can represent the most easterly and westerly people watching the Golden Globes:

Jan 10, 2013

30 Rock Unaired Pilot

Rachel Dratch and Jane Krakowski as Jenna
Everybody! Set your DVRs and your peepers, because 30 Rock returns tonight and starts the road towards the finale on January 31st. We're sad to see it go (but we love to watch it leave). On the road to the end, we'll be here every week look back at our favorite moments. Since we're moderately obsessed, there's a good chance that it will be way more often than once a week.

Since we're too sad right now to actually write anything, we thought we would give you a video that's been going around the internet today of the original, unaired pilot, wherein SNL-alum Rachel Dratch played Jenna DeCarlo, the character that would go on to be played by Jane Krakowski.

We're gigantic fans of Rachel Dratch, but this Sliding Doors version of 30 Rock would have deprived the viewing public of the many great characters that Dratch did play on the show, including that weird prostitute who kept shouting 'Valen-times', the Blue Dude, Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Taylor, and  Legreta "Greta" Johansen, the best cat-wrangler/Liz Lemon enthusiast east of the Allegheny. Plus, this version of Jenna is a little too close to Liz Lemon herself, and, just like the world doesn't need two Jenna Maroneys, it also doesn't need two Elizabeth Lemons.

White Diamonds!

Jan 3, 2013

Jackie Jormp-Jomp [30 Rock]

Let's all sit back and enjoy Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney as Janis Joplin Jackie Jormp-Jomp (née Janie Jimplin).  If you recall, Jenna starred in Sheinhardt Wigs' movie about Janis Joplin, but they couldn't get the life rights nor the song rights, so a lot of amazing things happened.

Like Yoplait Yogurt, it is so good.
Like Greek Yogurt, it is good for you.
Like Dannon Yogurt with fruit on the bottom, it is also so incredibly depressing:

skip to second 46 on this one:

Jan 1, 2013

Film Review: Les Miserables

The best thing that can be said of Les Miserables, the movie directed by Tom Hooper based on the musical of the same name (which itself is based on a novel by Victor Hugo), is that it doesn't fail for lack of trying. Sure, some of the performances are a little lazy, but at least it feels like work was put into the staging and execution. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a man who commits himself to God and goodly works after his release from jail and his fleeing from parole. He inadvertently wrongs the angelic and
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