Character Spotlight: Liz Lemon

by Judi

sandwich-day-liz-red-dress Show: 30 Rock

Character: Liz Lemon

Actor: Tina Fey

Basically: The intrepid Liz Lemon, introduced perkily in the 30 Rock pilot as this generation’s That Girl, is the creator and head writer of Friday night sketch show TGS with Tracy Jordan, formally The Girlie Show starring her longtime friend Jenna Maroney.

As the series moves into its fourth season, we now know a little bit more about old Liz Lemon. Actually, we know a lot more. Too much, in fact. In brief, the show is pretty much her entire life. Her love life is a disaster (see Dennis, Conan, Wayne Brady, Floyd and Jon Hamm), she has the appetite of a greedy trucker, and everyone around her is either crazy or a complete mess. Oh, and her best friend/mentor is her arrogant, ultraconservative boss Jack Donaghy.

A few other things-

-Will throw a trident if you steal her food.

– When she was eight, her name was on the scoreboard at a Phillies game but they misspelled it as Lez Lemon.

– She was rejected by two men who later went to clown college

– She reads the newspaper every day (“Yeah, suck it- I DO read the paper.”)

– Allergic to dogs because she got bitten by a dog on the day she got her first period.

– Went to elementary school with Sheryl Crow (“Oh, I’m a kidney!”)

– Speaks remedial German.

– “Liz is generally pretty racist.”

– Enjoys Star Wars (to the point of dressing up as Princess Leia to get out of jury duty, which works in Chicago but, sadly, not in New York)

Why We Love Her: Old Liz Lemon represents a new kind of modern woman- the woman who throws herself completely behind her career, wakes up and realizes she’s now thirty-five and most likely missed her window to marry a cute boy and have lots of babies (“I’m going to buy the dress, have a baby and then I’m going to die and meet a super cute guy in heaven.”) Instead of handling this all gracefully, Liz is kind of a mess- grappling with the stress and daily crazy of her nonstop work life by inhaling greasy sandwiches, fastening her bra together with tape, forgetting to go to the dentist until her tooth falls out during a meeting, and then somehow pulling herself up and vowing, once more, that this will in fact be her year.

She’s also purely lovable for her outward geekiness- her Star Wars and Sims references, her awkward clothing choices (“Those shoes are definitely bicurious”), her habit of being caught in humiliating circumstances in front of a room of men, getting lettuce stuck in her hair, enjoying a bird museum in Germany, studying Theater Tech etc etc.

Favorite Moments: I honestly don’t think I can pick just one. Liz loping down the hall just like the muppet version of herself, her reaction to everyone watching her phone sex commercial (“I’m lizzing! I’m LIZZING!”), her hiss and recoil when ex-boyfriend Floyd makes an unexpected appearance at her door in the morning (“CRONE!”), her strange robot-dancing for Dr. Spacemen.

Check Tina Out In: For some reason, E! sometimes plays Saturday Night Live episodes but only the same six SNL episodes. So be sure to check out some of Tina’s Weekend Update work on the Steve Martin, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Olsen Twins, Ashton Kutcher or Christina Aguilera episodes on E!. Mean Girls is also a classic- definitely a notch above when it comes to standard teen entertainment fare. And if you haven’t seen Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, well. Welcome back to planet Earth, friend. I’m sure you’ll enoy what you see.

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