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The Big Office and True Love Part Three

The Big Office and True Love Part Three

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To read the previous installment of this discussion, please read Part Two.

Non-Romantic Stand-Ins

Liz Lemler = Liz

"The Fighting Irish":

Liz Lemon:  Where do you see yourself in five years?
Liz Lemler:  Well, hopefully, I'll still be working for GE.  It's a great company for working moms.
Liz Lemon:  What?
Liz Lemler:  You know, in five years...I mean, I'm in a relationship right now.  By then, I'll probably have a couple kids, be living in the suburbs, just having it all, really.


Not only does she share a double L name, employment at TGS, the mistaken flowers, and her name being Liz, but the "having it all" life dream is something Liz talks about throughout the series, starting in "The Baby Show", which does preceed "The Fighting Irish", so Lemler saying it is very intentional.

 

In fact, "having it all", even to Liz Lemler, involves trying to work at GE and still be able to be a mom.  Lemler, basically, outlines all of Lemon's life goals.

The funny thing about Liz Lemler being a Liz Lemon Stand-In to me is that Lemler doesn't end up with Floyd, even though she dates him.  So, one could argue, that neither does Lemon, if the Stand-In factor holds true.

When Jack asks Liz where she sees herself in five years ("Succession"), she says that realistically, she sees herself teaching Improv on cruise ships.  Liz has the goal of "having it all", but doesn't necessarily, think or know if that is realistic for her.

Padma Lakshmi = Liz

Padma is the host for Top Chef, which is one of Liz's favorite TV shows and Jack takes a meeting with her in order to try and replace Liz as the host of Dealbreakers.



"The Problem Solvers":

Padma:  So, what would my time commitment be if I host this thing?  
Jack:  Honestly?  Two days a week.
Padma:  Wow, that's great.  Top Chef has all this traveling and all day shoots. 
If I could do this instead, I wouldn't be so grouchy and exhausted all the time.  My clothes wouldn't have food stains all over them.  I could actually find a balance between my work and being a mommy.  

Padma's hopes are Liz's hopes.  Liz is grouchy and exhausted all the time.  She gets food stains on her clothes.  And, Liz has been wanting to "have it all" and be a mommy since Season 1.  Jack realizes through his conversation with Padma, that the way he can help make that happen for her is through the Dealbreakers talk show.

Frank = Liz

When Frank is put in charge of the TGS with Tracy Jordan writers because Liz is shooting her Dealbreakers Talk Show, he transforms into Liz, dressing, eating, talking like her, claiming her office as his, and sharing her dream of wanting to "have it all".

 
                    

"Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001":

Frank:  I don't have to explain myself.  You dummies have no idea what it's like to be in charge.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be in my office, trying to have it all.

For more on trying to "have it all", please see Part Three of this essay (a.k.a. the end).

Sean, the Head Writer of Bruins Beat



Sean:  I know what it's like.  I'm the Head Writer of Bruins Beat.  Trying to have it all...it's wicked hard.

Liz meets her doppleganger in Boston when TGS with Tracy Jordan goes on the road and shares studio space with Bruins Beat.  Not only is Sean the Head Writer of Bruins Beat as Liz is with TGS and has a boss that makes his life crazy, but he also has the same goal Liz does in life of "having it all".

Process of Elimination

Dennis:  We're like Ross and Rachel, but just not gay.


Dennis Duffy, the Beeper/Rat King, is immature and never changes.  He's into self-glory and even though, it's easy to be with him, Liz can't go back to him because he's no good for her and she knows it.

 

Even though Dennis references his relationship with Liz being akin to Ross and Rachel, he considers them to be "gay" or stupid, which of course, shouts to the audience that he doesn't really get it.  Ross and Rachel were THE couple of Friends (yeah, Monica/Chandler were favorites, too, but they weren't a series long, making you wait for it couple) and didn't FINALLY stay together until the VERY last episode of the series.  Despite making us wait, the writers of the show were very clear that Ross and Rachel were Made For Each Other and for Dennis not to support that really shows how he views love. 

 

Conversely, Jack, while studying up on comedy, gets very into watching Friends and is eagerly wanting to know what happens with Ross and Rachel.

It should be mentioned that while Jack and Liz are set up as the main couple on 30 Rock in the same vein as Ross and Rachel from Friends, Liz is connected to being "a Monica" (by Jack in "Jack-Tor") and is said to look like Courtney Cox with Jenna's "good eye" ("Seinfeld Vision"). 

So, what's the deal?  Is Liz Rachel or is she Monica?  Or, perhaps both?  I figure she's the Rachel in the Ross/Rachel type relationship with Jack, but is Monica in the fact that she is foreshadowed to get married to her "friend" (technically, Ross/Rachel also ended up "married" after going to Vegas, but it didn't last). 

It can be argued that Jack displayed some jealousy over Liz possibly, getting back with Dennis in "Subway Hero" because of the look he gives Dennis when talking about Liz and the fact that Jack replaces Dennis from being a guest on TGS with a heroic bird.
 
 

When Liz is making her Pros and Cons list on whether or not to break up with Dennis, she writes "Jack likes Dennis" under both columns.

Dennis has some good qualities.  Liz likes that he brings her food and that it's easy to be with him because there are no expectations and she can just be herself.  But, the downside?  He tried to throw her in front of a subway train just to make himself feel better.



In "Apollo, Apollo", Liz states that Dennis was NOT the love of her life.

When Liz revisits old boyfriends in "Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land", she goes to see Dennis, who is attempting to recreate the Balloon Boy situation with a kid named Jose.  Liz, realizing that Dennis hasn't change, walks away.

Jamie

Jamie, the coffee delivery guy is 17 years younger than Liz.  He's hot and gives her a chance to experience new things, but, he doesn't work out because she feels too old for him, especially, after seeing him with his mother, who just happens to look similar to her. 

While Jaime made her feel good about herself, Liz can't handle dating a younger man and doesn't want to be a cougar.



Astronaut Mike Dexter



In "Sun Tea", we are introduced to Astronaut Mike Dexter, who is Liz's fantasy man.  In "Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001", we get to see and hear him in one of those fantasies, in which she is a rich blonde mother, who drinks milkshakes and is involved with a handsome astronaut, who fulfills her relationship hopes from "Gavin Volure":

Astronaut Mike Dexter:  I have to go back into Space, Liz.  I hope you enjoyed the kissing, followed by my genuine interest in that TV dance competition.  

Liz's fantasy is interrupted by Pete, dragging her back into reality with TGS crazy.

In "Anna Howard Shaw Day", Liz claims that her boyfriend, Astronaut Mike Dexter will be picking her up ("on his motorcycle") after her oral surgery.  Her ride home ends up being Jack, so does that make Astronaut Mike Dexter = Jack?  I don't know.  Jury's still out on that one.

Mrs. Lemon:  I can’t tell you what to do Liz, but I know, from experience, that guy, that perfect guy is out there.

In a flashback from "The Moms", Liz’s mom (looking like a younger Liz) is arm in arm with a guy named Ed (played by the actor who plays Astronaut Mike Dexter) , who she dated in high school.  Ed [Aldrin] went off to be an astronaut and Mrs. Lemon settled for Liz’s dad, Dick Lemon.

Liz meets with Buzz and after Buzz explains that he would’ve put Margaret (Liz’s mom) through Hell, Liz comes to the conclusion that the Moms were right in suggestions of settling and that Astronaut Mike Dexter doesn’t exist.  Part of the story seems like a good lesson for Liz in that good can come out of something you didn't see coming, but part of it seems like a way for Mrs. Lemon to force Liz's hand just so she can produce grandchildren.

Mrs. Lemon to Liz:  Would you please find yourself someone, and start a family before my heredity dementia sets in?

Buzz Aldrin and Jack were both in Vanity Fair’s Awesome Gentlemen issue.  Does that parallel mean that Jack is Liz's perfect life or that he would ruin her life if they got together? 

Liz actually meets "Mike" (played by the same actor who plays Astronaut Mike Dexter) at Floyd's wedding.  He's a single lawyer and he agrees to be Liz's date for the wedding (so she can get out of her date with Wesley).  Things seem great until Mike confesses he's a Plushie, meaning he "belongs to a group of like-minded people who dress up in mascot costumes and have orgies in hotel rooms and state parks".  After her encounter with Floyd's friend, Mike, Liz is so disgusted that she goes straight to Wesley and suggests that they get married.

Carol



Carol is Liz's Astronaut Mike Dexter come to life.

Liz meets Carol (in "I Do Do") when he mistakes her for Wesley when dealing with his insurance claim.  Carol is a "doorman to the sky" and is pretty much everything Liz wanted.  Instead of him being an astronaut, Carol is a pilot.  Carol and Liz both hate people.  Carol loves TGS (he calls it "the greatest thing ever on Television" and even loves the Fart Doctor sketches) and would implement Sky Law on the passengers on his plane if they ever besmirched it  As soon as Liz finds out about Carol's love for TGS, she asks him if he believes in fate and asks him to go to Cerie's wedding with her.

Liz makes a speech to Wesley, reaffirming her belief in love and how she thinks that Carol is "the one":

Liz:  Carol is the one that I was fated to meet.  And, yeah, I've only known him for a few hours and maybe this sounds crazy, but I already feel like I could spend the rest of my life with him.  He's the one that I've been waiting for and someday, when Carol sees my disgusting foot secret, he's gonna be okay with it, I can tell.  You were wrong, Wesley.  We don't have to settle.  The Moms were wrong.  Stupid Buzz Aldrin was wrong.

Carol runs from the wedding after hearing Liz's speech, but comes back looking for her, after realizing that nobody can be perfect and he is willing to look passed her foot problem and crazy speech-giving.  He's even really cool about Jenna and Paul, which Liz thinks would freak him out.

In "The Fabian Strategy", we find out that Carol calls Liz "Lizzie", which, interestingly enough, is what Jack calls her in Liz's dream that they are married and having a Meat Cat baby in "Verna".



When Carol and Liz start dating, they are having to deal with long-distance in their relationship and set up meets at Starwins hotels when he's in town.  They both answer "Did I do that?" when asked if they would rather have to start every sentence for the rest of their lives with Urkel's catchphrase or be Siamese Twins with Sharon Stone for a year.  They both like the Barefoot Contessa, sweater weather, and when Muppets present at awards shows.

In order to help Lemon have an adult relationship (even though Liz considers it "perfect" with Carol), Jack books up all the rooms in every Starwin Hotel in the city to force Carol to have to stay at Liz's apartment, much to her dismay. 

James Franco and Kimiko



In "Klaus and Greta", Liz has a three-way with James Franco and his body pillow, Kimiko.

I'm pretty sure we can assume that this will never happen again.

Danny

Danny's real name is "Jack", but Jack doesn't want there to be two Jacks within TGS, so he changes the new TGS cast member's name to "Danny".

Jack enjoys hanging out with Danny because he is the only guy at work he can share manly camaraderie with.  Danny confesses to Jack that he's having a relationship with a woman he works with and Jack thinks it's fun to be in on the know until he figures out that the woman is Liz. 

Liz is the Jack in her relationship with Danny and when Jack tells her to end things with Danny for the good of the show, she considers it a double standard.  Liz was going to break up with Danny, but when he is dressed like her C.H.I.P.S. fantasy, she caves and decides to continue to see him.



Liz argues with Jack about Danny, saying that Jack is free to hang out with Danny anytime, but that he has a problem with the fact that Danny is with her.  Basically, Danny is another Floyd. Liz doesn't take her relationship with Danny seriously, though.  She considers him a "handsome, goof-around, make-out buddy". 

 

Jack makes the case that Danny can't be his "alpha male wingman" and his [Danny's] boss' "little scrump-nugget" because they're incompatible.  In order to win their little competition to see who gets to keep Danny, Jack convinces Danny to breakup with Liz because he [Jack] is in love with Liz.

Jack:  My secret is...I'm in love with Liz Lemon.
Danny:  What?  
Jack:  It's true.  It was love at first sight.  I ache for her, sexually.  How could I not?  I'm entranced by those mud-colored eyes, set back in that skin.  And, her laugh.  Her walk.  That splay-footed walk.  And, that whole situation [her butt as she bends over] right there.  


Jack is so convincing that Danny decides to end it with Liz.

When Liz finds out the real reason Danny didn't want to see her anymore, she confronts Jack about it.

Liz:  The reason that he gave me was that someone else here is in love with me.  
Jack:  It was my only move, Lemon, and it was hard, believe me.  
Liz:  What did you say you loved about me?  Did you talk about my body?  Did you say how you like to watch me dance?  Yeah, you like that?
Jack:  You're embarassing yourself, Lemon.  
Liz:  It started out as a joke, but it's becoming RRREEEAAALLL


Is that meta?  Do Jack's feelings for Liz start as a joke, only to become real by the end of the series?  I think so.

Liz makes a similar joke about Jack's feeling for her in "Khonani" when she says " Sometimes, when try so hard to find love, you can't see that it's been standing in front of you the whole time."

I think it's reasonable to assume that through her experience with Danny, we've learned that Liz can't be with someone she manages.  But, that wouldn't stop her from dating someone above her, professionally, like Jack.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley [to Liz]:  I don't think we were meant to be together.

Liz met Wesley at the dentist's office on Anna Howard Shaw Day (A.K.A. Valentine's Day).  While they were both hopped up on anesthesia, Liz put Wesley in her phone contact list as "Future Husband" and he put her in his phone contact list as "Future Wife".

Wesley [to Liz]: We're like Russ and Rebecca on Chums.

After the anesthesia wore off, Liz didn't know who "Future Husband" was, but found out that he was English and he made her laugh.  To find out his true identity, Liz uses trickery as suggested by Kenneth because "deceit is okay if it's done for love" and sets it up so she and Wesley are back at the dentist's office together.  She calls him while in the waiting room and Wesley picks up the phone, which let's her know he is her "future husband".  He calls the number back and Liz is revealed to be his "future wife".

 

Wesley to Liz:  The only thing wrong with me is that you hate me.

Liz and Wesley go out for coffee and do their "sibling listing", but realize very quickly that they share nothing in common and don't even like each other.  Their coffee date is so awkward that the waitress gives them separate checks without asking and a priest comes over and asks them who they'd lost.

The universe keeps pushing Wesley and Liz together, though.  Wesley finds Kenneth's wallet and comes to TGS to return it to him.  Liz and Wesley buy movie tickets to see Hot Tub Time Machine for the same showing. 

"Future Husband":

Dr. Kaplan [to Liz and Wesley]:  You think you found "The One" in my Recovery Room?

Note:  Dr. Kaplan's use of "The One" is a callback to the Season 3 episode, "The Ones" and Colleen Donaghy's first instinct about Liz.

Liz and Wesley decide to go back to Dr. Kaplan's Recovery Room to find out what their connection was and realize it was just the anaesthesia.  They delete each other from their phones, only to meet one more time due to Wesley's "footcycle" accident with Liz's cab.  Wesley comes to the conclusion that the universe wants them to settle for one another.

"Don Geiss, America, and Hope":

Wesley [to Liz]:  I think Fate is telling us this is the best we're ever gonna get.  We're each other's Settling Soulmates.

Liz refuses to settle for Wesley and walks away from him, reaffirming her belief in romantic love.

Because she doesn't want to go to Floyd's wedding by herself, Liz makes a decision to settle and asks Wesley to be her date.  In "I Do Do", when Liz and Wesley are on their way to one of the weddings, they attempt to kiss each other, but are both disgusted by it when they do.  So, not only does Liz hate Wesley as a person, she isn't attracted to him at all.

In "I Do Do", Liz breaks up with Wesley by way of "textual transmission" because Liz believes and explains to Wesley, that fate wasn't trying to bring them together, but rather using Wesley to help her meet Carol. 

The only woman he's ever really loved?

"Do-Over" (written by Tina Fey) gives us bits of potentional foreshadowing for the Jack/Liz relationship.

Jack:  Liz, it's not what you think.  Kathy and I are just working together.  Kathy, you know my lover, Liz.
Liz:  That better be true, Jack.  Or, I'll make both of you disappear, just like I did with Vivianne...and Patch.
Jack:  Don't be ridiculous, Liz.  You know you're the only woman I've ever really loved.


It'd be a great triumph in writing for this to come into play at the end of the series, with Jack genuinely saying that Liz is the only woman he's ever really loved, instead of just being words in a fake soap opera for Kathy Geiss, in order to get her to hire him on as an advisor.

Jack has loved a lot of women (even to the point of telling them that he loves them and proposing to them), but Liz might turn out to be the only woman he's ever really loved.  All the stand-ins involved in Jack's life could end up just being practice for the real thing.

Parallelism

I've noticed that in TV, when you have a couple who are supposed to end up together or just simply, the main characters of the story, they get paralleled in storylines, shot compositions, or character traits.

Jack and Liz have had two big paralleled storylines that I can think of.  One being how they switch roles and have to walk in each others' shoes.  Jack tries to be a writer in "Jack the Writer" and an actor in "Jack-Tor" and Liz tries to be an executive in "Succession".  The other storyline would be in the romance department, with them both having to decide on whether to go for it with true love or stay with their dream jobs.

In "Gavin Volure", we (along with Liz) find out that Jack has written a historical fictional story about the Germans winning the war, which is the second reference (Jack also wrote a book on business that Floyd reads) to Jack being a writer like Liz.

 
 

Jack and Liz have a ritual of "psyching" themselves up in front of a mirror before big events.

 

Jack is impressed that like him, Liz knows how to speak in German, which comes back into play for "Episode 210".

  

Jack and Liz both have Wagner as their cell phone ringtones ("Cleveland" and "Somebody To Love"), even though their reasons for having Wagner are different.  He listens to classical music and she likes Elmer Fudd ("kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit").

In "Apollo, Apollo", both Jack and Liz have bodily functions nicknamed after them. 

Laughing + Whizzing = Lizzing
Excitement + Vomiting = Jacking

In "Gentleman's Intermission", Jack refers to himself as a shark while it's been pointed out by Jack and his mother, Colleen, that Liz has shark eyes.

The Fighting Irish and Lemon Parties

If Jack and Liz are going to end up together as a couple, they need to get to know each other's families and be embraced by them. 

The first members of Liz's future in-laws we meet are Jack's father, brothers, and sisters in "The Fighting Irish", who almost symbolically, welcome Liz into the family by involving her into the Donaghy family brawl on the TGS set. 

In "Gavin Volure", Liz talks about how she doesn't like to meet new people because she has to do a lot of nodding and "sibling listing".  Things would be easy with Jack, should they get romantically involved, because she's already met all of his siblings and he's met her brother, Mitch.

  
   
  
    

Jack is impressed by how Liz can take a punch and they apply ice on their wounds together.  Of course, "The Fighting Irish" is not the first time Liz gets into a fight and can take it.  She gets into a fight with another member of Jack's family [his ex-wife] in "Black Tie", which results into Jack appying ice to her head in order to help take care of her.

 

The next member of the Donaghy clan we (along with Liz) get to meet is Colleen, Jack's mother, in "Hiatus".  We hear about her before then, just from phone conversations, that she is not a pleasant woman to be around and who causes problems in Jack's life.

When we actually get to see her and are introduced to her, Colleen takes to Liz right away, mistaking her for Phoebe, Jack's fiance'.

 

"Hiatus":

Colleen:  [Looks at Liz.]  Well, well, well, well, well....ah ha.  This must be the one.  Huh?  Phoebe.  
Liz:  [Motions to Colleen that she is not Phoebe.]
Colleen:  Welcome.
Jack:  No, no, no...
Liz:  No, I'm...
Colleen:  Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Jack:  Mother, mother...this is not Phoebe.
Liz:  Noo, noo...
Colleen:  This is NOT Phoebe?
Jack:  [Shakes his head.]
Collen:  Well, why the hell not?  I mean, she's perfect.  Character.  She got strength of character.  And, I'll tell you something else.  She's got a good solid baby bucket.
Liz:  [Laughs.]  You are a sassy old broad, aren't you?


Liz and Colleen's introduction scene is the first time that the concept of "the one" is mentioned on the show, interestingly enough, connecting Liz to being "the one" for Jack.  Later, in Season 3, there will be an entire episode dedicated to it.

In Season 4's "The Moms", Colleen once again discussion the concept of "the one" with Liz:

Liz:  I just haven’t met “The One” yet.
Colleen:  Oh, for cryin’ out loud.  You see, that’s what Feminism does.  It makes smart girls with nice birthing shapes believe in fairytales.  Stop waiting for your prince, Liz. 
Liz:  I’m not waiting for a prince.  I’m waiting for Astronaut Mike Dexter...who turns out to be the secret king of Monaco.
Colleen:  Liz, you’re almost 40.  You’re not gonna find some new kinda man.  Whoever “The One” is, you probably already met him.


Liz has probably already met her "one"?  That narrows things down a bit. 

Maybe it's just me, but I find it cute that both Jack and his mother (on two separate occasions) comment on Liz having "shark eyes".

  

Colleen returns in "Ludachristmas", is excited to see Liz, not so excited to learn about C.C., and spends Christmas with the Lemon family.

 

In "The Natural Order", Liz offers to hang out with Colleen in order to give Jack a break from his mother.

In "Christmas Special", Liz offers to go visit Colleen at Jack's apartment, after Jack hits his mother with his car.  I found this scene to be interesting for two reasons:

1) Liz says " Merry Christmas, Mrs. Donaghy" and I thought that was odd since she had hung out with Colleen twice prior.  Why so formal?  Part of me thinks it's because Liz needs to get used to saying "Mrs. Donaghy" because that's how she'll introduce herself and respond to people in the future. This, of course, happens in Season 5's appropriately titled episode, "Mrs. Donaghy". What's weird about the episode is that Jack is supposed to marry Avery, but Liz ends up as the Mrs. Donaghy (or, technically, the Mrs. Lemon-Donaghy) of the episode.

2) Jack mentions to Liz that the doctor who examined Colleen post-accident said that she needed to be around family and she was.  Colleen was surrounded by Jack and Liz, insinuating that Liz was family.  Another Mrs. Donaghy of sorts.

 

In Season 3, Jack finds out that Jimmy Donaghy is not his real father and even though, at first, he doesn't want to find out who it is, Liz helps and encourages him to set up a "Mamma Mia" situation.



Liz knows that Milton is Jack's real father after he delivers a derogatory remark about her shoe choice, which is similar to Jack's early remarks to her shoes being "bi-curious", showing not only how well she knows Jack, but how attuned she is to his family.



After hearing about Liz's parents and brother, Mitch, we finally get to meet them in "Ludachristmas" and they all take to Jack right away.

 

Dick Lemon to Jack:  I'll bet any girlfriend of yours is a real winner!

Jack finds Liz's parents strange, but loves their encouragement.  He's even jealous of Mitch's condition that causes him to think President Reagan is still in office. 

The Lemons bring Jack a Christmas present and invite him to spend time with them, which he does, skating at Rockefeller Center and going out to dinner.

 

The Lemons and Donaghys finally meet each other in "Ludachristmas" and celebrate Christmas together and I don't know anybody else, but that is a very couple-y thing to do. 

Liz:  You wish you were in my family.
Jack:  Oh!  Don't be ridiculous...so, this, uh, Disney cruise in March?  Are you in or out?


 

The Lemons and Jack wear the same sweater, which symbolically, invite Jack into the family (much like Liz fighting with the Donaghys does with her).  They even take a family photo.  Liz even makes a comment about Jack wanting to be IN her family.

In "Future Husband", Liz and Jack share a flight on the "Hug Plane", which is similar to how Liz and her family greet each other in "Ludachristmas".

Speaking of Jack and Liz and Christmas...

In "Secret Santa", Jack and Liz agree to exchange Christmas gifts.  Liz struggles to find the perfect gift for Jack, but he takes it very seriously, telling her that "gift-giving is the purest expression of friendship".  He goes on to explain that in order to find her gift, he'll think about what he knows and likes about Liz. 

Liz tries to get Jack a tie.  She tries writing him a song.  Suggest a drawing of a frog.  But, she can't find the perfect gift.

Jack gets Liz a framed ticket of "The Genderblind Crucible" that she performed in during high school. 

Jack tells Liz not to worry about his present because he already got the greatest Christmas gift you could imagine:  Nancy coming back to say good-bye.  Turns out that Liz is the reason Nancy returns because Liz calls in a bomb threat to Penn Station. 

The exchange showcases how well Jack knows Liz and how little she knows Jack, but in the end, Liz DOES get Jack what he wants by understanding and seeing his need to reach back to his roots with Nancy.

DaddyJack, MommyLiz, and TGS, their Out of Control Child



Liz:  Yes, this place is not ideal, but these weirdos are family to me.


Jack and Liz have different jobs and different roles within the company and TGS, but at the very heart of what they do all comes down to them having to take care of the crazy around them.  Their roles as supervisor and manager turn into father and mother when it comes to Tracy, Jenna, Kenneth, Jonathan, and well, everyone.

In "Do-Over", Liz talks about how the "weirdos" at TGS are family to her.  "Oprah" in "Believe in the Stars" points out to Liz that she's letting Tracy and Jenna fill the role of children in her life.  In "Into the Crevasse", Liz tells Pete that Tracy and Jenna are like children and going as far as explaining that Jenna is immune to whiskey and Tracy is afraid of juice.  

 

Tracy tells Jack in "Rosemary's Baby" that he's the only family he needs after Jack pretends to be his father (mother, the white dude his mom left his dad for, and Mrs. Rodriguez) to help him get over his need to dogfight.  In "The Bubble", Jack says that he thinks of the staff as a family and Tracy replies that it's better than a family because nobody asks him for his bone marrow.  In "The One With the Cast of Night Court", when Liz tells Tracy that he and Kenneth can't shoot their revised Night Court finale, he screams for Jack to get a different answer, much like a child going to get Dad's say when Mom tells him "No".

Another TV example of a series using this same kind of family dynamic is TNT's The Closer.  Granted, Chief Pope and Deputy Chief Johnson are not a couple (though, they had been in the past), but they represent the same idea.  Chief Pope (Dad) is Brenda's boss, while Brenda (Mom) oversees the Priority Homicide Division (Kids), similarily to Jack (Dad) being Liz's boss and in turn, Liz (Mom) oversees the TGS writing staff and stars (Kids).

The L.A. Times referred to Jack and Liz as "the bickering parents of the over-diagnosed post-modern family".  Exactly, L.A. Times.  EXACTLY.

In "Khonani", Kenneth tells Jack that he'll call him when he gets to Tracy's house so that he'll know he's safe and tells him "I love you" like a son would do and say for/to his father.  Also, in "Khonani", Liz says "After four years, I thought I was close with these people.  I thought we were a family."

Liz:  I may not have a real family, but, I thought, at least, I had one at work.  

In "Khonani", when Tracy's dog attacks the party Liz throws for Ceri in honor of her upcoming nuptials, Liz sacrifices herself for her "children".

Toofer:  Look, if this is a family, that makes you the mom.

 
 
  
  
 
 
  
 
 
   
 


In "Sun Tea", Jack and Liz discuss having children.  Liz, of course, has wanted a baby since Season 1, but Jack has never shown any interest, although, apparently, he has in the past. 

Liz:  Well, I love my building, but if I'm gonna buy a place, it should be a big place where I can have a family.
Jack:  Then, spend some of your Dealbreakers' money.  Buy two apartments.
Liz:  What?
Jack:  You know why my place is so big?  When I was first married to my ex-wife, we were in the basement.  Over the years, I kept buying the floors above me to make room for the family I thought we'd have.


Later in "Sun Tea", Jack discusses parenthood with Tracy, after witnessing the trouble Don Geiss has with his kids.

Jack:  I've been thinking a lot about family, lately.  About my legacy.  I've been watching a friend go through an ordeal with his children and it has only affirmed that I was not meant to have any of my own.  And, that I never will.  

After coming through the realization that he doesn't want children, Jack makes an appointment with Dr. Spaceman to have a vasectomy.  While sitting in the waiting room, Tracy, Jr. helps Jack realize that even though sometimes, having kids can cause stress, the happy times are worth it.  Jack bonds with Tracy, Jr. over his acrostic homework, causing Jack to tear up and leave his appointment and reject the vasectomy. 

 

Jack:  Tracy, I wanna have children.  I want those memories, no matter what the cost.  And, I have to pass on this head of hair.

Post-"Sun Tea", both Liz AND Jack want to have children and in "I Do Do", Nancy tells Jack that it's fate for him to be a dad.

In "Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter", Jack says that if he was with someone his own age, he'd miss out on a lot of things he'd want, like a family.  Will he choose to be with someone younger than him like Liz to have a family?

In "Verna", Liz has a dream that she is married to Jack and having his Meat Cat (the Cheesy Blasters' mascot) baby.  Jack holds her hand (both of their hands have wedding rings on them) while she's in labor and calls her "Lizzie'.

Is it just a side-effect of eating too much Cheesy Blasters or is Liz dreaming of being married to Jack and having their baby because that's her idea of "having it all"?



To continue with this essay, please read Part Four.

  • Re: Jazz!

    Yeah, I definitely think Jack/Liz is a couple that is a big payoff by the end of the series and it's more fun for us that way.
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