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Liz & Jack’s Professional Romance

December 10, 2009

Published by Ozarks Unbound
November 13, 2009
By Bethany Larson
Ozarks Unbound

Liz Lemon’s love life is lackluster.
The woman, who is a hybrid of geek-chic meets understated attractiveness (i.e. a seemingly perfect combination), has self-esteem problems that are more pathetic than haplessly charming, and she seems more content going home to her take-out and “Top Chef” than she does when she has someone to snuggle up to. That being said, if you had dated some of the guys she has on “30 Rock,” you’d probably be happier alone too.
There was the original on-again-off-again boyfriend, Denny, who was sleazy and gross and needed to be permanently purged from her life. Then there was Gray, better known as “The Hair,” who had potential, but turned out to be her third cousin.  And then came my personal favorite, Floyd. He was actually a great match for Liz, but, of course, he moved to Cleveland. And we can’t forget Drew, played by the  swoon-worthy John Hamm (“Mad Men”), but he was shallow and oblivious to reality and had to be done away with.
So, basically, Liz’s love life sucks.
However, she and Jack Donaghey (Alec Baldwin) make a seemingly perfect match. She’s a liberal, nerdtastic, pop culture-referencing comedy writer and he’s a conservative, manipulating, politics-referencing GE executive. If that isn’t a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is.
Fans have long wanted to see Liz and Jack be more than friends, and Thursday’s episode, “The Problem Solvers,” plays on their palpable romantic tension by pitting them against each other. Over a very date-like dinner, Jack offers to produce a talk show, which Liz would host, based on her best-selling book Dealbreakers. Liz happily accepts, and everything seems hunky dory.
That is, until Liz tells Jenna and Tracy of this venture, and they advise her to get an agent and shop the deal around. Liz sees the sense in this and because it’s “just good business,” she takes their advice. Jack, of course, is offended and then decides to produce the show with or without Liz since NBC holds the rights to the “dealbreaker” idea. Although Liz threatens to sue and Jack chats up the lovely Padma Lakshmi to host, he soon realizes that he doesn’t want to change Padma’s life–he wants to change Lemon’s!
In a scene straight out of (several) romantic comedies, Liz and Jack run toward each other, amidst soft lighting and a circling camera, and Jack proclaims, “It’s you. It’s always been you. I want to do business with you Lemon.”
Capitalizing on the viewer’s desire to see Liz and Jack have a more-than-sort of-flirtatious relationship, the “30 Rock” writers do just that–though not in the way the viewers imagined. With this new scenario of Jack producing a show specifically designed for Liz, perhaps viewers will finally see their relationship grow into something more than finishing one another’s snarky retorts.

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