My senior quote was, “I want to go there,” a seemingly unintentional and ambiguous line from none other than 30 Rock’s main character Liz Lemon, played by writer, actor, and playwright Tina Fey. Initially, it may seem that I did not care about my senior situation and that I made a joke out of it. That’s only partially true. I care about my senior quote, and that’s why I decided to make a joke of it, just like Liz Lemon would do.
30 Rock is a full-fledged comedy series loosely based on Tina Fey’s life as a sketch comedy writer for Saturday Night Live. The lead, Liz Lemon, is a 42-year-old lead writer for a show called “TGS with Tracy Morgan” and for that reason, she repeatedly renews attacks of sexism, workplace stress, and life crises. . . every day.
Despite all of this, Liz Lemon continues, even if it means consuming enough “cheesy blasters”, crying in the halls of Rockefeller Center, or sabotaging her love life for the sake of her show. 30 Rock is hilarious and I watched all seven seasons from the time I was 13 until the end when I was 15.
Liz Lemon became my idol, and so did Tina Fey. My love of writing actually comes from television series as opposed to books. The way that 30 Rock both relevant issues and layers of (layered) humor included in the writing interested me as a teenager. The fact that the show was centralized around the life of a woman who was the lead writer for a television show was serendipitous.
For those who watch 30 Rock, it is known that Liz Lemon is a very flawed character. She honestly disrespects herself enough, she prioritizes work too often over her own health, and her moral compass is a bit off. . . out. But, she does what she loves and gets things done.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abiXFzuhRxQ (/ embed)
I looked at Liz Lemon because I love television, I love writing, I was socially awkward, and I wanted to get things done. Afterwards 30 Rock I became interested in the life story of Tina Fey and I bought her book, Bossypants. When a 16-year-old grew into myself and tried to evaluate my self-worth, I was grateful for this book.
Tina Fey’s life is parallel to many events in Liz Lemon’s life (intentionally), and I identified myself with career goals in fields that were mostly male-dominated. For too long, women were not even given the chance to be funny. Women were probably “bad” at making jokes; comedy and ladylike were mutually exclusive. These perceptions were a bit ahead of my time, but prejudice still remained and I was embarrassed by my interests in raw humor.
Tina Fey defeated many of these barriers through her rise to fame as the first female lead writer for Saturday Night Live and as her eventual debut as an actor on the show. I thought about how insane her success in entertainment was and how hard she had to work for her performance. The same thoughts apply to Liz Lemon.
A senior quote is meant to sum up your life in middle school, or damage the future in an inspiring way. I chose “I want to go” because it was stupid and I really wanted to go there. In my head, “there” meant a fulfilling life where I worked hard and basked in the success I earned. Liz Lemon’s life is a mess, but she always worked hard and remained largely true to herself. So yes, I would still like to.