30 Rock

2340 Words Jun 20th, 2018 10 Pages
The typical episode of the critically acclaimed, indie-darling, sitcom 30 Rock focuses on the lives of the writers, producers, executives and love interests of those involved in the production of a fictional sketch comedy television show called TGS with Tracy Jordan. 30 Rock is widely known as a show that deals with race, gender and class issues from multiple, humorous perspectives. Yet watching Season Five, Episode Twenty, a viewer could grow uncomfortable at the racial generalizations. The episode is entitled “Queen of Jordan” and is intended to parody the Real Housewives franchise of reality television. The episode was shot and aired as if it were a Bravo network reality show, entirely separate from 30 Rock, although it features the …show more content…
The shows are aware of the excess of their characters. In following the consumerist lifestyles, it does not validate or idolize them, but instead provokes populist scorn on these women and their failures (Lee and Moscowitz, p. 80). The shows critiques and demonizes women specifically, which, in this setting, is deeply intertwined with class through their use of the Bravo “wink.” Bravo ‘winks’ when it showcases the irony in a scene for the viewer. Bravo executive, Andy Cohen, explained the practice as, “Trying to let the audience in on the fun of the story. We wink at the audience when someone says, ‘I’m the healthiest person in the world’ and then you see them ashing their cigarette” (“For ‘Housewives,’” p. AR24). “The fun” Cohen describes is setting up cultural expectations of gender and class behavior only to have them violated so the audience can laugh at the housewives’ shortcomings as both socialites and mothers. The Real Housewives franchise is already self aware enough to be a show about, “rich women to crass to be classy, too superficial to be nurturing and too self-obsessed to be caring” (Lee and Moscowitz, p. 64). Because of this reflexive critique, 30 Rock’s criticism is of race and the medium of reality television is more poignant the violation of the expectation of class from the elite is already ridiculed.
To critique the use of racial stereotypes to reproduce common reality television plotlines, Angie is often portrayed as a
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