In the world of 30 Rock, where the eccentric and comedically narcissistic reign supreme, many would take a running jump, not Liz Lemon, for she has mastered how to overcome the absurd. There is much to be said of this Liz and how with such ease she brushes aside the madness, perhaps we can all learn something from her approach, this is the Liz Lemon guide to not letting life weigh you down.
From the mind of the creatively dexterous Tina Fey, 30 Rock is a story about the team behind a comedy sketch show. Lemon is the lead writer forever trying to inspire her creative team of goons to come up with fresh ideas and keep her vision on track. Lemon’s other daily obstacles include keeping her new corporate suit of a boss, Jack Donaghy at bay, and reminding the show’s minor celebrity stars that they are in fact irreplaceable. Played by her Fey herself, Lemon is a character laced with Fey’s quiet tenacity and subtle comedic timing which gives her a surprising level of resilience to the nonsense.
The key to this resilience is very simple, Lemon is authentic. Whether or not she is fully aware of it, Liz Lemon is so refreshingly ordinary, that despite having a showbiz job in a showbiz environment she at no point compromises her integrity, Lemon’s energy is never wasted pretending to be someone she isn’t or chasing gratification. Being herself gives her a toughness that’s hard to shake.
Lemon has an unwavering sense of humour. Although she gets paid to be a comedy sketch show writer she can find a sense of funny on and off the screen. Any difficult situation is navigated with her quick wit and lighthearted sentiments. Nothing no matter how absurd, is taken too seriously – and it’s her easy humour that keeps the peace. More than this, she is perfectly comfortable when the joke is turned on herself, if Liz Lemon has to look a bit foolish to prove a point or has to swallow a bit of pride then so be it, she will do so gladly.
Lemon is always a success. Underneath that unassuming exterior, Lemon is quietly determined. No matter the situation she comes at it sure of a good outcome and at the very least with a true belief that she can make good of the mess. Having that belief in yourself as Lemon does means half the fight has been won before you’ve even lifted a finger.
Without Lemon the premise of 30 Rock couldn’t function, the world and other characters would create a chasm of chaos. Lemon has proved herself to be completely necessary and there’s a reason why she has held her own for so long. Her steps are simple, her approach is not always the most orthodox but Lemon just seems to know best.
By Alicia Jones
Alicia previously studied film and now works freelance in TV drama production. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.