The Spirit of 30 Rock’s Jenna Maroney Is Everywhere

Image from the article titled Jenna Maroney Inherited the Earth

Image: John Lamparski (fake images)

Earlier this month, a clip from the UK dating show Love trap went viral. In its first few seconds, the video seemed to be standard. reality tv fare: 2004 set design McMansion, a sleek, muscular bachelor standing next to an understanding host, a number of young women before him. Soon, one of these ladies will give a sad exit interview while saying goodbye to the plaster palace. But instead of missing a rose, the eliminated contestant falls through a trapdoor that opens under her feet. Even the lead singleton, a hardened Netflix pupil Too hot to handle he looked stunned.

The scene i felt like a scrapped cut of 30 Rock, who dedicated some of his most memorable jokes to fake television series with titles like “MILF Island” and “America’s Kidz Got Singing.” But in the years during and immediately following her seven-season run, which ended in 2013, it seemed that Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon would be her most culturally enduring creation, the perfect avatar of upper middle class liberal angst. Liz Lemon’s spirit was alive in all the advanced degree holders lamenting the difficulty of “being grown up,” in all the complaints about dresses lacking pockets. But the messy, relatable, workaholic of yesteryear is now an old-fashioned millennial old man, uprightly defending his side. Lemon’s adorably eager style Cathy the power runs out, and IInstead it’s the shameless, deaf Jane Krakowski’s Jenna Maroney spirit that feels ubiquitous: on the big screen, in CringeTokand in pop culture in general.

You must see the episode finale of this new dating show where the guy chooses which woman is already in a relationship. pic.twitter.com/TVBFVGTRAz

& mdash; Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) November 2, 2021

While Liz was a mountain of generational tics, she usually remained 30 Rockit is a realistic and well-founded center. Jenna Maroney, her best friend and the star of TGSThe sketch comedy show within the show the two women created was the complete opposite: delusional and fickle, an endless cavern of needy antics. Constantly compete for airtime and attention With her most famous co-star, Tracy Jordan, she faked illnesses, arranged opportunities to show her voice, and threatened suicide at the idea that the show would add another blonde woman to its cast. You can only find love when you meet a drag artist (Will Forte) who specializes in the personification of Jenna Maroney. When called out by Liz out of jealousy of the babies for their soft skin, Jenna adds that she also envies “the attention they get.” She does not know dignity, after gaining a few kilos during TGSit’s out of season, happily leaning towards the cruelty he now faces while adopting “I want foodLike their catchphrase.

Your precise taste of wacky spotlight hunting is everywhere: When an actor released (and then apparently removed) a short film in which he poses as a young Robin Williams the day he learned of the death of his friend John Belushi, Jenna was there. When James Corden donned a Party City-worthy costume and thrust his hips into a Cinderella flashmobJenna was there. She was there when a stylist put Ben Platt chinese on the set of Dear Evan Hanson, and when Demi Lovato fought with a cold-yo shop. He was there for the entire Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello movie. relationship, who always had a resemblance to him 30 Rock episode in which Jenna staged a fake romance with James Franco to hide the fact that the true love of her life was a anime body pillow. And she was there, of course, when Gal Gadot enlisted his famous friends in a quarantine of stars. Sing along. Krakowski even had her own Jenna moment earlier in the year, when she was rumored to be in a relationship with Trump’s friend and My Pillow founder Mike Lindell. (Both of them denied ever dating.)

Part of Jenna’s new cultural domain appears to be a side effect of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a backlash that was widely recognized to have reshaped our relationship with celebrity culture. The crisis, started in “we are all in this together” bonhomie with the diagnosis from Tom Hanks, America’s Hollywood father quickly revealed himself as particularly fatal the poor and marginalized, in particular frustrating working families, and to a large extent inconvenient to the rich. His promises of support felt empty like the audio at a Zoom benefit concert. The wayward Cover of “Imagine” became the poster project of the ways that real-life famous people began to look like what Jenna Maroney always was: greedy and inept, eager to insert themselves into every possible narrative without anticipating the highly predictable consequences.

But the pandemic also revealed an affectionately strange side to some in the public eye, as celebrities like Leslie jordan and Jan jones criticized him on social media. It all reminded me of 30 Rock episode that finds Jenna deeply moved after receiving a hug from a gibbon. “He loves me,” he says, cradling the monkey and promising adopt it. “Someone loves me”. For a time during the lockdown, we were the gibbons, the mute receptacles of actor affection, enjoying the online glow of genuinely charming and attractive performers. But for every Anthony Hopkins playing the piano for his cat, there seemed to be a Madonna, singing a fried fish themed reinvention of fashion in a hair brush with forced jocularity. The pandemic exposed celebrities need for our attentionand the need may be a ugly thing to to confront.

But the Jennification of popular culture cannot be placed alone at the foot of the pandemic; after all, Cats, that high-effort glitch, came out in late 2019. Musicals require a higher level of acceptance than almost any other genre, and now that they have been released to the general public for films, it is inevitable that jokes will be made at the expense of the children of the theater. Jenna, who carried a microphone in her bag in case singing opportunities arose, could never resist a musical break, and in between Cats, Dear Evan Hansen, and Cinderella, the film’s musical renaissance has offered more than its fair share in Maroney’s moments of embarrassment. Ben Platt’s portrait of a high school student in Evan hansen, who found him wearing makeup in a futile attempt to make him look less like the 28-year-old he is, it’s Jenna all over the place. That’s how it is Diana the musical, whose lyrics include, “Feel the beat, even the royals need to move”, with its strong overtones of Jackie Jormp-Jomp, The unauthorized biopic of Jenna’s Janis Joplin.

The most teased Hollywood moments of years gone by they tended to be personal scenes of intimacy and crisis, many of which the audience was never supposed to see. Sex tapes, theft scandals, nervous breakdowns, and fits outside the cuff pique provided the fodder for the second-hand embarrassments that littered Internet pop culture in its early days. But contemporary shame is often carefully written and even generously funded. The incidents speak less of private human moments being made public, but of a more fundamental celebrity and aspiring celebrity disconnect from the spirit of the age. In the old days, famous people were mocked for being too human, too vulnerable to stress, strain, mental illness, and private errors of judgment. Now, the most mocked cultural ephemera often underscore just how different our Hollywood world is, evidencing deafness around class and culture and, often, a simple inability to predict the tastes of the time.

It is against this cultural sphere full of Jenna Maroney that the wave of affection for Celebrities of the 2000s like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan is on top. Part of this is nostalgia as repentance, through the new litigation of the misdeeds of a previous one. tabloid era. But I think part of it might be a genuine longing for those previous years when, in some way at least, they really were like us.

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