It’s no secret lesbians love Tina Fey. She topped our AfterEllen.com Hot 100 in 2007, beating out actual gay women as the celebrity who was number one in our hearts. Fey is a talented, funny writer who embraces feminism as well as her sex appeal as an actress who isn’t caked in make-up and wearing next to nothing. She’s the intelligent woman’s hero, making hilarious and successful females chic.
So when she created 30 Rock, we were among the millions that tuned in every Thursday night.
The Emmy-winning half-hour comedy is consistently full of smart humor and likable (even if they are purposefully unlikable) characters. This includes Fey’s Liz Lemon, an unmarried 40-something television writer and producer that serves as the butt of her peers’ jokes. Many of these jokes revolve around Liz’s perceived unattractiveness, which often lead to inferences that she is a lesbian.
It’s true that it’s not only lesbian-related when it comes to the gay humor on 30 Rock, but there is enough of it to suggest an ongoing theme in the writer’s room.
In 2006, we wrote about an actual lesbian character on the show, Gretchen Thomas, played by Stephanie March. It was a small role, but it played into the idea that Liz was a lesbian, when Jack (Liz’s boss, played by Alec Baldwin) set her up a blind date with Thomas. We wrote about the episode, “Blind Date”:
Because they hit it off, the rest of the episode follows Liz and Gretchen’s burgeoning friendship, which has them “making plans to go shopping at IKEA and see a Margaret Cho concert together,” but, in the end, Gretchen is looking for a woman who is into women and Liz, unfortunately for her, is only interested in men.