Per last night's 30 Rock episode, we are supposed to believe that heroine Liz Lemon is still single because her standards are too high-just like the thesis of Lori Gottlieb's book, Marry Him , which posits that many educated women pushing 40 are single because they are holding out for Mr. Perfect. Liz, for her part, is holding out for "Astronaut Mike Dexter," whom she described in a previous episode as someone who is monogamous, nice to his mother, thinks strip clubs are gross, will shut up when she watches Lost , has forearms like a "damn Disney prince" and who genuinely likes her. These do not seem like a completely outlandish list of requests.
"For crying out loud," says her colleague Jack's mother, hilariously. "This is what feminism does, it makes smart girls with nice birthing shapes believe in fairy tales." Later in the episode, we find out that Liz's mom had a chance to marry real Astronaut Buzz Aldrin-but that that would have been a mistake, because Aldrin (who makes a cameo) turned out to be a world class alcoholic and philanderer with a screw loose.
Certainly the basic premise of this episode is sound: No one should expect perfection from a mate. But that Liz decides that she should "settle"-and she does use that term-is completely disheartening! Especially since in another previous episode she decides that settling for the annoying Brit she meets at the dentist's office isn't going to make her happy. Can't the writers frame Liz's romantic life in any other way? Why does the trope of settling/not settling keep coming up in this way? Is it all just a send-up of stereotypes about single women? So many questions. Last night's episode embedded below.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
- School District Wants to Censor American History Curriculum to Make It More Patriotic
- U.S. Federal Prison Population Drops for the First Time in Decades
- Conservative Star D’Souza Avoids Jail Time for Illegal Campaign Contributions
- Moderate Chinese Intellectual Sentenced to Life in Prison After Show Trial
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.