The Other Man: Ten Reasons to Hate Tina FeyApril 10, 2010 11 Comments
She’s one of America’s Most Beautiful, one of the Most Powerful Women, A Real American, Changing the World and a Cultural Necessity. She’s in charge of the best show on television and is racking up awards faster than Blerg can assemble the trophy cases.
In fact, hardly a month goes by anymore that you don’t read something praising Tina Fey as the only relevant role model for modern women under 40.
1. SNL has never been the same. When Tina was named head writer in 1999, the show featured Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, Jimmy Fallon, blah blah blah, and it was unanimously regarded as one of the funniest shows on TV. When she left for 30 Rock in 2006, the show was plodding by with the likes of Finesse Mitchell and Fred Armisen and critical opinion of the show had fallen on par with or below MADtv. It’s hard to think that the writing didn’t have something to do with this.
2. Tina was so overrated as Weekend Update anchor. Yes, her deadpan comments were amusing for a while, but you didn’t have to work that hard to beat Colin Quinn. Paired with corpsing-prone Jimmy Fallon, the segment started to look amateurish quickly. Seth Meyers replaced her in 2006 and we all remembered again how funny the fake news could be.
3. And then she was overrated again as Sarah Palin. She rode her moderate physical resemblance all the way to an Emmy, despite poor and largely irrelevant writing – perhaps the worst characterization of a White House candidate in the show’s history. (Even The Real World with Bob Dole was light-years better.) If anyone at the time knew anything about Sarah Palin, more viewers would have seen her performance for the cheap and possibly anti-feminist polemic that it was.
4. She wrote Mean Girls. The movie that spurred Lindsay Lohan to paparazzi-fueled early dementia, tried to pass off Rachel McAdams as a 16-year-old girl, derailed Amanda Seyfried and Lizzy Caplan’s careers for God knows how long with shallow typecasting and paraded a string of sad SNL alumni in a way that couldn’t have made them look any more desperate for work. Not good.
5. Does anyone remember anymore how Rachel Dratch was thrown under the bus? Tina and Rachel left SNL together to make 30 Rock; Rachel was supposed to play the Jenna Maroney character. They were longstanding friends from the Chicago improv scene; they even looked somewhat similar before Tina lost weight so they’d put her on TV:
The 30 Rock fairy tale didn‘t last. Rachel made a few forced guest appearances in the first season, and then floated off into the wilderness never to be heard from again. Nothing against Jane Krakowski, but the backstory of Liz Lemon and Jenna working together has never worked given the changes of role and casting. And Tina never seems to talk about Rachel anymore, now that she’s a superstar. It’s a very disquieting side to Tina’s Cinderella story.
6. She’s made uniformly terrible acting choices. She’s not a bad actress at all, and you’d think being the Queen of Sliced Bread (or some variation on that meme) would allow her to step back and not take every inane cameo that comes along. Not joking at all, two of her best characters were a giant burrito and a mother whose five-year-old son falls in love with a fish-girl. Not flattering.
7. Tina’s husband, Jeff Richmond, does the music for 30 Rock. Granted, his score is pretty amazing, but that’s nepotism and Ms. Novotny in the first grade taught me that nepotism isn’t fair.
8. Do you know how soon she returned to work after giving birth to her daughter? On September 10, 2005, Ms. Fey’s vulva opened and Alice Richmond slid head-first into the world. And Tina was back at work on or about October 17, roughly five weeks later. That’s less time than puppies get.
9. As a woman, she seems unable to grasp the concept of an American Express card. Silly her!
10. And finally, my completely irrational hunch. Do you get the idea, like I do, that Tina’s the kind of person you need to tiptoe around? Like she’s a grudge holder who takes everything in her real life super-seriously? No? Maybe it’s just me then.
So that completes the bet. I owe myself $20.
Note the unusually pervasive use of feminism to the wrong ends. She plays up her role as the voice of the American woman of the teens when it suits her, like when there are magazine covers to shoot, and then lampoons those same women so often that it stops being funny (and can become quite nasty).
Feel free to comment and add anything you think I missed. Incidentally, I’m going to see Date Night soon, and I have nominal hopes, but she’s also hosting SNL tonight and the teaser trailer has dissuaded me from watching. Oh well, there’s always Betty White next month.
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