Lemon in My Tea

Well, make that Liz Lemon. I don’t watch a lot of television these days; but I sure get a kick out of 30 Rock. Not since Seinfeld have I followed a situation comedy with such enthusiasm. Never mind that Fey’s nod to Jerry and his gang turned into just another plug for the stingless Bee Movie. It’s great to see SNL alumni like Tracy Morgan and Chris Parnell in something worth my while (that is, something other than SNL). Rachel Dratch’s Hitchcockian cameos in season one were inspired. For once, even the guest appearances (Carrie Fisher!) do not smack of desperation.

Apropos Lemon (still with a capital L): the BBC hit a new low last Saturday with the premiere of The One and Only . . ., a new reality show in which amateur impersonators of iconic performers like Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, and Rod Stewart battle it out for a chance at a contract in Vegas. Nothing terribly wrong with the concept (unless viewers under forty were expected to call in their votes); but the so-called talent appears to have been dragged in straight from a deserted street corner or a low-rent shopping mall . . . in Andorra. It would make for a stellar 30 Rock episode.

Let’s see, Madonna, in her by now long-faded Material Girlishness, has a German accent to which American audiences are sure to thrill. And Lionel Ritchie? He’s a white guy in blackface. That’ll have them dancing on the ceiling over at the NAACP! You’d think the current WGA strike would encourage broadcasters in Britain to fill in the blanks smartly instead of shooting them . . .

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