10 Spankin’ New Days For Tina Fey — Day One

You ever wonder why it is that people say something is “spankin’ new?”  I mean, it’s obviously not literal, since you can’t spank something to the point in which time is reversed and the object of the spanking suddenly becomes brand new.  I suppose, however, if you are spanking a rump, you could theoretically spank it the point in which the epidermis peels off, after which you technically are spanking a “new” outer layer of flesh.  Ew.

Speaking of spankin’ new, my friend TG posted some of her favorite movies on Facebook (aka Internet crack), one of which was “Something New,” starring the incredibly handsome (and Australian) Simon Baker.  In defense of the movie’s irresistible qualities, TG mentioned a scene in which Baker kisses Sanaa Lathan in the rain outside, then proceeds to take her into her home and kisses her again despite Lathan’s request that Baker leave.  In TG’s words, that really was “the hotness!”

But this got me thinking about how the hotness of a scene like this really is in the eyes of the beholder.  Allow me to explain.  Below is picture of Simon Baker.

Simon "the Hotness" Baker

Image from Livejournal

Now, for those who’ve seen the movie, Baker plays a landscape architect.  Take a look at the picture below, which is what I typically imagine when I think of landscapers.

Growl

Image from Flickr

What is my point here?  Well, the aforementioned scene of a man kissing a woman in the rain, and then continuing to kiss said woman in her home after she asks you to leave — depending on who the man is, it’s either “the hotness” or just plain sexual assault.  And that can be said in a number of situations.  In college, I remember my girlfriends and I would go this 18+ club, as none of us had fake IDs.  The male clientele at this club was quite varied, from 18-year old frat boys (Sigma Pi, What a Guy!) to 40-year old nasties.  In any event, there was  an inverse relationship between a man’s hotness and whether that man’s actions were considered “flirting” or “sexual assault.”  For the nasties, a simple leer from across the entire expanse of the dance floor could lead to us seeking assistance from club security.  But if you were a hottie, go ahead and do whatever you want, honey.

This has me thinking — does the same inverse relationship exist for comedians?  For someone like Tina Fey, whose career has supplied her with a wealth of goodwill, does she garner laughs simply by opening her mouth?  And what about yours truly, being a self-described amateur comedian, am I the equivalent of the 40-year old nasty in the middle of a crowded college dance floor leering at girls who are younger than my 3 kids with 3 different baby mamas?  I have to think that there must be some middle ground in which I reside.  Perhaps I’m the comedic equivalent of the 30-year old, moderately attractive and professionally successful person, who did not realize that said club attracted 18-year old college kids?  Alas, accurate assessment of my own comedic abilities may not itself be an ability I possess.  But if Tina Fey loves my script, I’d probably run streaking across town screaming, “I’m funny!  I’m really funny!”

Discover me, Tina Fey!

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3 Comments

Filed under Life, Movies, Plea to Tina Fey

3 responses to “10 Spankin’ New Days For Tina Fey — Day One

  1. TG

    And now, I’m sad. I didn’t mean to inspire a conversation about sexual assault. Since I did, though, I’d like to offer a clarification. The scene in “Something New” really didn’t come off as assault to me, or even borderline assault. I suppose it was typical romantic-drama drama, and in real life, it would have been infinitely more questionable. Still, the scene was presented in a thoroughly non-icky way (to me, at least).

    After the scene where he kissed her in the rain, he dropped her off at her home, and as she was about to get out of the car, she turned to him and says, “Don’t think this is going anywhere.” This is the point where she implicitly (or explicitly) tells him no. She walks into the house and shuts the door. He gets out of the car and knocks on the door. In standard movie fashion, she opens it, he grabs her, he kisses her, and she doesn’t resist for a second — she’s totally into it, and quite implicitly says yes. It’s a movie, so it’s shot in a way that leaves no room for ambiguity about her consent. In real life, though, it would arguably have been more than a little bit disconcerting if a guy to whom you had just uttered those words grabs you and kisses you anyway. Most of us probably wouldn’t have had the movie character’s response. :-/

    You do make a fair point, though, about the disconnect between the way we see and describe things on film, and the way we experience them in real life. Grabbing the woman who just said no and kissing her anyway can be romantic in a movie because the underlying message is, “He’s giving her what she honestly wants.” If you transfer that belief into real life, though, “No means yes” becomes the context for rape. So I suppose I should be more careful about the ways in which I rave about popular images.

    (I will say one last, small thing — if it had looked like he was honestly forcing her to do anything, none of his physical hotness would have made that scene hot.)

    As for the REAL point you were making in your blog (lol!), I would say this: Tina Fey, herself, isn’t always that funny. Sure, her portrayal of Sarah Palin was genius, but from the few episodes I’ve seen of 30 Rock, she isn’t comedy gold at all. It’s her WRITING that is comedy gold, and once you go there, I think you leave the realm of “hotties and nasties.” Maybe? Perhaps it’s the hotties who get the first look, and therefore, get the chance to prove themselves. I don’t know.

    I will make this point: if ever there was an entertainment genre where stunning good looks were unnecessary for success, comedy is it. Tina Fey is unusual. Think about the number of female comedians who are either moderately attractive, or by mainstream standards, not attractive at all. I think part of the reason for their success is the fact that comedy often requires an ability to be self-deprecating, and if you’re a beautiful woman, no one will believe what you say. I would have to think about it, but I suspect that beautiful women who are successful as comedians either have brilliant comic timing, or have a gift for physical comedy (which makes sense — if they’re gawky or clumsy, it makes them more of an everywoman. See, e.g., Julia Roberts.). By and large, you don’t see beautiful women doing stand-up.

    But those are just my thoughts, for whatever they’re worth…. 🙂

    • Great points, although far more social commentary and depth than I ever imagined would result from my post, which, on the surface seems to only highlight the peculiarities of my thought processes. But as for your point, it’s true that, because Simon Baker is a hottie, the fact that he grabs her allows the audience to believe that she actually wanted him to come back.

      And yes, Tina Fey’s greatest gift to comedy lies in her writing, especially her creation of the panoply of extreme characters on the show.

  2. Jane Goody

    This is very up-to-date info. I’ll share it on Twitter.

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