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30 Rock Fodder

30 ROCK: Senor Macho Solo

Hello Lemonings!

I was away the month of December dealing with something I'll explain in a moment, but I missed you terribly.

Tonight in my opinion was a really great episode with a really irresponsible (and painful to watch, for me at least) storyline.

The good: Peter Dinklage. He's THE BEST. Peter plays the object of Liz's affection. Why? Because she mistakes him for a child. Peter is one of my top ten favorite actors. I would pay to watch him read the phone book.

We are back to the focus on Liz's adoption! Tina Fey's face around children could light up a room. The opening scene with Liz stealing a baby's shoe (and dumping it into a purse full of other baby shoes) was brilliant.

We get Salma Hayek (taking a break from her producing duties on ABC's UGLY BETTY)starting a small guest arc as Jack's mother's nurse. Hayek and Baldwin have good chemistry together, so I'm anxious to see how they play out.

And Sherri Shepherd returned in a storyline that found Tracy trying to sign a "post nuptial" agreement.

We even get Jenna (Jane Krakowski) pulling a Sean Young. (Remember when she stormed the gates of Warner Bros in a "Catwoman" costume to be considered for BATMAN RETURNS? God I miss her craziness.) Jenna sets her sights on the role of Janis Joplin in an upcoming biopic. (And it makes me a little sad that we STILL haven't seen that biopic. At one point Melissa Etheridge was attached in the 90s and most recently there were rumors of Renee Zellwegger and Pink).)

The bad: I hate it - HATE IT - when television shows take an issue such as testicular cancer and present plot that is impossible.

Full disclosure (turn back now): the following is a personal rant. But this is my column, so this is me climbing onto my soapbox.

November 1st, I found a lump on MY testicle. I spent a month, getting ultrasounds, taking pills (because they thought it was an infection), meeting with oncologists, getting second opinions and finally a full MONTH later, (which is why I haven't been on the boards here) I had my testicle removed, because it was cancer. Last Monday was my round of chemo.

A biopsy for testicular cancer involves full surgery. You are cut open with (in my case) a five inch incision below the belt, the testicle is then pulled all the way up from the scrotum, taken OUT of your body and in the case of biopsy, a portion is cut and then delivered to a pathologist. Upon the verdict (benign or malignant while you are lying on the table under anesthesia), the testicle is then removed or spared.

So I'm curious as to what mystery doctor Jack went to in New York where he had a "biopsy," returned to work and then waited for a phone call. It's not like you just stick a needle through the scrotum, remove some fluid and stop at Starbucks on your way back to the office. You're on pain pills and have difficulty walking for about three weeks.

I know I sound rather puffy about this and it's "just a television show," but it was "just a few television shows" where I received my ignorant education of testicular cancer before learning the truth. Over the past two months the phase, "well on GREY'S ANATOMY" has crossed my lips a few hundred times. And I'm just using that show as an example.

I get it. Life and television are two totally different things. But when it comes to responsible storytelling that can in fact educate its viewers, it is disappointing to see the best show on television miss the mark. And it seems like cancer is EVERYWHERE right now. "Christian" on NIP/ TUCK has breast cancer. Patrick Swayze has cancer.

In no way do I think the writers of 30 ROCK should have given Baldwin's character cancer to live out some sort of sadistic wish of mine so I can say, "he's just like me!" What I'm saying is, I wish that shows would show that certain diseases like testicular are not death sentences. Which is something every single person with cancer would like to see.

So in stepping off my soap box (and what has become my new mission in life): Ladies, stop what you are doing right now and schedule that mamogram. Guys, get in the shower and do a self exam. Early prevention saves lives.

And THAT is the lesson that television seems to forget to tell.

I'll be updating tomorrow more 30 ROCK news. In the meantime, be sure to tune into the Golden Globes Sunday evening to watch an inevitable (and well deserved) sweep of awards for the show.


Chad Darnell

Tags: Alec Baldwin, Peter Dinklage, Salma Hayek, Sherri Shepherd, Testicular Cancer, Tina Fey
Posted by Chad on January 9, 2009 1:29 AM
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