30 Rock "Stride of Pride" Review: Mining Bossypants

By Julia Bergen

Oct 19, 2012

30 Rock S07E03: "Stride of Pride"

After last week's sendup of Tina Fey's 2008 Sarah Palin impressions on Saturday Night Live, this week's episode of 30 Rock explored another account from Fey's book, Bossypants. In 2007, Christopher Hitchens wrote a Vanity Fair column about how funny women are as mythological as unicorns. In Bossypants, Fey famously stated that claiming funny women don't exist just because you don't like female comedians is like claiming Chinese food doesn't exist just because you don't like it. (Plus the women-aren't-funny debate seems to keep resurfacing, as it did in June when Adam Carolla told The New York Post that "the reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks.")

In "Stride of Pride," Tracy tweeted that women weren't funny. Liz confronted him about it, and he insisted that not only are women not funny, but that monkeys are funnier (tell that to the now-canceled Animal Practice!).

Liz set out to prove to Tracy that women can be funny by doing a sketch with Jenna about a female doctor giving plastic surgery to a child. Tracy did find the sketch funny, because the idea of a woman doctor was outrageous to him. Liz counted it as a victory.

The whole episode was very female-themed. Jenna wanted to escape being a middle-aged actress in favor of being an old actress, like Helen Mirren. She succeeded, and was named the "spokescrone" for a company that makes those chairs that go up stairs. Is it bad that I wish my apartment had one of those?

Jack, meanwhile, was upset that one of his friends with benefits also had friends with benefits. I did really love that she called the practice "Pokemon-ing," because "you gotta catch 'em all!" I'm really curious as to how this season is going to end for Jack. His career and personal life are pretty dismal right now; he's still working on tanking NBC, and now he's settled for being the father figure in an array of boy toys that includes Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and one whose e-mail address ends in @brooklyn.beard. I'm hoping there's a triumphant end in store for him, because ever since he didn't get Don Geiss's job his stories have felt more and more depressing.

Overall, I liked this episode, but I also didn't feel like I laughed all that much. It was a little preachy, and even though I agreed with its message, I could have done with a few more side-splitting jokes and a few fewer speeches about feminism. I am also a little nervous that the writers are just going through Bossypants looking for material.

However, the timing of this episode was coincidentally amazing. Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment during the second presidential debate was just this Tuesday, so there's no way 30 Rock could have planned this. But the recurrent theme of not having to list funny women just to prove they exist sounds awfully similar to having a binder full of qualified women.

Also, I really want Stride of Pride to be a thing. I got married in April so I'm out, but can other people start doing it, please?


– Are you going to start doing Stride of Pride? If no, why not? I demand a good excuse.

– Which is a better term, Great Escape-ing or Pokemon-ing?

– Do you intend to stick with 30 Rock to the end, or bail early?

– If 30 Rock has been on for seven seasons, why is Cerie still supposed to be youthful?

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  • CJ42090 Oct 21, 2012

    If I can follow The Office to the bitter end then I'll certainly follow 30 Rock, which has been consistently funny this season. I thought Season 6 was a misfire so I'm glad to see them stepping it up for the final outing.

  • IndianaMom Oct 20, 2012

    I'm definitely sticking with it to the end. I love this show.

  • ErinK Oct 20, 2012

    Question: What has been the greatest part of the last two episodes?

    Answer: NO HAZEL!

    Seriously, she is beyond awful.

  • Big_Pecks Oct 20, 2012

    I was wondering why this episode seemed familiar. I definitely recall Bossypants now. Anyway, way better than last week.

  • DavidJackson8 Oct 20, 2012

    I would do Stride of Pride but unfortunately, I've only been able to do Crawl of Blue Balls.

  • CarlyChristen Oct 20, 2012

    I have to say, Ryan Lochte was my favorite part of this episode. When I heard he was going to guest star, I was a bit worried because he does come across as...well...not the sharpest tool in his interviews. I love that that they just went with that and made him a sex bimbo who spelled his own name wrong in his e-mail address. I laughed so hard.

  • mcepin3 Oct 20, 2012

    lol, a woman wrote this article....hilarious....who saw that one coming?:D

    I am joking,I am joking...put down your forks,hoes and whatever you can find ladies

    much better episode from week before

    I think season will end with Jack and Liz getting together ( in every possible way,yes:D )

  • torque_smacky Oct 20, 2012

    Cerie still looks young, so she can pull it off.

  • ChrisCompton2 Oct 20, 2012

    If 30 Rock has been on for seven seasons, why is Cerie still supposed to be youthful?

    Because everyone else has gotten seven years older too, so realatively she's still the youngest. I think most people over 40 consider those still in their 20's to be youthful.