30 Rock Redesigns Jezebel–As Snarky Plot Device

30 Rock last night satirized both Jezebel–recast as “JoanOfSnark”–and the blog chatter about Tina Fey’s failures as a feminist. The episode dealt with protagonist Liz Lemon’s struggles with a new, disconcertingly flirtatious female writer–and ended up at the conclusion that there are many different ways to be feminist, and that Liz hasn’t mastered it yet. Nor, though, has “JoanOfSnark,” which manages both to empower women and to showcase “worst beach bodies”–a balance that Jezebel itself plays with uncomfortably.

Writing for the real-life Jezebel, Irin Carmon implies that the site is aware of its faults, calling Jezebel one of the “websites with their share of earnest feminist commentary that also have bosses and bills to pay.” Carmon claims “We’re honored!” but gets a dig in, perhaps too veiled to make much of an impact: the episode’s subplot features a teenybopping heiress who, in the show’s final minutes, expresses a will to power, and “she’s wearing makeup now.” Nick Denton’s universe, and NBC’s, are both governed by men–but, cosmetics choices aside, at least 30 Rock doesn’t play into it with a recurring section inviting commentary on outfits and appearance!

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_