I Want To Go To There

Celeste Cruz as ‘Juanita Gomez’ (aka ‘Woman #1’) in “30 Rock”Finally got around to watching the third season of 30 Rock… and damn that’s a funny show! I’m a little annoyed that the DVDs don’t have subtitles on them, because sometimes the jokes fly by so fast they don’t even register in my brain, but the ones I did catch had me laughing hard enough to hurt myself! Aside from the general awesomeness of Tina Fey and her creation, there was a very particular reason why I was excited to crack open this boxset… and that was Celeste Cruz’s cameo in ep #3.10. I’ve written before about how strange it is that the super-cute Cruz should be a relatively well-known (if frequently mocked) former pop-star in my country, while in her native land she’s an obscure bit-part actress. Personally, I thought she gave a great performance in Brooklyn Bound, but that movie wasn’t exactly a box-office smash, so it probably didn’t raise her profile very much. She gets a pretty substantial amount of screentime (and several close-ups) here as a telenovela actress, who appears opposite Jack’s Hispanic doppelganger in Los Amantes Clandestinos… but all of her lines are in Spanish, and the scenes are quite “soap-y”, so it wasn’t really the best showcase for her, as an American actress. Oh, fun fact: She’s credited simply as “Woman #1” at the end of the real show, but according to the fake credit sequence for the show-within-a-show, her character’s name is “Juanita Gomez”. So there.

Salma Hayek as ‘Elisa Pedrera’ in “30 Rock”Other notable guest stars included Megan Mullally in ep #3.1, as ‘Bev’, a stern adoption agency evaluator, tasked with assessing Liz Lemon’s suitability to care for children. Mullally quickly became my favourite cast member on Will & Grace, although my interest in the show diminished as the characters became more cartoony and outlandish. Still, I always love watching her work, and it was great to see her again, facing off against Fey. Apparently she’s appearing in less glamorous roles in cult comedies like Party Down and Childrens Hospital these days… but we don’t get those over here, sadly, so this may have to tide me over for a while. Ep  #3.5 featured another old fave, in the form of Janel Moloney… aka ‘Donna Moss’ from The West Wing. Again, I sort of drifted away from that show after the early seasons, but when it first started I had a pretty big crush on her. She doesn’t get to be nearly as smart or sassy here as she was back in the day… but it’s a fun episode all the same. Ep #3.7 saw the introduction of Jack’s recurring Latina love interest ‘Elisa Pedrera’, played by Salma Hayek, who has great chemistry with Baldwin… and I really enjoyed the way their relationship played out… especially since it inadvertently resulted in the Cruz cameo mentioned above! Fey seems obsessed with Hayek’s boobs, both in and out of character… but are they really any more praise-worthy than Mullally’s or Cruz’s? I don’t know… but it’s certainly a subject I’ll be devoting a lot of thought to over the next few nights. Ahem.

Jackie Hoffman as ‘Rochelle Gaulke’ in “30 Rock”In ep #3.11, Jack McBrayer was reunited with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall co-star, Maria Thayer, who played a blind woman he falls for “at first sight”. Despite only seeing that movie a week ago, I totally failed to recognise her… but she’s totally adorable here, even if handicapped slapstick isn’t exactly my favourite kind of humour. In ep #3.14, Jackie Hoffman appears as ‘Rochelle Gaulke’ an unrepentant arsonist who Liz starts to identify with, when she describes how demanding her business was until she had the brain-wave to burn it to the ground! I didn’t know Hoffman’s name, but I knew I recognised her from somewhere… aside from John Waters’s A Dirty Shame, she also had a small role in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (which I’ve seen far more times than I should have), the TV show Ed, and the Shelley Long-starring “TV movie” version of Freaky Friday. Away from the movies, she’s better known as a stand-up comedian and award-winning musical performer, who appeared in such big, fancy Broadway shows as Hairspray, Xanadu and The Addams Family! Am I alone in finding her kinda sexy? I mean she’s got such a fantastic face, and such crazy energy… she only has two scenes here, but she totally steals the entire episode, bless her. Shame she hasn’t had more starring roles I could check out… and YouTube is mucking me around at the moment, so I can’t even watch clips of her stand-up act! Grrr…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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