Liz Lemon vs. Leslie Knope

In the battle between representative quirky women, there has always been a war between 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon and Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope. While both may look different, with Liz Lemon’s brown hair and glasses serving as a contrast to Leslie Knope’s blonde hair and perfect vision, the similarities between the two are irrefutable.

Lemon gives better sex advice, that's for sure
Lemon gives better sex advice, that’s for sure
While 30 Rock was the pioneer of embracing the female oddball in her modern incarnation (technically, Lucille Ball was the first to create the prototype back in the 50s) by debuting in 2006, well before Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope perfected the archetype by making high-strung and weird seem more bearable than Liz Lemon.
Lemon vs. Knope
Lemon vs. Knope
Then again, if one were to ask who had the most quotable arsenal of dialogue, the answer would categorically be Liz Lemon. Leslie Knope has never said anything even half as resonant or side-splittingly hilarious as Lemon, as exemplified by: “I was going to take this class called Cooking for One, but the teacher killed himself.” Contrastingly, Knope’s supporting cast of characters are, for the most part, the ones with the best lines, particularly April (Aubrey Plaza) and Donna (Retta).
Leslie, on the other hand, seemed to have the better luck with men
Leslie, on the other hand, seemed to have the better luck with men
The most challenging aspect of determining which female mascot for eccentricity wins out over the other is her respective male mentor. Both Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) hold oodles of appeal in their own different (and sometimes sexual) ways. Donaghy and Swanson each bear a slew of analogous qualities, chiefly their conservativeness, unwillingness to compromise and utter condescension toward others–usually women. In the end, however, Donaghy seemed like less of a sellout (mainly because he was already a sellout to begin with) even though both men succumbed to the marriage and kids scene.
Donaghy is the champion against Swanson
Donaghy is the champion against Swanson
In terms of the feminist stance regarding the importance of having a man in one’s life, Lemon wins every time. She was even averse to the concept of giving into her “settling soul mate,” Wesley Snipes (played by Michael Sheen), a white British man–not the black actor of the same name. Even though Lemon eventually did the settling down thing and adopted a pair of kids, her career and love of television and food always came first. With Knope, not quite so. And while 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation may have been on for the same amount of time (seven seasons), 30 Rock never felt half as drawn out with regard to suspending an arc that had already been made. Therein lies the superiority of Liz Lemon: her slow-moving pace at changing her behavior.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Amy Schumer: Every Celeb’s Worst Nightmare | Culled Culture

  2. Pingback: The Hypocrisy of Tina Fey Disrobing for David Letterman | Culled Culture

  3. Pingback: Investigative Probe Commences Into Why More Bushwickians Don’t Weigh 200+ Pounds Due to Their Drinking & Eating Habits | The Burning Bush

Comments are closed.