February 23, 2010
We’ve all heard the old adage: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” or the revamped version penned by Joan Rivers:“If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”I generally keep my negative opinions to myself, but I’ve just about reached my limit.
After receiving countless accolades and awards, after being the object of endless gushing from co-stars and colleagues in which there weren’t enough superlatives in the English language to sum up the man’s talent, I watched a few episodes of 30 Rock to be dazzled and inspired by the breathtaking presence of Alec Baldwin.(I realize I’m a latecomer to this NBC show.)Expecting to find myself in the company of true greatness, I dimmed the lights, prepared the popcorn and sat in front of my flat-screen TV on Thursday night.The anticipation was palpable.
At the end of the program, I thought to myself, “Maybe it was just a weak episode.”
The following Thursday night, I repeated the routine.Alec Baldwin was amusing and witty.His timing was spot on.But where was the comic genius that had caused such a fury the past few years?I didn’t see it then and I didn’t see it the following Thursday night either, or the Thursday night after that. Let’s face it, the role is one-dimensional (and intended to be).He plays that dimension perfectly, but it’s one-dimensional. Why is he considered TV’s male comic genius with two Emmys, three Golden Globes and four Screen Actors Guild awards for 30 Rock?
Let’s face another fact.Judging from the Alec Baldwin we’ve seen and heard on talk shows and in taped messages left on his daughter’s answering machine, his role on 30 Rock isn’t exactly a world apart from the real person.Tough.Controlling.Somewhat egomaniacal, possibly just plain maniacal.
I actually thought he was terrific in It’s Complicated opposite Meryl Streep: funny, honest and oddly moving.It was the script that annoyed me. The only thing that annoys me about Alec Baldwin “the person” is how he purses his lips for every photo he takes.Can somebody tell him to smile for the camera for a change?
Now the man who can do no wrong is co-hosting the Oscars.Great.Should we gird ourselves for yet another round of excessive accolades?Will he be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Host of a Special Program?
I have nothing against the man as a performer.Really.I just wish somebody would explain this ecstatic love affair he seems to be enjoying with everyone on the planet except me.